pattern on the web, probably on pinterest (way too much inspiration), found some yarn that I thought would work, dug out the biggest crochet hook I own (there are bigger ones) and got started. Two evenings and two hockey games later, I had a new cowl.
pattern came from etsy (it's available on craftsy and ravelry as well, I think). I had the same yarn specified in the pattern, but I just couldn't make it work out. Too small. So, I switched to a thicker yarn, a larger hook and that worked just fine. I think I'll give the other yarn a try again, with a much bigger hook and, maybe, another pattern repeat.