Sunday, December 4, 2011

What Is a Cowl: An Explanation

The other day, someone asked me what a cowl was. I quickly consulted my American Heritage Dictionary app on my iPod Touch. The definition was as follows:
 
              1)
                a) The hood or hooded robe worn especially by a monk.
                b) A draped neckline on a woman’s garment.
              2) A hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney.
              3) The top portion of the front part of an automobile body, supporting the 
                   windshield and dashboard.
              4) The cowling of an aircraft.
  
While the definitions are appropriate for many reasons, they do not currently answer the person’s question. If any of them come close, it is the definition in 1b. And while it is partially correct for our question, it is not completely fulfilling. So let’s explain with a picture:
 
 
 
 
 
See how it drapes around her neckline but is not attached to a garment? COWL!
 
A cowl can made as one piece, as a combined collection of motifs (squares, circles, flowers, etc), or as a short scarf whose ends are sewn together. (Of course, when the ends are seperated, it is no longer a cowl, but a neck warmer.) Cowl can be worn loose (as pictured above) or right up close. It depends on your comfort level.
 
Google or Bing or Yahoo for images and you’ll see many different versions (knit and crochet and woven and such).
 
Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.
 
You back? Good. What did you think? (Be sure to comment below.)
 
They are a fashion staple in cooler and colder climates. You can get them in all colors, shapes, sizes, and fibers! The options for fabulousness are endless, as are your wardrobe options and moments for creativity.
  
I’ll leave you with this small bit of information bouncing around in your brain. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below. 
 
If you would like to knit, crochet, or weave your own cowl, head on over to Ravelry.com and sign up.

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