Well boy howdy, I finally knit something that I actually love and will wear and get good use out of this winter. It is a big chunky buttoned cowl/scarf. And I adore it.
I had been searching for something similar on Etsy for a very long time. People make such gorgeous things, but everything that I love is far beyond my budget. I used to get all up in arms about the prices of knitted goods, but now I totally understand. I am not blessed with fingers that make knitting look as easy as breathing. My stitches are slow and clumsy. I cannot listen to music or watch TV or focus on anything other than the needles and the yarn while I knit. And I undoubtedly will screw it up 17 times and need to pull out entire rows and start over, so by my estimates, I'd probably need to charge about $800 for a scarf in order to break even.
So given that I do not want to spend $$$ on a scarf, however lovely it may be, I set out to make my own. I wanted something thick, plush, and navy blue, and 1.5 skeins of Lion brand Hometown USA yarn fit the bill perfectly. I already had the needles, big fat #17s (12mm). To finish it off, I bought some simple unfinished wooden buttons and gave them my newest "secret beautification treatment for natural porous things": jojoba oil. I'm kind of obsessed. I rub a small dab into everything from wood to leather, and it brings out the grain and rich reds and browns like nothing else. (You can find jojoba oil in the cosmetics section of most health food stores.) And then I took a grand leap of faith and taught myself a new stitch.
Disclaimer: I'm terrible, impatient knitter. At one point I sorta knew how to knit and purl, but my skills regressed to somehow only being able to do the knit stitch and I could not for the life of me figure out how purl. Or do anything else, for that matter. So all I could do was make the same boring bland scarf over and over again, year after year. This year I finally got REALLY bored and spent some quality time with youtube videos and taught myself to properly purl, thus broadening my horizons to moss stitch. Or at least what I think is moss stitch. Sigh. It gets complicated with the whole UK/US moss stitch vs. seed stitch blahbity blah can't the whole world just do the same thing and make it simple???
I don't really care what it's called. What matters is that I did something entirely new and different for once, and it actually turned out. Hurrah!
The big thick wool is super with the buttons. The stitches are big and loose enough that you don't need real buttonholes - you just stick them through where ever you'd like, making this scarf super versatile and fun. Loose and slouchy. Cozy and buttoned up tight. Fancy and to the side.
So simple as it may be, this is a great achievement in expanding my limited, fumbling knitting skills. I will wear this scarf often, with pride.