My Cambrian Cowl Is Cursed.

I’m certain this project is trying to tell me something. Two mishaps in one day surely are an omen that No Good Can Come From This.  One mishap was completely my fault; I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing.  The other mishap, though, that’s the yarn’s fault. Totally.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMishap #1: Due to my apparently poor pattern comprehension skills, when joining the cowl in the round I accidentally placed the button band on top of the buttonhole band. So if there had been buttons on the buttonhole band already, they would lie beneath the button band. Fortunately I had only knit 4 rounds before I noticed. The frogging was minimal. I took no pictures, I disavow any knowledge of my own actions.


There’s a tiny plastic piece from the inside of the endcap stuck in the blue cable.

Mishap #2: see photo. Yes, I broke a pair of Denise needles. You’d think I could just screw the end of the needle back into the blue cable, but you’d be wrong.

It’s not my fault, it’s the damned yarn, I swear. Up until that moment I had been loving–LOVE-ING!!–the Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky. Yes, it’s slippery, but it’s amazingly soft. It’s perfect for wearing close to the skin for warmth, and this will be such a great accessory when the weather gets cold again.  But somewhere while knitting a round the stitches bunched up right behind one of the size US 11 tips.  They were crowded together pretty tight and it was hard to spread them out a little.  While I was pushing the stitches around,  I heard a snap. At first I thought the cable had simply separated from the tip; that happened a lot when I used the Denise needles on cotton. The cotton stuck to the plastic needles. But the damage is not that simple. The small black plastic cap on the end of the cable snapped in two. Part of it is stuck in the needle, the other part stuck in the cable. It’s impossible to pull out, and even if I could, it would be impossible to glue back together.

Luckily it’s a five-minute drive to my nearest yarn store so I flew into town to get some new needles.  I bought a pair of K&A bamboo circulars and flew back home.  My cowl is saved and knitting is once again underway, but I’m still not completely happy. I’m having a hard time moving the stitches from the cable up over the join.  It’s a metal join attached to the bamboo, and it’s the same size needle as the other set I was using (obviously!). I knit loose enough so they weren’t tight and crowded, but it’s a chore to get them onto the needle. I’m just going to keep knitting, and hopefully I’ll finish this thing without further incident.


Because I love this cowl. I really do. I love its style and simplicity. I adore the ceramic buttons I ordered from a seller on Etsy. They are going to look lovely.

I pulled the first part of the cowl I knit a year ago out of a bag and blocked it, as per the pattern. I am so glad I did. The first band is a 20-inch-long piece of stockinette stitching, so it curls like crazy.  Once blocked, it stayed flat. Picking up the stitches was effortless. I have been schooled on the need for blocking.

I’ve sat on this project for long enough and there was no need. No need! It’s incredibly easy and fast and the result is going to be a very polished looking piece.  Maybe the cowl’s taking its revenge on me for abandoning it for so long.


One good thing about having to run back to the yarn shop was discovering these adorable little zip pouches. It’s hard to read but the character is called Miss Rabbit. The lettering on the pouch actually says Miss. Rabbit.  With a period behind the word Miss, although it’s not an abbreviation.  There’s absolutely no company name or logo on the pouch but my guess is it was made in Asia.  I love how cute these are! They will be perfect for dumping stitch markers into it. They remind me of my hometown of NYC when my sister and I used to prowl the little shops in Chinatown for exactly this type of kawaii stuff, like little notebooks, pencil cases, pouches and things. (Kawaii is a Japanese adjective for “cute, adorable, endearing) etc.  I kept the top bag for myself and gave the bottom bag to my sister as an early Easter present.

OK, enough bitching and moaning. I really do love this cowl. And Baby Alpaca Chunky? You know I can’t stay mad at you.


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