Quick! Knit Something Really Warm!

By Ann Shayne
February 16, 2021

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  • Love it !!! Great cowl.

  • Awwwwww – this gives me all the warm fuzzies on a sub-zero morning! Love you too and sending all the cozy brambleberry vibes! (Maybe we should make pies now, too.)

    • Love “knitting projects on the go” instead of thinking of all of these as unfinished projects. You’ve inspired me to approach them with a new, positive attitude.
      Greetings from cold, icy, snowy Central Ohio.

  • How weird is it that I want to follow your Nashville weather people? They sound really awesome. Finding a cowl half done is pretty cool too!

    • We have been hit by pretty bitter temps in Michigan this month. (Jan was really mild!) and last night dropped about 6-7inches on us and is still snowing. My coworkers complain about the cold but I am sitting there with my hand knit wool socks and woolen shawl over a sweater and I don’t know ‍♀️ I am fine.

      • In my north-of-Detroit suburb we had 10″ Monday night and Tuesday night temp was -1. Looks like more snow this after noon and then again Sunday. Looks like February claimed all the snow for itself this year. I like it better with snow on the ground, though. Otherwise winter is very dreary.

  • Love your hair, Ann! Hurrah for the the natural undyed gray/silver/white hair (pick your preferred term)!

    • Yes! My first thought was, “Best picture ever of Ann!”. The cowl is lovely but the hair wins the day.

      • I agree with KnitterJane and M—you look gorgeous!

        • Great find in your stash! Lucky you.

          I absolutely agree with all the positive hair comments. Beautiful color and you look gorgeous. I echo Knitterjane – your hair wins the day!

    • Aw thanks y’all–a year into Covid and the Covid coiffure is definitely a new look! I like matching the weather. I may go for golden sunsets once warm weather returns, who knows . . . but I’m definitely enjoying the ombre lifestyle. I miss my beloved hair friend Susan so much! We have the best time solving the world’s problems together.

  • So-o cozy. I’ve never knitted brambleberries (Trinity stitch?) probably because I am extremely lazy. Seed stitch with squishy yarn has been my go-to for cozy. But you may have inspired me here, Ann! (Which is quite a feat. I LIKE my comfort zone!).

    • I did a hat that was all trinity a few months ago. I’m remembering it as slightly different than K3 in 1, hen knit them all together. I’ll wake my household if I go check this early though! The pattern’s too close to the bedroom!

      • I wasn’t being precise, sorry! Just describing the basic idea of the stitch pattern. The pattern has a round of purl between the brambleberries, and each time you start a new set of brambleberries, you alternate whether you begin with a k3tog or a knit 3 into 1.

  • Gorgeous cowl. Apparently Snowmageddon (with ice!) is arriving here Thursday to Virginia. Hunkering down with Big Rowan and Big Needles. Love the colorway you used, Ann. #immacopycat

  • Here in southern coastal Maine, the prediction is for “3 to 5 inches snow, then a half inch of sleet, then a quarter inch of ice”. People here just shrug, but we all sympathize with those to our south who may not be used to this awfulness, especially those in Texas who are facing dangerous conditions. My pile of cowls now doesn’t seem so excessive! In fact I need a Brambleberry right away!

  • Pretty picture of you, Ann. And the cowl looks great on you, too! Stay warm.

    • My very sentiments exactly!

    • I concur about the cowl and your hair. I don’t color my hair, but have gently let it get gray over the years. I’m 71 yrs, old, so gray hair is fine with me. Neither my mother or sister colored their hair either. I think the trick is to keep your hair at a shorter length, so the gray doesn’t look overwhelming.

  • I just moved to Cape Cod in December and have been thinking a cowl would be very handy for my winter morning beach walks. Will have to dive deep into the stash and see what I have. Thanks for the Twitter tip, too. My son lives in Nashville and I keep an interested eye on the weather there.

  • Freezing rain at the moment in southeast New Hampshire. Called a friend in Nashville last evening to check on her. As the “Mainer” said, we’re used to this weather but worry about our southern friends when they get it too. Sounds like you have it under control, Ann. Thank you (and Kay) for always starting my days off with a smile, an idea, and a positive message

    • My way of handling this is to hunker down and knit as much as possible!

  • Totally encased in ice and ice fog here in NE PA this morning, but I’m all stocked up and cozy. We get one nice day tomorrow then another big snow dump. I’ve been wearing my Rio Calina cowl a lot this winter, and considering knitting another one!
    And my favorite recently learned weather phenomenon is ‘virga’, when precipitation falls from the clouds but evaporates before it hits the ground. Not much of that this winter though….

    • Virga! Excellent! I’m saving that one for Spelling Bee!

  • Yay you finished it in time for ur Nashville deep freeze! And your bobbles don’t stack;) good job

    • Definitely some touch-and-go moments there on the bobbles spontaneously stacking. Gotta keep an eye on them.

  • Thank you!!! Another perfectly valid reason to have many WIP available at all times. I come up with so many reasons, all the time: have to make this (1) so it can be worn before the weather changes, have to make this (2) in advance of upcoming weather change, have to make this (3) because there’s a KAL on MDK that I must join, have to make this (4) as a gift, have to make this (5) because an amazing new yarn/pattern/designer showed up on my Instagram and I can’t wait to get started… I can keep going up to about 15 perfectly valid reasons! Thank you for the affirmation, Ann! 🙂

    • I think I may have your comment embroidered and hung in the living room in a prominent spot so whenever I get a ration of you-know-what because I’m starting a new project before I’ve finished my last one, I have that beautiful embroidery to point to!

  • Awesome!!! It looks very cozy! Under almost A foot of snow, now where is my yarn?
    Just kidding it’s everywhere!!!

    • Insulation! It’s insulation!

  • Western North Carolina here…25 degrees, freezing rain mixed with snow, solid black ice and Isabell Kraemer Criss Cross on my needles in Harrisville Designs Highland in colorway Black Cherry. We are praying for the people in Texas (we just moved home to NC after 12 years in Fort Worth) and very thankful for our heat, our food and the health of our families right now. These are certainly the years of ‘keep on trucking’. ❤️

    • Yes, agree very much about the feeling of gratitude to have warmth and a roof right now.

  • Beautiful cowl and great photos. I also love your jacket. Could you share where it’s from?

    • Hi Kathy! It was a J. Jill purchase from probably 11 years ago! I remember the date because I bought it for a family trip I was really excited about, and it served me well.

      • Thanks! Great looking. I shop there often. Wish you had only bought it recently so I could buy one too!

  • What great photos!

  • You crack me up and make me want to join Nashville Sever Weather, even though I live in Chicago, where I’m pretty sure we are covered in blergh today! Lovely cowl:-)

  • It’s lovely, but I can never figure out how to wear them! They just hang off my neck leaving it vulnerable to the cold winds. I scruch, or fold, or tuck, but to no avail. I just finished one last week, and I plan to knit an icord drawstring for the top if the darned thing! Or maybe attach a nice button. What’s the secret to making/wearing one that actually keeps the wind out of your neck?
    In chilly-ness and humor,

    • Consider Elizabeth Zimmermann’s knitted Dickies for a warm snug neck warmer. They’re old-fashioned but they work!

      • Therese, we are going to bring dickies back! The time has come. Dickies 4ever!

        • My favorite is the Beethoven variation; I wear one made from alpaca inside and out, from morning till night. It’s in Zimmermann’s “Knitting Around” book.

    • I feel the same way about “short” cowls. I only knit them if they’re long enough to wrap double (or more) around my neck. Fortunately, it’s easy to adjust cowl patterns to do that!

    • I like a long cowl so I can double it up and really get it all snugged up. This cowl works well that way–it’s fluffy because of the yarn and stitch pattern, but it smooshes up in a good way.

    • I knit some cowls with this in mind- I do the top edge with a smaller needle or fewer stitches for a more fitted cowl, then get wider as I go. My favorite for cold walks is knit like this. Other cowls are for the pretty and I don’t mind if they’re looser. It also helps to make them about 3 or 4 times the length of your neck, so there’s plenty of knitting to scrunch up and keep you warm. The fitted/ extra long cowl works best for me in a fingering weight, ridiculously soft yarn. Good luck.

    • I’ve given up on cowls as outdoor wear and might make one from a really luxurious yarn as a necklace substitute in the winter, for indoors, but that’s it. If I see a pattern I like I alter it to make an infinity scarf, not too wide and just long enough to go over my head twice. Pull on it to snug up against the neck and let the rest hang down inside the coat. The dickie is the most clever, and I’ve seen them at Arne & Carlos. It’s basically a turtleneck and the yoke of a pullover, then stop knitting! I haven’t made one yet but it’s definitely the future for me.

  • Just finished shoveling the 6 inches of snow we got last night. I could have used that cowl!

    • Admirable! Cardiofantastic!

  • LOVE that cowl!! I made one for my daughter at Christmas and now regret I did not make one for myself. Nothing is squishier than brambleberry stitch in Rowan Big Wool!

  • Here in New Mexico we’re having very cold temps and 3-4′ of snow with flurries happening. Since we don’t get a lot of cold weather I am ecstatic since my internal thermostat runs too hot most of the time. A good day for me is seeing how many woollies I can wear at once, 5 is my max: sox, sweater, hat, scarf and mitts. It’s a good day to hunker down by the woodstove and knit!

    • That sounds divine, Celeste. I’ve got all my handknits in rotation at the moment. I can’t believe how many sweaters I have. Nutty! Fantastic!

  • We only got 8 inches in Indy, thankfully all snow. I hate that mixed stuff, I’ve heard the word graupel used, but blergh sounds appropriate. I always knit long cowls, then warp them around my neck as many times as possible. Way better than scarves, no ends dangling about.

    • Warp or wrap either one! Haha!!

      • Yes! It’s all about the doubling.

  • You look mahhhhvelous, Ann!

    I’ve knit several short cowls this past year as teaching design pieces, but I really do prefer a longer cowl of about 32” held with a stick pin. That makes it easy to adjust for warmth or ventilation! Even longer cowls are great for doubling, but I’m *so* warm most of the time…

    I guess we just need lots of cowls for all our many weather situations! We are currently melting our way out of a weekend snow and ice storm combo.

  • A gorgeous sunny day on the Far West Coast of Canada. Sorry. Lovely cowl though.

  • I love the Brambleberry cowl! I finished mine over Thanksgiving 2019, in a log cabin in southern Utah while snowed in, with a thankfully only daylong power outage. You better believe I put that cowl on as soon as it came off the needles!

    I made mine extra long so I could double it around my neck, which has had the unexpected second benefit of helping my posture too 😉

  • I love that cowl! I made it in blue back in the day and it was fantastic for those (stereotype alert!!) Friday night football games. It even went to a playoff game the last season of the ‘before’ times!

    As a spokesperson for Texans (de facto because I’m lucky enough to have power), this is craaaazy weather for us! Even crazier is that I have friends without power for over 24 hours now, so keep us in your thoughts. More snow coming tonight, yikes! We should thaw out over the weekend though.
    – Dawn in Dallas

    • Hi! I’m 3 hours west of Dallas (in Abilene) and we were without power, heat, and water for 76 hours but all is back on now. Boy it’s been a week… I didn’t even have the mental energy to knit anything, but now I can get back to my daughter’s socks. Here’s to warmth and safety!

  • Bright sunshine here on the Canadian prairies and it has finally warmed up to 0F, with a -15F windchill. We are ecstatic with the warm up! So much better than -40. Oh yes. (and also yes, I wear both a cowl and a scarf, and always at least one hat…double mitts all the way!!)

  • Here in southern New Hampshire, it was 35 degrees today, which was fairly warm compared to the last week or two. I was on calls with my Texan colleague, and they’re having much colder weather than we are right now, which is strange indeed. I worry for southern friends – it’s one thing to gradually go from fall to winter every year and expect it, but terrible when you are plunged into it and homes are not prepared for it.
    Funny, I have many knit hats, cowls, scarves – and so often I forget to actually wear them. It’s nothing to shovel our driveways up here in shorts and tshirt – you see this so frequently it’s referred to as the New England Snowsuit!

  • Had mine on today!! Snowmageddon in Dallas… no power, frozen pool and broken pipes… but hey, I was Warm!

  • We call it ‘blackberry’ stitch here in England. Looong time since I used it….off to find some needles and yarn, thanks Ann.

  • Are we finished with drafty cowl issues yet? I haven’t read all the comments yet (55 at last count) so please excuse any repetition. How about a short-ish cowl with a row (3 or 4 might do) of buttons along one end just big enough to slip through your knitting at any point so you can secure it snug or drapy as the weather allows. A shorter, narrower Brambleberry Cowl might be ideal because the brambleberries (giant nupps?) might catch any slippery buttons trying to escape. There are lots of other examples on Ravelry. Haven’t tried this idea myself as I tend to go with close-to-skin ribbed ones or longer ones doubled.

  • Thank you for giving me a good reason to keep a bunch of WIPs around. I was starting to feel bad about it, but you cured me! Yay for cozy cowls and strategic half finished projects!

  • What a beautiful photo of you, Ann.

  • Good luck, and I hope you don’t lose power for 3 days, as we did in Oregon.
    Brrrr. My hands were too cold to knit unless I wore gloves and I couldn’t knit with gloves on.
    Better luck to you.

  • I’m really impressed with the Citizen Science putting together that really cool weather balloon! In a perfect world I would have become a meteorologist. As a very young child I would pester the grownups to explain the weather maps in the newspaper. (TV news back then was 15 minutes, and the newscaster smoked during the broadcast!) I’d love to see if I could organize a wonderful project like that!

  • So I’m not really sure if I should feel terrible. I live in Brunswick Georgia where it is 40° and raining. I met shawls and Calvin have some things in big bowl and think it’s terribly cold and where these to keep warm. I love the cowl and your hair. I need to make one. I think I would freeze to death where any of you are!!!

    • Well I truly hate auto correct. I knit scarves and cowls and love the big yarns

  • Such a darling cowl, but Rowan’s Big Wool seems to be low in stock here and other stockists. Are they phasing it out?