Shell Cowl is done.
Photo of cowl collar sitting or flopping, depending on how you look at it, with the sweater flat on a table. I have no idea how I will fold this.
Yarn: Decadent Fibers Creme Puff, slightly less than 2 skeins
Pattern: I used the pattern for the Anna Sleeveless cowl, sweater # 3, from Adrienne Vittadini book 17. It wasn't the pattern I originally had in mind. I was thinking of a sweater by Colinette for a fitted funnel-neck shell. But the day this idea took hold of me, I scoured the house for that pattern, upending boxes and drawers of patterns, and generally creating mayhem with little success. I found this Vittadini pattern, which worked in a pinch. It was the right basic shape after all, and happened to work out to the same gauge as the the Decadent Fibers yarn so I didn't have to do any math.
Of course, when I went to put the blocking board away, two days ago, there was the Colinette pattern I originally wanted sitting right where it was supposed to be, silently mocking me.
This sweater was worked from front to back in one continuous piece.
The Vittadini pattern did not call for any kind of edge stitching or finishing at the armholes but I found that unattractive so I finished them as follows:
Knit One Row; Purl One Row, Cast Off knitwise.
I like that finish much better.
As for the cowl, I decided a cowl was fine, and preferable to a funnel neck in this bulky of a yarn. The Vittadini cowl is a big floppy thing, you knit around the neckline, increasingly evenly, knitting a bit and increasing again. I didn't like this neckline and ripped it out.
I wanted a shaped cowl, that did not stand up too tall in the back, and fit close to the back neck, and then was fuller in the front.
Here is what I ended up with:
The back neckline is on the right and does not stand up very high. I increased the height and fullness of the front by adding a series of short rows to shape the cowl. I really like the end result, (photographed with less than stellar results in the hotel room mirror).