I finished the cowl yesterday as I hoped. It is now blocking on the bedroom floor, where it will remain damp for days, because it is not very dry here. But because I'm actually blocking for shape I just have to suck it up and walk around it for a few more days.
This is not a terribly flattering picture of it, but a) it is a knitted tube, what do you expect? and b) it is wet so the colors aren't quite accurate, and c) it will be bunched up when worn around the neck because no person's neck is actually that long, so glamor isn't really the highest priority. Oh, and d) I fixed that little pokey-out bit on the lower left after I took the picture.
Edit to add: updated photo with texture detail, showing the actual color of the yarn when dry. (Much nicer, don't you think?)