Monday, 3 February 2014

BFF (and sisters) Cowl

Birthday Cowl
My sister and fellow blogger Deb gave me some gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, Louisa Harding yarn for my birthday.  This means that the yarn is for my knitting.  That is, something knitted for me and not something that is to be given to someone as a gift.  I packed the 3 precious balls in my holiday knitting stash and set off on our 5 week trip.

I was searching online for something unrelated and came across the BFF Scarf pattern by Cally Monster and liked it immensely.  It's a free ravelry download! Even better.

I started to knit it up but changed the pattern ever so slightly.  I wanted my decreases to point in the right direction so I changed a few of the K2tog's and ssk's and the end result was just lovely.  My amendments are at the end of this post.

I didn't have enough wool to make a scarf but I could easily make a cowl.  Whatever length the 3 balls knitted to, was going to be the finished length of the cowl.  Easy and straightforward .. or so I thought.

Ovens River - Bright, Victoria

I started it at the caravan park in Bright, Victoria.  This is simply a gorgeous part of the country.  Our site was great - 24 steps from the river (I counted!), but it was in direct sunshine in the afternoon and as the temperature was hovering at around 41C, it meant afternoons knitting in the shade by the river.  Really, it doesn't get better than that.

I was halfway through the cowl when it came time to move onto another park. The next one was by the ocean, a mere 6 hour drive away.  Normally, we would take all this in our stride but it was 43C and blowing a gale.  Easily the hottest day on the road we have ever had.  As our van is quite heavy, we don't put the air conditioner on as it sucks too much power, leaving us unable to climb hills so I spent most of the trip looking for flat areas to quickly turn on the air conditioning, breathe deeply of the cool air and then, just as quickly, turn it off.

When we finally made it to our camp ground, hot, bothered and extremely tired we discovered to our absolute dismay that our van had broken and we could no longer wind it up.  After a few hours of sawing wood that the caravan park owners kindly let us have, we managed to fashion some struts that would keep the roof from falling in, although we were not sure for how long.

Later that afternoon, an electrical storm blew up and the van was shaking a lot, making us very nervous.  We both reached for some stress relief.  Peter grabbed a beer and I grabbed the cowl and frantically started knitting trying to keep myself occupied so I didn't sit there and watch the struts moving back and forth, wondering at what stage they were going to collapse.  When most of the storm had passed, I glanced outside to see the most beautiful double rainbow so I grabbed my camera and raced outside to get some pictures.  At the same time I was taking the picture, a flash of lightning struck the hill behind the cabins - setting it alight.
Double Rainbow after an electrical storm.

I couldn't believe that this was happening.  The fire danger was listed at CODE RED.  The strong, hot wind was howling and all the campers warily stood outside their tents/vans/cabins waiting for instructions.
Lightning strike

I went into the van and quickly packed laptops, phones, wallets and keys and came back out deliberating as to whether or not to pack my knitting.  It seemed a bit frivolous to worry about knitting at such a time - but it was Louisa Harding. 

We waited .. and watched.  The wind was thankfully blowing it away from the park but all that meant was someone, somewhere else was in danger.  After about 3 hours we got the all clear.  The firefighters had done a marvellous job in not only putting the fire out but actually getting to it in the first place.  There were no roads and it was straight up the side of a very steep hill.

We went back inside and I resumed my knitting - albeit with a sense of thankfulness that all was well in the end.

The finished cowl is very sweet and very soft but, boy, it has a story to tell.


Row 5:  K1, YO, K5, YO, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K1, K30
K1, SSK, YO, SSK, YO, K5, YO, K1

Row 7: SSK, YO, SSK, K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, YO, K3, K30, K3, YO, SSK, YO, SSK, K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog

Row 9: SSK, YO, (K3tog using SSK method), YO, K2tog, YO, K4, K30, K4, YO, SSK, YO, K3tog (normally), YO, K2tog

Row 11: SSK, YO, (K3tog using SSK method) YO, K5, K30, K5, YO, K3tog (normally), YO, K2tog.

Happy knitting,


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  1. Love the cowl! Beautiful yarn and a very thoughtful gift...not only a nice gift but a fun activity too!


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