I bought my first crochet pattern off Etsy a few months back, as my easy project to make on the honeymoon. I chose the Lacy Grey Cowl by Whisper Twister, a pattern labelled as 'Advanced Beginner'. "Sounds super simple" I thought to myself as I clicked 'add to basket', "perfect for some beachside crafting". Well, like many things on the honeymoon (or VomFest '14), things didn't go according to plan...
I used the remains of the lovely Studio Donegal left over from my green cable knit hat. There wasn't quite enough for the 6 rows of fans detailed in the pattern, so I made do with 4 and a half. The result is a rather skinny cowl, totally wearable but definitely more suited to late summer/early autumn weather, as opposed to the almost-winter type temperatures we've had recently. As you can see from the photos, it does tend to hang with a bit of decolletage on display (read: exposed chilly gooseflesh), which I think may just accentuate the fact that it's just a WEE bit too skinny.
The pattern itself on the whole was easy enough to read, but the author definitely assumes some prior knowledge that I found myself sadly lacking. My normal attitude to this is 'plough on and see what happens'...meaning I spent a decent amount of time frogging. Boo. When holed up in a Premier Inn with a vomiting husband on what is supposed to be the first few days of your honeymoon in the Caribbean, this was more upsetting than normal, rational Amy would find.
Saying that though, at one point I emailed the author to look for direction. This normally puts me right off a pattern, since a well written pattern shouldn't need guidance from the author, but to his or her credit, they got back to me within the hour. Great customer service there!
Overall, I'm pleased with my cowl and it will definitely get a lot of wear on warmer autumnal or spring days. I like that it matches my hat and I love love LOVE the yarn, it's super soft and I heart the colour. I'm not sure I would buy another Whisper Twister pattern, but now I've got this one and I know better what I'm doing, I would probably make it again. Another wider cowl, possibly in slightly chunkier yarn would be nice for those winter dog walks.