Ever since I was about 13 years old I have taken on a knitting project around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I first learned to knit when I was about 10ish– my mom put me in a knitting class with a few of my best friends, and I was able to knit a teddy bear. It was not a very cute bear, mind you, but it was a bear nonetheless. Initially, I was so proud of my bear, but also so glad that I was finally finished with it, that I didn’t feel the need to even look at a pair of knitting needles for quite some time. Knitting requires a lot of patience and down time, and my tween attention span couldn’t handle it very well.
As I got older (and desperate for Christmas gifts for my siblings), I decided to give the grandmotherly task another shot by knitting a beanie for my brother and a scarf for my mom. In the process, I realized how calming it was to be able to sit down, absorb the background noise of Friends reruns on the TV, and zone out on my yarn and needles. Especially before or after exam time, its all very meditative.
Getting on to the main point of this post– I went to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire with my roommates a few nights before going home for turkey day. First of all, to those of you who have yet to see the film, go see it. I don’t care if you don’t like sci-fi or are afraid the movies will wreck the books, because they won’t. Just do it. You’ll thank me later. You’re welcome. Secondly, I not only found the movie awesomely awesome and JLaw to be fiercely fierce, but gurrll was also stylin’– and I don’t mean in Cinna’s fanciful costumes. In the opening scene, Katniss is wearing a cowl/scarf/shawl/vest/sweater thing, and its amazing. I immediately knew what this year’s knitting project would be.
As soon as I got home I searched for patterns, and luckily I was able to find one on Etsy! Another woman had my same adoration for this piece, and she had whipped up a pattern that was pretty much as close as one could get to the real design (which was woven, not knit). As soon as I got home for break I raced to JoAnn’s to pick up the yarn, and immediately got to work. In total, it took me from Wednesday evening to Saturday evening to complete the project. While my family will tell you I was a knitting fiend all of break, I assure you I did put my needles down periodically. Occasionally. When it was my turn in line for turkey.
Image from Etsy Pattern by Anaid Designs
I have to say, I am so incredibly pleased with how it turned out! It really is a unique looking piece, much more modern than a boring old circle scarf, and there are a number of ways to style it. Obviously, you could wear it like Katniss does, and like the pattern-maker Anaid shows, with a military look. What I love is that I can wear it as part of my day-long look, over a simple t-shirt, or I can wear it as a removable layer– over a leather jacket, or under my winter coat!
It was getting too dark by the time I got around to taking outfit photos today, so I went with the classic mirror pics. But I will certainly be incorporating my masterpiece into other outfit posts this winter!
Even in the past week, more and more versions of the cowl are popping up online, some in patterns and some ready-made. These babies are selling for upwards of $100, but I say, why spend that when you can get it for $30, plus the priceless satisfaction of having made it yourself? Katniss would be proud.