An actual cowl that looks a bit like a Katniss cowl seemed like a good compromise to figure out some of the kinks in the pattern. So I found a free pattern online and made this.
Caron "one pound" in taupe 8mm hk, thick size 
Next project will be to take that texture and add it on to a bland double crochet version of the Katniss cowl , again a free online pattern.
And of course I am not following instructions about which yarn, or what thickness, or size of hook. That would make things way too easy!
The yarn for all this, and many more future projects came from 2 visite to Goodwill my last trip away.
True treasures here, as well as some trash (how did I miss that Phentex wrapper?) And the difficulty of judging feel with out actually being able to, well, feel the yarn leads to some buyers remorse too.
Other recently finished:
and just for looking...