As promised, a little late!
I acquired a single skein of this gorgeous yarn from ebay - it's Gedifra 'Easy Wear', really chunky and soft, comprising an open, barely-twisted single ply, held together by a contrasting thread running through it. I knew I had to make something really great with it, but it took me a few trues to get it right. First I tried a pixie cap type thing with a long point, but decided it wasn't right. A few more non-starters later and I accidentally came up with this cowl. You can find it on Ravelry - here's the link: my cosy collar cowl.
Materials: 9mm (10 would work too) knitting needles; one skein of super bulky yarn; large eyed yarn needle; buttons and elastic or thread as desired.
I'm afraid I don't know what my gauge was, but this thing is quick and simple enough to play around with. I'd estimate around 5 sts to 4".
Cast on about 20 stitches. Knit stocking stitch until the work is about 7" long, or the height desired for one's neck. Mine was longer to fold over like a collar. I think I knitted about 13/14 rows for this, and possibly threw in some drop stitches to show off the plumpness of the yarn. Bind off all stitches.
For the panel: Cast on about 12 stitches - more or less depending on how wide you want it. You could even use a contrasting colour for this part. Knit seed stitch until the work is a little bit shorter than the main piece - 5"/6", or as you see fit. Bind off all stitches.
I then picked out 12 lovely old translucent buttons from my stash, in colours to complement the yarn - 6 pink, 6 purple. I tied each pair together with elastic (leaving a gap of about 1cm between them, though maybe more of a gap would be better so they don't pull through so easily) so that each 'toggle' was pink on one side and purple on the other. I pushed these through the fabric, three on each side of the seed stitch panel, and then attached it to the main piece. Ta da!
What I really like about this cowl is that it's totally adjustable - by merely popping out the button toggles and putting them back wherever you like, you can adjust the fit and the look of the collar. At the top you see it buttoned closely for a funnel-neck, battened up against the cold sort of thing - and in the second picture it's at full length for something more casual, and showing off the contrasting texture of the panel.
Here it is reversed for another different effect:
You can even get away with wearing it as a headband for maximum ear coverage - and a 'little Dutch girl' look:
Hope you like it - happy knitting!