From Scarf to Shawl to Cowl

From Scarf to Shawl to Cowlfeatured

Have you ever knit a project where you just made it up as you went along?  I did this recently, and I ended up loving the result.  After just writing about only buying classic yarns in this post about my favorite sweater, I noticed that I still have a lot of that alluring fuzzy neon pink yarn that I told you not to buy (for a sweater) in my own stash.  How can I use some of this up?’ I wondered.  Scarf.  When all other ideas fail you, knit a scarf.Cowl Scarf

I found all of these yarns in my stash (Yes, I have shelves and shelves of yarn) that looked beautiful together.  The pinks are wool blends and fuzzy/soft.  The brown variegated is something I purchased up on Salt Spring Island, B.C. several years ago.  It’s a 70/30 wool/merino blend that was handspun and hand dyed on a farm where we stayed.  The other brown is a Rowan tweed.Cowl Scarf

I started out making a scarf in moss stitch using the variegated yarn.  I knit a few inches and realized it was way too wide.  I decided I would keep going and knit a shawl.  I got to this point, where I was about to add stripes (using 1 strand each of the dark pink fuzzy with 1 strand of the brown Rowan), and I realized it was way too narrow for a shawl.Cowl Scarf

I’m not one to rip things out….(all of that work!!!)…..and aha, I realized I could make a cowl scarf if I added a little piece to make it wider.  I finished the narrow stripe at the top, and cast off.  Then I picked up stitches on one end and used two strands of the bright fuzzy pink to knit in stockinette stitch perpendicular to the moss stitch section.Cowl Scarf

I sewed the ends together with the pink stockinette section overlapping the moss stitch section to make it appear that it is being held together by the buttons.  I then added the two buttons for decorative purposes only—voila, perfect.Cowl Scarf

Additionally, a word about blocking…  Patterns always tell you to block your project when you complete it.  What does this mean?  This is the process of pinning your garment flat and using steam to permanently denature the yarn fibers so that they lie flat.  Some projects, admittedly, don’t need it.  But this one did.  Look at how one end of the scarf was completely rolled up:Cowl Scarf

I used a steamer, but you can also use an iron with steam.  I have a foam blocking board which makes this task even easier.  (Before I had one I used to pin things to a rug).Cowl Scarf

Perfectly flat.  This only takes a few minutes.  Taking the time to block your projects is worth it for a professional appearing result.Cowl Scarf

I paired this cowl scarf with my favorite J. Crew denim jacket (everyone needs one), jeans I received from Stitch Fix (brand is Kut from the Kloth), my favorite Frye boots, and fingerless gloves I knit last year (pattern from Knit-Purl store in Portland, Shibui yarn).  Warm, cozy, and stylish.  All from my stash of yarn!Cowl ScarfCowl ScarfCowl ScarfCowl Scarf

Photo credits to Jennifer S.

About the author

Stephanie Koski

Stephanie is a retired physician, mother to three boys, and an avid gardener with many hobbies and interests. She lives outside of Salem, Oregon, in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Stephanie does all of the photography and writing for this website, and all content is original and copyrighted.

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