A Sweater-ish Cowl

I’ve gone through phases as a knitter. There was a while when I started knitting that I almost exclusively knit mittens. Then it was stuffed animals. Then socks. And lace shawls (for some reason…). Lately (as in the last few years), it’s been sweaters.

I love making sweaters. I’ve probably made a couple dozen over the last few years (more, if you include baby/kid sweaters). I find sweaters to be just the most satisfying project. I love everything about them, from designing them to adding details to picking yarn to thinking about the practicalities of their construction. I love knitting sweaters that are my own designs, and I love knitting sweaters other people have designed.

However, two factors are getting in the way of my sweater-dreams these days.

  1. Covid means I haven’t been to a yarn store in 8 months. I’ve been slowly draining my stash of any sweater-quantitates of yarn. Sure, I could probably cobble together a sweater’s worth of sock yarn or something, but… that sounds difficult. And annoying.
  2. As I write this (in late October), I’m less than a month away from the birth of my second kid. Which, needless to say, will cut into my knitting time.

So that means I’m making a point of knitting non-sweater projects.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t dream, does it?

This is one of my favorite men’s sweaters to make (and wear). It’s a super easy, FREE, cabled, comfy, pieced sweater. I’ve knit it twice- once for my husband and once for my father-in-law. I have since more-or-less adopted my husband’s sweater since apparently it’s “too warm for Seattle” for him. It’s the perfect “I’m having a day and just need to be comfy” sweater.

I kind of want to knit another one.

But instead, I’m going to hold myself back and use up the skein-and-a-half of Knit Picks’ Twill I have in my stash drawer to make a nice, cozy Ben Cowl. (I had hoped the gray-blue would have been enough, but it’s not quite as tall as I wanted. Luckily the burgundy looks nice enough with the blue, so we’re going to pretend it was supposed to be color-blocked.)

What other small projects should I work on? Do you have any favorite one-skein patterns?

6 thoughts on “A Sweater-ish Cowl

  1. itwasjudith

    Because of the rigid weather and the work from home sit, I’m currently drawn to knit …. leg warmers!
    I had a pair made long ago, hardly worn, that I’m now happily using indoors with my leggings for extra warmth 🙂
    I started thinking Flashdance, if you know the movie . Next I’ll need a leotard and to shed some curves of mine , haha.

  2. Cheryl

    My favorite one skein project is Nougat cowl by Susanna IC – I’m about to cast on my third one as a gift for my sister. I have one and have gifted another. It’s great for a 50g skein of fingering.

    If I have a big skein of aran or worsted (about 100g) then I like Jason’s Cashmere Hat – the cable decreases come together so nicely.

  3. Pingback: And It’s Done | On the Needles

  4. Helen

    Hi! I’m working on my first Ben sweater (it’s actually my first sweater ever!) and I am having the hardest time finding any help for this pattern!! Since you’ve finished this one twice, would you please help me? I have no idea how I’m supposed to work BOTH sides of the neck shaping at once! I’ve looked for videos on how to do this, I’ve asked other people (online) how they’ve done it and gotten no response .. I don’t have any face to face options as I’m the only knitter in the very small group of people that I see in this Covid saturated world. I’ve done the back panel and the sleeves, and I’ve reached the point of starting the neckline…but I don’t want to just flail away with my needles!! If you’ve got the time to answer, thank you! I do understand (completely) not having the time with a new baby to love though!!

    1. onemilljellybeans Post author

      Sure! It’s been a minute since I made this one, but I’ll see what I can do. So, it looks like they want you to work both sides at the same time- which is… confusing, especially if you haven’t done a sweater like this before. I’d do one side at a time to avoid getting to confused or tangled in yarn. The tricky bit is that you have to do the neck edge shaping and the arm edge shaping at the same time. The good news is that the neck decreasing is pretty simple. Basically, you’re working a decrease on every RS row on the neck edge 14(14-18-20) times, then every other RS row 3(3-1-0) times. Does that help? If you need anything else, let me know.

      1. Helen

        That does help! I was worried about doing one side at a time (thinking I might mess up the sweater) and worried about trying to do both sides at once (I just couldn’t figure out how to make that WORK!) I’m used to doing a lot of shaping and patterns at the same time, but this one just didn’t make sense in my head. Thank you so much for your help!!

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