Pinterest and the Outlander Cowl

Sometimes I wonder how we would ever learn anything today without the Internet. If someone decided they wanted to learn how to cook a certain recipe, for example, where would they begin? Go to the library and copy a recipe out of a cookbook?Ain’t nobody got time for that! If the Internet didn’t exist, I would probably never have been interested in learning to knit or do crafts, or bother to learn if I were interested. I guess people learned it from their grandmothers, maybe? My grandmother knew how to knit, but I never bothered to ask how.

Playing around on the Internet, specifically Pinterest, sparked my interest in knitting in particular. It seems as if Pinterest itself is solely responsible for what I’ve seen as a renewed interest in the “domestic arts” – crafts, DIY, decorating, anything that can be done at home. It’s also the place to hoard your hopes and dreams that will never be realized; one could pin thousands of pins on a board, never to look back at them, but always search on for something new. And that something new is always similar to some idea previously clicked on and stashed away. For example, out of the hundreds of recipes I’ve pinned on my “Food” board, I’ve only made 10 or so. But yet I’m always searching for more recipes. Pinterest makes us want to be creative and do more – lose weight, get healthy, make this, create that – but really all we (me and everyone I know that uses it) want to do is look and click and hoard.

So, I’ll share some of my virtual hoard with you. My knitting board is called Knit Wit. I actually have made one of those things on that board – a few of the mug cozies. Very easy to make and they don’t take that much time, and make cute gifts. Here’s the link for making one of those mug cozies, and they are a great project for beginning knitters (like me – I’m still pretty much a beginner).

There’s one project on that board that I recently discovered, and I can’t wait to make it – Claire’s Cowl that she wore in a couple of episodes of Outlander.

Claire wore this cowl (big scarf) in the first season.

Claire wore this cowl (big scarf) in the first season.

I really love that, color and everything. Although, I do wonder if it will ever be cold enough for me to wear it…these last few Georgia winters have mostly been too mild to break out the heavy stuff!

It looks really easy to make, you just have to use big tools…size 50 needles and super bulky yarn, with two skeins connected and used as one. This is the video I’ll be going by, posted on YouTube by Kristen Leigh. Her accent is really charming, I think!

And these are my size 50 needles:

They also double as murder weapons.

They also double as murder weapons.

But before I start this project, I want to find some really high quality yarn. I hate scratchy material, and I want this to be soft and cozy. My friend (who doesn’t knit) told me about a store he saw in Peachtree City, called Sugarfoot Yarns. My amateur guess is that a store that is dedicated solely to yarn must have some good quality stuff…at least that’s what I’m hoping. They claim they can “satisfy your inner fiber artist”. I hope so! Otherwise, I’m stuck with Michael’s or Joanne’s, which are great places, but I feel compelled to check out Sugarfoot Yarns.

Once I was at a craft market in New Mexico (is everyone in New Mexico an artist? Or is it the artist retirement state?) and came across some beautiful artisan yarn, and I could see that it was made with love. But made with love yarn requires the big bucks – and an amateur like me isn’t willing to spend big bucks on screw ups. So, maybe one day when I’m back in New Mexico, which is about every year or so, I will pick up some of this yarn and save it for a special project. For now, it has to be the cheap stuff.

I find myself leaning towards the bigger stuff in knitting – bigger needles, and bigger yarn. Bigger materials are certainly easier to work with, and I like the look of them better – and bigger, chunkier knitted goods seems to be the style anyway. Knitting with smaller needles and yarn is difficult, especially for someone with clumsy hands like me. My mother-in-law once knitted a Barbie wedding dress – a tiny little thing – as one of her first projects! She actually won a prize for it at a fair, and it’s still in great shape, 50 years later. She said it was a way to pass the time at home – and even still has an argyle sock she’s been working on for years!

I’d like to knit the Outlander cowl sometime before Fall, or at the beginning of Fall…it would make a good evening project when time permits. Knitting it should go really fast as the material is so bulky. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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