Three Cousin Cowls

Explaining a tradition is like explaining a joke. You have to do it once in a while, for the uninitiated, but really, the explanation serves you more the next time you hear it and can laugh without having to discuss it. This twelve days of Christmas knitting is a little like that. I have loved the song since I was smaller than the little boy pictured below, even more now that I have been exposed to the punk version. And the symbolism behind it, though the reason for its creation is debated. (And yes, I know it’s actually the 4th day of Christmas today; I always do these things one day behind. Because don’t ask me to start on Christmas day; I won’t do it!)

Big thanks again to Mom for kicking us off, and I’m finally ready to contribute with three little gifts for Naomi’s three favorite wee cousins.

My mission? Create tasteful gifts for three small boys out of the yarn in my leftovers pile. Thankfully, my sister-in-law shares my affection for, in her words, “dirt, stick, and leaf colors”, so this wasn’t that hard.



The brown is Fisherman’s Wool (Lion Brand), the green is Cascade 220 (Cascade Yarns), the yellow-er green is Patons Wool Classic (Patons), and the blue is Ultra Alpaca (Berroco). Yay for leftovers!

I tried something a little different with these; since they were all-animal fibers, I lanolized them with my last occasion washing soakers. The logic is that the extra lanolin might help them stay warm and clean-ish despite the extra flood of snot and spit that ends up all over a cowl, even when worn by an adult. Emily will have to report back if it made any difference.

I’m not going to show you much more than this today, because each is part of a set that you’ll see the rest of in two days’ time. But I will give you one twin in his cozy little neckwarmer.


He didn’t take it off all evening, until his parents noticed him visibly sweating. It warms an auntie’s heart, and motivates her to keep knitting!

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