Thank you all for the responses and if you haven’t responded yet and want to do so, please do it. Several things surprised me. First, how many of you would feel strangled by a cowl. There are cowls that are tight but there are cowls that are basically like a circular scarf. Longer, looser cowls are great for wearing under a coat to keep wind and snow off your neck or from going down your shirt. They’re really no different from wrapping a scarf loosely around your neck to block the wind.
This is the one I made for Addie’s teacher. It can be doubled and still isn’t tight.
This is the colorwork cowl I recently finished. It isn’t tight at all and is easy to pull off over your head without messing up most hair.
Second, I was surprised that anyone who crafts would take a handmade gift to Goodwill. To each his own but if someone gave me something they made, I’d really try it before I donated it or find a friend who would use it. I can’t imagine seeing something I made for someone at Goodwill but again . . we’re all free to do what we want.
A reader wrote me and said she never thought she would wear a shawl but someone gave her one very similar to Hitchhiker and she said she’s worn it so much and loves it.
Shawls are quite popular. They’re one of the hottest items being knitted these days. The knitting magazines are full of them, and in the knitting groups on Facebook, it’s primarily shawls that are shown. I’d say most of the older knitters are knitting sweaters and socks while the younger knitters are knitting shawls. It may be because they take less yarn and aren’t as expensive to make as a sweater, the shawls are typically quicker to make and don’t have to fit so they make great gifts but they definitely are popular now.
This is a Hitchhiker I made 5 or 6 years ago and gave to my stepdaughter. I am considering making these but I’m also considering fingerless mitts. They are so great and anyone who hasn’t tried them should try them. They aren’t for wearing out to water the chickens when it’s 5 degrees out but when sitting in the house and it’s chilly, they’re great. It’s surprising how it makes my fingers feel warm when my wrists are warm. Also, even when I’m in MO and it’s really cold, I love the fingerless mitts because I can get in and out of the car, use my keys, pick up things in the grocery store, sign the credit card machine . . all without taking them off. I have been known to wear a pair of mittens over the fingerless mitts, then take the full mittens off while inside or when I need to use my fingers. No matter where most of us live, there are days when it’s cold enough that our aging hands need warmth but not so frigid that we need full gloves.
Fingerless mitts would definitely be faster and the recipients would receive them before winter is over whereas the Hitchhikers might not be finished for a few months.
I’m going to finish the Reflection Shawl before I make a decision on the gift knitting but I so much appreciate your thoughts.