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Monday, 23 February 2015

MERTOLA DIAMOND COWL



MERTOLA DIAMOND COWL

Now if you’ve been following my blogs you’ll know that as soon as I’ve been traveling around Portugal and with each new town or tourist spot I visit, I’m hoping to give you a bird’s eye view of the place and a pattern as well. I started out in Aveiro, and made my first mobius cowl for my daughter.  If you missed that blog, then it’s my Double Crossed Mobius Cowl at http://shyamanivas.blogspot.pt/2014/12/double-crossed-mobius-cowl.html

So today we’re in the lovely town of Mertola that boasts of a lovely national park as well as a peaceful waterfall.  Yet again a nice homely, easy-going town, Mertola has a lovely castle with a lot of history as well -  but then we’ve seen that all places in Portugal have loads of history.  For the more adventurous visitor, you can rent a kayak and go for a quick work out down the river and for the not as adventurous, the up and down roads will offer you a good cardio and work-out .. well, for the cardio you’d probably have to run, but you’ll figure that out.J

Our lovely hotel Beira Rio (Hotel Museu) is on this cobbled road (yes, cobbled seems synonymous with most roads we’ve been on in Portugal.. but I am still in love with it) – and its on a gradient.. (so a good place for me to start on my work out .. but I’m on vacation.. haha)

Just off our road are the winding steps that lead to the beautiful castle – with more history.. and a set of lovely cafes down these really cute, quaint, winding roads.  





The castle garden still holds perfectly maintained relics in stone.




The city centre also has this really well made tableau for Christmas and what caught my attention the most is the R-R-R angle (Re-use, Re-cycle, Refuse!) Ingenious, right?  






and another genius idea ... and ooh, what would you do if you saw a doorway like this ?? I drooled






The Pulo de Lobo waterfall is about a 20kms drive away from our resort.  The roads are pretty good till the last maybe 5 kms, when without a warning, the asphalt road becomes a dirt road.. and then slowly becomes a pretty rough stony road.  We were worried our rented (Avis car rented from Holidaycars.com) car would not make it, so we found a convenient lay-by (or so we hoped, and yup our car was still there when we returned! ) and left our car there.. and made our way up to the waterfall point.. it was a pretty uphill climb and rough.. but well, I did try to avoid the work out earlier didn’t I ?  At the waterfall point, we saw that there was another road coming in to the waterfall from the north end.. hmmm.. wonder if that was the road that the helpful receptionist at the resort mentioned? However the easy to follow Google maps guided us via the shortest route, we assume.. of course, Google was not aware of how rough that road was!  J

Right so now that Mertola has picqued your interest, here’s the cowl I made with yarn I bought locally.
I have several other cowls patterns written, so do mosey over to see them at links below 

Materials used : Today I’ve used a multi- coloured self striped Lana Para Labores from Proezafavorita , which seems to be a medium bulky yarn (label does not specify anything about yarn ply sadly), with a 5.5 mm crochet hook.  

Size made : Width : 7.25" x Length : 26"

Now this is not my pattern.  I’ve used the Diamond cowl pattern by Tamara Kelly available at http://www.mooglyblog.com/free-pattern-diamond-crochet-cowl/

However, I’d like to add a few of my notes to this.

The pattern is in multiples of 4 – so depending on the length (around neck) you want, start with that number of fsc.  I say this because with the varying plys of yarn, it is difficult sometimes to get the gauge required and then we avoid certain patterns.. and this one is an absolute beauty, and must be tried.

Right, the next thing I’d like to point out is a small typo (I think) in Round 3 (not Row 3, as we’re working in rounds) is that you do the fptrc (Front Post Triple Crochet) into the dc of Round 2 (not sc)

Finally, as always, I like the Chainless dc start. Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start. So I have used this lovely start for all dc row starting stitches.

And off we go.

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns.   J

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

Edited to add : The cowl was made in January - its just taken really long to be written up about