This cowl was made sometime in 2006, right when the term "cowl" was still in its trendy infancy. I was nearing my last year of art school and had purchased my first spinning wheel. I wasn't the best spinner - all my yarns were lumpy, unbalanced and over-spun. Man, how I wish I could still make yarns like that! There is definitely something to be said about the beauty of the naive hand. Sigh.
The yarn I used for this necklace/cowl/kerchief was spun from hand-dyed and carded fleece that I made during a self-directed studio class. Back in 2006 I had these big dreams of creating an intense dye book filled with samples for future projects (maybe even my own yarn line!) but the actual outcome now sits in a binder covered in dye splatters on my bookshelf. I loved dyeing wool - it was pretty much the only time in my life when basic algebra ever made sense to me. I would spend hours calculating percentages to get a perfectly balanced cram-pot dye bath, anticipating the way the acid dyes would react to each other. It was incredibly gratifying.
The Sea Cowl, as I called it back in 2006, was knit flat in one piece. While it kind of looks like I used plain stockinette, part of me thinks I attempted something else. Maybe a stockinette version of a cellular stitch, if there is such a thing. I shaped the cowl with increases and decreases on one side to create the drape that sat so beautifully on the chest. I then stitched the ends together to create a circular piece, using buttons to embellish the join but no actually serve any practical purpose. The fringe (I was SOOOO into fringe back then) was looped, braided and knotted through the fabric. I look at these photos now and I realize that this was totally an attempt to simulate having long hair. Ha!
I'm not entirely sure what happened to this cowl. I think I may have sold it or given it to my mother one year for Christmas. I used to make a lot of decorative things like this, selling them at the student show and sales in art college, back before Etsy and Market Collective. Then I started making sculpture and a lot of the practical, fashionable, wearable stuff fell to the wayside.
I'll leave this Throwback Thursday post with a funny little photo of the tiniest little hat I ever made and actually wore without irony. Oh, the Suzen of 2006 was a quirky one!