Do you feel, as I do, that knitted objects look even more impressive when they are piled up? The pink cowl is all done and ready to be wrapped up and given away. As I had hoped, the kitchenered seam is all but invisible, so it was well-worth the trouble. The photo below shows the sewn seam next to the grafted one: no comparison.
Confession: The pink cowl is too long, by a good 2 or 3 inches. If doubled, it hangs a bit low for my taste, as I like to feel the warmth of the yarn close to my neck. The grey version measures 52" in length once blocked, and this one is around 56". This is because before blocking, I was concerned about the final width. When blocking a wet piece of knitting, one can decide to stretch the piece mostly lengthwise or mostly in width, and I decided to focus on width, which then led me to add a few rows of length "for insurance", so to speak. It turns out that insurance wasn't needed.
Which leads me to mention the one major drawback of a kitchenered seam: it cannot be undone, not when it is many stitches long and executed in a yarn that contains mohair. On these photos, I cheated a bit and kept the extra length in the back of my neck to have just the right amount of cowl peeking out from my coat.
It turns out I didn't have to worry about this cowl being too narrow, either. The finished width of both cowls is 15 ", which I like. I wouldn't want it to be narrower but of course that is my utterly subjective preference. I was aiming for something that gives the feeling of a luxurious, sizeable scarf, without all the extra fabric, weight, length, etc.
I used 2 full skeins and a few yards of a third one for this cowl, thus proving to myself that 2 skeins are really all that's needed for this kind of project. I just found yet another skein of this pale pink in my stash, which means I should have just enough yarn to make a second one just like the first.
A quick note on blocking: I recently watched Ann Hansen's thorough online class on finishing handknits, available via Craftsy. Her section on blocking was fascinating to me; I have blocked my share of handknits and I have developed my own way of doing things over time, but watching someone else do it, especially an expert on lace and on the finer points of finishing, was highly instructive. She treats wet wool almost as clay that can be molded with a rather firm hand and a good amount of handling, and not like a fragile flower on the verge of breaking, which was my tendency in the past. For those of us who didn't have the opportunity to learn from another knitter directly, these classes are invaluable and well worth the investment ... especially if you wait for their fairly frequent sales.