I've been looking at cowl patterns for a while, to put to good use the precious skeins of yarn in the stash. I decided on the simplest ones, to let the yarn do the talking (and for some mindless knitting too of course).
This purple one is based on the Diagonal Rib Cowl. I cast on 80 sts, using a 4.5 mm needle. The yarn is Chameleon Colorworks' Evolution (color Eggplant), held double. I used up all of two skeins. This is an Optim wool, and feels as if it's got a good dose of silk in it...very yummy, and not itchy at all. The gauge is a little tighter than in the pattern, as you can't see the yo's here, but I like that it doesn't slouch too much.
This one is based on the Aspen Neck Cowl, 100 sts on 4.5 mm needles, using 2 balls of Misti Alpaca's Baby Alpaca Royal. Seriously good stuff. Has that same powdery softness as cashmere. I would definitely need to get more for myself when I go off the stash diet (that could be soon).
Both ended up about 10 inches across and 9 inches high. These took a couple of days each to knit up. At this rate, I could get another dozen or so done before Christmas! ;-)