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Bough Cowl and Hat.

I had knitted the hat already once before and it's one of my favorite and best fitting hats so I wanted to make another one. I have noticed over the years that I have a smaller head than what seems to be the norm according to the hat sizings so I have learned to go down a needle size. Instead of 4.5 mm needles I used 4.0 mms and it worked out great. I used an odd leftover skein and a half of mustard yellow Drops Karisma and made the pompom with some unknown light brown wool yarn from my stash.

For the cowl I used dark green Retrosaria Beiroa that I bought from my trip to Amsterdam last November. I'm not sure if I liked this yarn; I didn't expect it to be this rough and stiff. It wasn't very easy to knit - it seemed to get stuck, like there was a lot of friction between the stitches and the working yarn. It also has a slight gasoline-like odor that irritated me a bit and a lot of pieces of small and sharp sticks and straws that I had to keep pulling out. One more thing that I disliked was the unevenness of the yarn: from time to time there were really bulky bits that were really dark brown, espresso colored, sometimes almost even black. The bulky bits really pop out from the rest of fabric and make it look like as it'd have dirt on it. I adore the color of this yarn though, the stitch definition is great and the yarn does not pill at all. I'm hoping the stiffness of it relaxes after I wash it and use it a couple of times. I'm not sure if I would buy it again and if I did what I would use it for: maybe for a scarf again - it's too rough for a hat and too stiff for a sweater.

I decided to knit the cowl flat and add an i-cord edging with buttonholes on one side because I wasn't that enthusiastic about all the purling. I also wanted it to be more versatile and wearable: this way I can use it both as a cowl and a long scarf.

I left out two pattern repeats for the cowl, because I had limited amount of yarn and no way to get my hands on more here in Finland, so I wanted to be on the safe side. Also my gauge was a bit looser than instructed. I casted on 281 stitches, didn't make the decrease on the second row and had the first and last stitch as selvage stitches. I changed the beginning of the round to the third stitch from the right to get the pattern to start and end symmetrically. I regarded the first row (and all the following odd numbered rows) as a WS row and all the even numbered rows as RS rows: this way I had all the "cables" on the RS whereas I only needed to knit and purl on the WS.

If you don't know how to knit cables without a cable needle I really urge you to learn before getting on with this pattern. I know at least I would lose me mind and nerves if I had to knit all these "1-over-1" and "1-under1" cables with a CN.

As much as I love the hat (I'm certain I will make another one again at some point) I'm a bit disappointed with the cowl. I want to like it more than I do. Although it has all the same elements as the hat it still seems to miss something. Maybe I should have gone down with the needle sizes like I did with the hat, because my cowl is now both longer and wider than supposed. I'm glad I made the decision to knit it flat - in my opinion it works better as a scarf than a cowl. A+ for the hat, a B- for the cowl.

Pattern: Bough by Leila Raabe
Yarn: for the hat Garnstudio Drops Karisma #52 mustard
for the pompom unknown beige wool yarn
for the cowl Retrosaria Beiroa #625
Needles: 3.5mm for the ribbing (hat)
4.0mm for the hat
4.5mm for the cowl


  1. Wash the cowl with hair conditioner! It will soften much, much more. Beiroa is quite a rustic looking yarn, and it does feel a little bit uncomfortable next to the skin — but washing it with conditioner does help a lot.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I must try that one! The yarn has become softer with use though, but I'll try the conditioner to soften it even more!

  2. I'm curious. How is the yarn know that the cowl is over a year old?


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