Another long overdue post!
Pattern: Volga, by Jenny Faifel
Yarn: Handmaiden Bess, in Ruby Red
Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7
I don't remember how I discovered Jenny Faifel's designs, but they're all pretty fabulous, and she keeps releasing new ones that send me digging in my not-so-mini-anymore stash, so I joined her Rav group so I could be somewhat in the loop on her designer activity. I had my eye on Volga and had the good fortune of picking it up in a freebie giveaway, and then last summer, noticed she was running a KAL that it qualified for, and figured, why not? I was sockracing at the time, but the start date found me waiting for the next stage to begin, so I wound up the yarn and went for it, figuring I could knock bits out between sockracing stages, and then finish it up afterwards with plenty of time before the KAL deadline of mid August.
And I did get a goodly chunk knit up, so that by the time we were entering August, I had about a third of it done. But then we went on our annual trip out to Vancouver Island, and I was planning my vacation knitting, and looked at the cowl chunk, and then turned around and dug out yarn for sister socks and a different cowl. I even grabbed yarn for father socks to cover me in case of underyarning - which I ended up needing. Our time at the Mister's parents' place is typically fantastic for knitting time for me - we just sort of bum around relaxing a lot, politely declining his parents' suggestions that we get out of the house to go for short walks to look at things that we've seen before. (They worry that we are bored, and consequently won't come back in the future. We have told them repeatedly that we would be making suggestions if we were growing tired of loafing around their house. They respond to this by saying, 'Yes, it's nice to have some relaxation time on vacation, if that's what you want. But, if you'd like, we can always drive over to (insert activity locale here), if you'd like a change of scenery...')
So why didn't I take this cowl? I honestly couldn't tell you. We got back, I got busy, missed the KAL deadline, finished up the cowl save for binding off the final stitch, and then it sat in the basket beside my bed for months - since I'd missed the deadline, I no longer felt like there was any big hurry to do the finishing. Eventually, I picked it up, pulling out the last few stitches in the process, re-did them, bound off, wove the ends in and blocked the sucker.
And I love it. It was a very meditative, satisfying knit, and the finished item is fabulous. If I'm actually wearing it out and about, I'll wind it around my neck twice - the bigger end of the cowl gives shawl-like coverage, with the smaller end cozied up close, but not tight. I haven't worn it lots yet, so I haven't yet figured out the optimal way of wearing it to really display the eyelet panels that run asymmetrically along the piece. In that first picture I've just got it flung over me as if it were a poncho, to show them off, and if I were just sitting I could do that for warmth, but it wouldn't likely stay like that.
The yarn is a bit fuzzy because it's Handmaiden Bess, which has some cashmere content - 12% - that is going to fuzz up even more with repeated wearings. It's wonderfully soft, but we'll see how it resists pilling over time. If it even resists at all. Cashmere can be that way.