4.14.2011

Week 4: Book Review: Cowl Girls


Hello everyone! Thanks for all of the great participation in these giveaways! I'm glad that you are enjoying the reviews! I picked another winner from last weeks drawing. Congratulations j*e*n!


This week I will be reviewing the book Cowl Girls; The neck's big thing to knit by Cathy Carron. And it's at this point that my cursor remains stagnant blinking at me on the screen. What can I say about Cowl Girls? I feel so conflicted by positive and.. um... "less positive" feelings while I flip through its pages.



Let me start off by saying that I really do love cowls. In my opinion, they are the perfect neck warming accessory and I find them easy to knit and very stylish. 

This book contains pretty much everything you would want to know about the cowl. I especially enjoyed pages 10-13 which cover all of the cowl basics. It explains what the differences are between cowls, gaiters, dickeys, snoods, and more. I have always wondered such things, so I really enjoyed this section. It also gives you three different methods to use when knitting up your cowl. I think this would be very helpful information for a beginning knitter.

The rest of the book contains 40 patterns for "neck-wear accessories". While the book kind of lumps all of these patterns into the "cowl" catagory, some are more fashion accessories then functional knitwear.

There are definitely some patterns that I genuinely like in here and could see myself wearing. Here are a few of my favorites.





But honestly, there are other patterns in this book that leave me scratching my head in confusion.





Keep in mind that I am a very conservative and boring person. :)

But if you really like bright colors and funky styles, you will probably love these patterns. 
I do have to say that I am impressed by how inventive some of these designs are. 
There are shapes and textures that I would have never imagined.
There are also many cowls knit up out of bulky yarns, making them probably super quick to knit up and great for beginners.

If you would like a chance to add this copy of Cowl Girls provided by Sixth and Spring Books to your personal knitting library, please leave a comment (only one per person please) under this blog post. Remember to please include your contact information in your comment.

I will be choosing and announcing the winner next week! So be sure to check back! :)





128 comments:

Sanchez said...

Hmm, definitely interesting. But I'd have to agree with you. I tend to be very conservative and boring ;)

JelliDonut said...

I don't think of myself as very conservative, but that thing with the balls... seriously? It looks like a string of buoys. Not trying to be mean, but I really don't get it. I do like the ones you picked, though. Very cute!

Silentgrl44 said...

I'd love to look at this book. Seems interesting.

anythingbutsnow said...

Looks like some of them are really thought out well and others should have hit the scrapped bin. But still looks like a neat book :)

Cutzi said...

I was so glad to read this! I just returned this book to the library thinking, "Wow. Bummer. Not really what I expected..."

Too bad cause it was a great idea but it kind of flopped. Or bounced. With the balls and all.

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

I'm a big lover of cowls and would love to add this book to my library even if some of the patterns are a little too 'out of the box' for my taste.
woolyknitsnbits at live dot ca

immidesigns said...

I love knitting cowls. Such a fun and quick thing to knit, and makes most outfits look cool - without trying!! The braided cowl on the cover looks awesome! Thanks for the review!
immidesigns@gmail.com

Becky said...

I had the same sort of reaction when I picked up this book. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED some of them, and I would love to own this book, but yeah, some really weird ones. I think it's funny that they're at the end of the book, more of a "Well, we've gotten you to look at the book thus far so HERE ARE SOME WEIRD ONES!"

Malin said...

Wow, there really seems to be both nice and ... not so nice projects in that book ;-) Definitely interesting though.

floderten said...

I've been looking at that book for a while now, it'd be a great addition to my library. Lots of great gift ideas in there, I think! :)

ladybug said...

i think i could knit a lot from this book! Thanx for the giveaway!

janita said...

maybe the string of buoys is actually a flotation device? The big red garter st one looks like a baby bibb! there are a lot of nice ones in there too. thanks for having another contest!

Gk said...

Please enter me in the book giveaway. In addition to Honeycomb (the first cowl you showed), World's Fair and Neverending Story look nice enough to knit, and perhaps a few of the others will offer technically interesting aspects to master! Thank you ...

G. K. Green
gkgreen on ravelry.com
g_k_green@hotmail.com

Debbie said...

I would love to win a copy. I have her Hatitude book and I love it. Thanks! Debbie in Alaska

Jen said...

This book is on my wish list - excellent review!

chioksu said...

What a great review! I might head on over to the library to thumb through it tonight. Thank you for the chance to win it! :)

gail.dunkle@gmail.com

Robin said...

I like the grey lacy one, definitely not the one with balls.

Seona said...

Hi Alana, so glad to see and hear everything is going so well for you. I agree on this book entirely (it's on my wishlist) I have looked at some of them and thought really?!?!?! but then I guess it wouldn't do if we were all the same. Thanks for the chance to win a copy, have a good weekend, Seona

Helen said...

Who knew that cowls could be so clever!
htkenn

Michelle said...

I have been eyeballing this book at my LYS!!!!! A must have for sure....

Rach said...

Um... Ok... It has some interesting stuff. But is it enough to purchase? I just don't know. I'm going to need to take a look at it. I just don't know if I want a garland for my neck. It seems there are a lot of those.

LD said...

i'm queen of the cowl girls!

Carla said...

Living in Maine....I wear Cowls all the time. They are very cool to wear if you have an "older neck" too. I'm 61 and when I put a cowl on; I look 40 (just kidding).

memphish said...

The only cowl I've tried was a disaster. I need the basics info oh random number generator.

Julie said...

I got this book out of the library because I wanted to check it out before I bought it and I have to agree with you, I am totally conflicted. There were definitely some patterns that I would love to make, but not nearly as many as I would like when I buy a book. The perfect answer: I can win the book! Yay! LOL Thanks for another great giveaway :)
jwitt33@live.com

Estella said...

I love cowls - they give you warmth without bulk (however, some of those don't makes sense!). Thanks for another great giveaway.

Suzanne said...

This is a great book for people who want to make bold cowls. I'm much more conservative and found that there were only two that I could see myself knitting. One was School Ties and the other was True Brit.

Sharon said...

Very interesting. I need patterns for using smaller yardages of yarn. This would be great.

neferatowen said...

I agree...some of them are a bit...um, extreme? Better for a runway than everyday use. But there are some really nice ones in there too.
ravid: sampras

StaceyKnitsIt said...

I haven't had a chance to look through this book yet.
Sounds interesting!

Polarpurplebear said...

Love the ones you've chosen, totally agree on the others. The red bib one made me burst out laughing at my desk!!

Susannah said...

I chalk up the wierd ones to excessive experimentation, which I like in a book!

MotherHenKnits said...

Some are quite interesting - I'd love to take a look and see what I could make!

RRM said...

I would love to win the Book looks very interesting, great to put in my Library of knitting books.

Carmelknits said...

I actually felt the same way when I had a chance to flip through this book.....lots of good information but some of the patterns made me wonder what the thought behind them were........

Bonnie said...

Thanks! I have a book similar to this on hats, and it's really fascinating.

Sangeetha said...

I have this in my library basket right now and have earmarked pretty much the same projects you have to make over the next month or so.

I agree some patterns are totally bizzaro

Tracey said...

I took this book out of the library to see if it would be worth purchasing. Like you, there were some that I was like "who would EVER wear that!" but there were some that I could see making for myself, family and friends. It's currently on my amazon wish list. Would love to win my won copy!! Thanks!

Nicole said...

I agree, some of them are just so great I want to start knitting! Others leave me with a giggle and smile.

nicoleaw@hotmail.com

mhchong said...

I agree some of those cowls are "interesting"... which is why winning this book would be much better than buying it!

cheryl said...

I love cowls too! I would love this book, even the more "out there" ones would be fun to knit! :)

Cheryl

texascheryl on ravelry
recordsmom@gmail.com

Mlle Professeur said...

I've recently fallen in love with cowls and this book looks amazing!

bdevan on ravelry

Ana said...

I'll try it........
Ana

Hannah said...

One can never have too many neck accessories.

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

I would love to win a copy of this book as I love, love, love cowls...

Alicia said...

I'm currently obsessed with cowls. Can't seem to stop knitting them!!

Megan said...

I think many of the cowls can be improved by knitting with finer gauge yarn. The dickie for example might even be functional if knit finely. Big chunky knits rarely look good on anyone but the very tall and very thin.

Danielle said...

I desinged my own cowl this past winter and love it. Soooo warm and yes stylish. This has some great ideas love the varigated one you chose, wonderful. Thanks for the reviews. I have considered getting this book myself. PS I am not conservative ,but as a designer myself I don"t think these were pulled off too well,just saying....

Lauren said...

Well, they had a whole book to fill, so they can't all be gems.

Lauren on rav

Charlie said...

I would probably be drawn towards the ones you like as well....looks like an interesting book, though!

Samantha said...

Sweet I've had my eye on this book for a while! (swellest on ravelry)

Emily said...

I've been hoping to snag this book for a while :)

Emma said...

I love the first picture you posted of the blue and white cowl. We must have similar taste in accessories.

emmajoyce34@gmail.com
EmmaJoyce34 on Ravelry

Sandy said...

some are good and some are very bad - but the good ones, I could knit them

Michelle said...

I'd love to look at this book. I see some pretty, ummm, let's just say interesting cowls. :)

Kathy said...

Love cowls, and I agree, some may not be something I would wear, but would love to have the book for the ones I would!

Rachel D. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel D. said...

I saw this book in a store and was intrigued. I'd love to give these patterns a try :-)

(sorry, forgot my contact info: Breakfree7(at)juno(dot)com)

Denise said...

Some rather interesting cowls in your favs there;)
I love knitting them, would love a chance to win.

Beth said...

Always love books that inspire...be creative

monikita said...

I've had my eye on this book since it first came out. I'd love to own a copy!

monikita45 at hotmail dot com or monikita on Ravelry

Cecile said...

I totally agree: some of the patterns look a bit too crazy (the huge balls around your neck?!! It looks like a Christmas tree!), but from the covers and some of the close-up pictures you showed in your review, some of these patterns look great (especially the gray lace one).

harriet said...

I'm with you about some of those designs. But, I'd love to win the book anyway.

Neo.soul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neo.soul said...

I love how easy cowls are to make and I think this book would be a great addition to my library.

I'll be very interested in seeing what the construction of the uhmmm, interesting cowls look like.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

contact neosouldiva at yahoo dot com

Amber said...

Aside from the odd ones there are some nice cowls in this book. Would love to win a copy! :)
ambersparks95@gmail.com

girltrekkie said...

I've never knit a cowl! These are very inventive! I would love to flip through this book!

katherinelynn_04 said...

I must agree with you- some of those cowls are...strange to say the least. BUT there are a few that I was actually considering buying the book in order to get! So glad you're doing these book reviews/giveaways!
katherinelynn_04 (at) yahoo.com

kelleysgirl said...

What an interesting take on cowls some of these patterns are...:) Great review and thank you for the opportunity to win!

kelleysgirl on ravelry

Jen said...

I tend to go with traditional or nice looking knitting patterns and I like the three you listed that you like and a couple of others on the cover but the last three, all I can say is UGH!!

Jen said...

I have had making a cowl on my list for a long time!

Nicky said...

That book looks interesting.
Theres some I'd love to knit.

Small and Moody said...

I wondered about this book. I like the same cowls that you liked. A few of those cowls look kind of out there but who knows, maybe I would have an occasion where a crazy cowl would work!

Valerie said...

I have been eyeing this book for awhile now. I agree there are some really cool cowls and then there are the other ones. (wink wink)

MsStitch said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your brilliant reviews, have been thinking about doing some myself and yours are a lovely guide for us out there xx

Kristin said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while!

kristinfitzgerald on Ravelry

CuteStuffInside said...

I love this book.

marshadicostanzo @ hotmail

Julie said...

Some of those are really pretty! I would love to knit some.

knitterlydesigns said...

I agree. I have mixed feelings about this book as well. I have seen it and I think there are a few nice designs. If there are at least five in a book, than I feel it isn't a bad buy, but winning it would be even better.

eleganteconomy said...

I've been eyeing this book for a while and would love to get my hands on a copy!

Holly Marie said...

I'd love to have a go @ winning this. Thanks for the reviews and giveaways. :)

Contact info is on my profile page.

Leslie said...

I have just finished my third cowl and I am addicted....even my beloved sock knitting has taken a back seat to the cowl! I would love to win this book.

Leslie

Clare said...

I love the normal looking cowls!

dsudancer on Ravelry

cksknitter said...

I love knitting cowls, especially for gifts. This would be a great addition to my knitting library.
knittoday(at)hotmail(dot)com

Teresa said...

Ooh my, those are different, but I'm sure willing to try!

Knititall said...

I love cowls, some of these look really cool!

c said...

ooh yes please!

norabrown said...

I've picked this book up 3 times and set it back down because I'm trying to not spend so much on my knitting hobby. I'd love to add this book to my shelf.

magrit said...

Lovely ! :)
belimeda@gmail.com

meppybn said...

Agree entirely! But that's same with all mags and books isn't it - always some I wouldn't be seen dead in!!! Others are great tho' and would love a copy :)
k1w1@olypen.com

Raime said...

I started a love affair with cowls and the idea of this book entices me.

ravelry ID: MamaRamelade

Eileen said...

I always wonder who would make some of these pieces. How would wear these things?

Ms. Knitsalot said...

Looks like a great resource for cowl-making. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

sara said...

Thanks for the great giveaway! I have always been a fan of Cathy Carron!

Rav ID= smdenbo

Poethead said...

I appreciate your giveaways! Poethead@gmail.com

Debbie said...

I would love to knit several of these patterns!

dhanu said...

I live out in a semi country area in New Jersey and have started to pick up knitting in the past year (after knitting on and off for years). I have asked people I know about knitting them scarves for christmas and they are like "I already have a scarf". They, and I admit myself also, have never really looked at cowls. It might be a New Jersey thing, who knows. Here, though, it seems neck wear is something that matches your coat, if you have two, you are set.

There are some in the book that makes me say "Oh my" but there are many that give a wow reaction. To see what can be done with cowls is amazing. They are not just something to keep your neck warm but a major fashion statement. They show that cowls can give your wardrobe a pop, a really stellar look.

I think a good knitting design book shouldn't just be that is pretty but also contain items that makes us think about fashion, that takes us that next step beyond our comfort zone at times. This book definitely does that.

Great review.

Geny said...

Some of the patterns are really nice, so I would still love to win that book!

Brenda said...

i love cowls but rarely wear them here in southern ca. I can make them for gifts though!

Aurora said...

Wow! This book definitely has some great thinking-outside-the-box ideas! I'd love to get a chance to try some of these projects!

ahandfuloftime said...

Looks like an inspiring book! Thanks for the giveaway!

rinebird said...

I love to make cowls.I want color for the first time in my life.Cowls are a great accessory.
rinebird on Ravelry

FabEwelousKnits said...

I really like some of the patterns in this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

fabewelousknits(AT)gmail(DOT)com

yokotei said...

i'm generally a huge fan of cathy carron and would love to check this book out! i see how some of the patterns might be impractical, but felting fixes EVERYTHING. in a sense ;)
yokokyo@gmail.com

doulanana said...

I have this book and I've made the black and grey cowl and I love it! I think I wore it just about everyday this past winter!!

Sarah P said...

I have flipped through this at the bookstore and would love to have my own copy!

Kayla said...

I love knitting cowls. I could use some new ideas. Heidi
heidijoehopkins@comcast.net

Jodi said...

Looks interesting. I like a book with variety. I'd like to try knitting a cowl.

Kristen said...

I've never knitted a cowl and I'd love to try some of the more... conventional options from this book. :)

knitwish said...

Don't enter me for the prize - I don't see anything here I would make. I have to say that I loved your review, so thanks for sharing!

VTwin said...

I'm a cowlgirl. It still feels like winter in Vermont here. These would knit up fast for gifts.

Thank you!

Ann said...

I like your choices, but I also kinda like the big chain! Different strokes, I guess. I'd love to have a long look at this book, I'm sure I'd find several more ideas. Thanks for the giveaway! AnnBan on Ravelry.

Kathy said...

i'll probably win, because I don't want the book. I don't think I'm too conservative but those just look peculiar to me! thanks for the honest review, I'll spend my $$ elsewhere.

Shannon said...

Some of those designs are very nice and some very inventive but definitely a nice book!

skyeaton@insightbb.com

Katie said...

I love knitting cowls and other winter weather accessories so this book seems like it's right up my alley. I do agree about the weird patterns in the book, maybe they started to run out of ideas???

Kristina said...

I've been wanting to take a look at the patterns inside this book for a while now. Now after seeing those wacky cowls I'm even more curious! I'm pretty basic myself, but I'm sure I could find something in there that I'd love!
kristinaswearingen at gmail dot com

Janet said...

I shared very similar opinions about this book the first time that I flipped through it as well! Some are brilliant, others are....very interesting...

Cassey said...

I'm anxious to try making a cowl for the first time.

Lulu said...

I resisted cowls for a long time and then realized how amazing they are. I had a similar reaction to the book that you did, some patterns I LOVE and can't wait to get my needles on, others I just tried to imagine the person who is funky enough to pull the look off.

Pamela Sweet said...

Thank you for your review and hosting this great giveaway! I'd definitely be interested in this book as I'm working on my first cowl now. I'd like to see the section you were talking about explaining the different types of neckware and extreme or not, it would be fun to see how creative people can be with knitwear!

Pam
(blogging at http://blog.sweetsoliloquies.com)

Cindy said...

I love making cowls, especially as gifts. It looks like an interesting book - thanks for the giveaway!

Teresa said...

I probably wouldn't knit several of those cowls, but there are also several that I would knit.

Kristin said...

It looks like an interesting book, that's for sure !! I'd love to win a copy of it and get a closer look at the patterns...

Betsy said...

I've looked through this one, but haven't added it to my library. Maybe now's my chance.

allison said...

I love cowls! I would love to get a look at this book and see what I could make. Thank you.

Ashley said...

I definitely agree, there are some great cowl patterns in that book! I especially love the "Aran-Go-Braid" and the ones that you posted, and I think maybe the burgundy dickey looking "Good Investment" pattern is meant to be more functional, like to be warm under a coat? Regardless, I would love to win this book and make some of the really cute cowls from it! ;)

A Playful Day said...

I love Cathy Caron I really do. By law of averages, this should work out as a great project book despite the fashiony bits!