May 18, 2015

Black Hooded Cowl

I really liked the look of Repeat Crafter Me's Hooded Cowl when I saw it online. Figured I could save the pattern and add some ears to it and make one for myself sometime. Instead I got to test the pattern out in all black, since my hubby asked for a hooded cowl. Must resist the urge to put black bear ears on it...

Unfortunately, the Joann was all out of the yarn she used, so I went with a close alternative in Bernat Softee Chunky in black. I really like how this feels and it has a nice subtle texture to it. Her pattern calls for an I 5.5 mm hook, but the yarn calls for an L 8.00mm hook. I kind of split the difference and went with J 6.00mm hook. My hubby is kind of a big guy, so using the larger hook would help make his XXL version of this hood.

Instead of 42, as her adult size calls for, I went with 52 starting chains. That would give me 50 hdc fro the first row. That equates to a few extra inches of length to the hood. After the second row I was up to 75 hdc which seemed plenty large. I then did 20 rows of the 75 to get the hood nice and deep for his larger head.

Ending at a corner, I chained two and started working around the base, creating a new row of hdc along the edge. For the "scarf" part I chained out 42 instead of 20 to make sure that it would leave room and wrap nicely. I used the 2 of 42 to turn and hdc 40 back across the chain. Once you complete the chain part, you are back to working around the base of the hood.
Hood part completed. Note the different direction of the scarf part.
NOTE: It is super important to make sure your scarf part is perpendicular to the hood part. I learned that the hard way and had to rip out almost two hours of work on a nearly completed scarf part, which was actually just making the hood deeper as opposed to being a scarf.
Cool buttons.
For this XXL size I ended up using 4 skeins of yarn. The chunky yarn and chain space button holes require some seriously large buttons. I found ones at Joann that I liked by LaMode in black, that were kind of rough and non standard shape (1 3/8th inches, 34 mm); a bit Flintstone-y. They had large eyes as well to make sewing it on easier. I used black worsted weight yarn to sew the buttons in place on the cowl.

Finished, with pen for size comparison.

The thickness of this yarn makes for a really warm cowl and hood. I am debating adding another button farther back and up a bit, to allow for a warmer and tighter fit of the scarf across the face. For now, I know that I have "measurably improved the quality of my [husbands] life". (- his words)

Time to complete: 6-8 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate in construction, Easy in stitches.