Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Ah, fall. The sound of leaves crunching under your feet. The feel of a light breeze in your hair. The scent of pumpkins and cinnamon and apples and fire... If only we could bottle that up, right!?
The next best thing, for me anyway, is immersing myself in a color and texture experience. Which is why, when I was just sitting around on my couch one weekend, and I suddenly remembered this gorgeous pumpkin colored yarn I had bought ages ago, I got SO excited! I literally tossed my book aside, jumped up and ran over to the drawer and rummaged around in there until I found it! I may have even held it up in sort of triumphant stance and exclaimed my joy like it was some sort of rare discovery...
I immediately set to work. Untwist the hank. Place it carefully on the yarn swift. Wind it into a cake. Bask in the warmth of the fall colors dancing before my eyes.
Just look at them shine in the sun!!
I actually bought these two yarns specifically to go together, although I had no particular plan in mind for them at the time. Stash enhancement, right? And then, kaboom! Random realization. Perfect yarn. Already right there just waiting for me to see what it wanted to be. Pure delight.
I love it when designs work this way!
So I start crocheting, excited about how the gorgeously rich and earthy orange wool just dances along with the slubby yarn to create this cool, rustic ecosystem of organic texture that just sings about autumn leaves falling and crunching under your feet while you walk through a pumpkin patch in a gentle breeze.
Perfectly fall, right?
I asked my dear, darling husband what he thought about it (because it IS different, of course!) and you know what he says? Beans. It looks like beans, he says. Beans! Like I just spilled a bunch of beans on my crocheting?
So then I asked my sister-in-law, who happened to be visiting, who loves pumpkin spice everything, and she, of course, loved it. So I went with her opinion instead!
Now, I know that irregular textured yarn is not for everyone. I do. But you know what? This cowl totally works without the texture, too! Just check out the gallery below from my pattern testers!!
This is also a great pattern for handspun yarn, whether it's thick and thin or perfectly evenly spun. In fact, I originally designed this with some of my own handspun! I was working on concepts for the Carolina FiberFest Craft-Along and they usually want a single skein, beginner friendly pattern that's also handspun friendly. And so this fit and flare cowl was born!
Here's the original version in my own handspun - which is also, incidentally, from Kim! This was her Sunday Brunch colorway on a really scrumptious Polwarth wool and silk blend fiber. It was SUCH a pretty spin!
But it felt a little ... plain. Which was why it was sitting around gathering dust until I suddenly remembered the other yarn I had bought from Kim!
I seriously knocked this thing out in two weeks flat. From moment of realization with the yarn in the drawer to publication. Of course, the pattern itself was already written! So that made it possible. But I absolutely could not have pulled it off without my wonderfully kind and patient tech editor as well as my amazingly industrious pattern testers!!
Have a look at what they made:
Many, MANY thanks to each of my testers, including MaryAnne T, Christine, Courtney, Trish B, Trish G, Brandi T, and Erin R, as well as to my tech editor Catherine Whelan — they are absolute rockstars!!
Oh and I guess we should talk specs, eh? Here they are!
STITCHES & TECHNIQUES:
Foundation single crochet (optional)
Chainless double crochet (optional)
Working into the back loop only (blo)
Working in the round (joined rounds)
Marling (holding two strands of yarn together as one)
19 sts and 13 rows in pattern = 4” (10 cm), unblocked.
Finished cowl measures approximately 18” (46 cm) in fitted circumference, 30” (76 cm) in flared circumference at bottom edge; approximately 11.25” (29 cm) deep.
Gauge is not critical for this design. Modifications in size may be made by adding or subtracting stitches in multiples of 8 on Row 1.
Crumble Slubby by Kim Dyes Yarn in Dahlia (100 g, 438 yds 400 m, fingering weight (1: super fine) yarn, 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon, 1 skein
G/6 (4.0 mm) crochet hook
The pattern itself includes reference photos to help illustrate my recommended alternative slip stitch join as well as a link to an informal video tutorial demonstrating both methods of joining, optional chainless dc, manipulating slubs for more front facing texture, working into the blo, and closing the beginning round when ready to we