How To Make a Knitted Cowl

Looking to keep your neck nice and toasty on those frosty mornings in the garden? We show you how to make a knitted cowl. 

Given a lot of people have a preference for either knitting and crocheting, we’ve provided patterns for both options. These are super simple patterns that will make you a beautiful woollen cowl to keep your neck warm in the cooler months. 

These crocheted and knitted cowls can be made with any type of wool. Be on the lookout at op shops and markets for recycled or leftover yarn. Swap with friends or raid mum or grandma’s stash. Or make your own. These also suit homespun yarns if you are a spinner or if you know a spinner. 

How To Make a Knitted Cowl

Knitted Cowl

Wool: 10 ply or 12 ply. 

Needles: 6–10 mm needles. 

Cast on 26 stitches or more if you want more folds in your cowl.

In plain stitch, knit as many rows as needed until a measurement of 50cm is reached. This is to be measured laid flat without stretching the fabric. If you prefer stocking stitch, knit one row, purl one row and repeat. 

Cast off. Leave a tail to stitch the cowl sides together. Stitch the two short sides together using overcast stitch, looping through the cast on and cast-off edge. 


Use two different yarns, one 10 ply or 12 ply, and one 4 ply or 5 ply. Combine yarns to form a single thread. Knit as usual, keeping two threads together. 

Sew some buttons on one of the short sides of the knitted cowl rectangle. No need to sew up the cowl. Just loop the buttons through the loosely knitted fabric. No need to construct buttons holes, as the loose knit will easily house the buttons being inserted to join the short ends of the cowl. Button up to form the cowl. 

To make a cowl that you can wrap twice around your neck, knit until it measures 150cm long. 

naturally dyed yarn

Crochet cowl 

1. To start the crochet cowl, loosely crochet a chain that will fit around your forehead and back of head. Join and form a circle like a daisy chain. This is the top edge of the cowl. 

2. Chain 3 and in each chain stitch of the loop you have created, make a treble stitch. Continue around the chain circle before joining the first row. Make sure that this first row of treble is lying flat, not twisted. 

3. For the second row, chain 3 and continue building rows of your cowl in treble until you have completed 14 rows. Slip over your head and try for fit. If you want a cowl with more folds around the neck, crochet some extra rows. Otherwise finish the piece by sewing the ‘finish- ing’ and ‘starting’ tail threads. 

knitting yarn


For a fuller, bell-shaped cowl, after seven rows of treble, change to a larger crochet hook and crochet further rows to a length that suits you. 

Wool: 8 ply, 10 ply or 12 ply.

Crochet hook: Use 4.00, 4.50 and 5.00 mm crochet hooks, based upon the yarn and your particular tension when work- ing. Choose a yarn for the project and then use a crochet hook size that gives a loose stitch. For example, if using an 8 ply yarn, use a 4.00 and a 4.50 hook. 

The success of this is that a loose stitch creates a cowl that has drape and is soft in texture. A too small hook creates a too firm fabric that will not snug your neck and drape attractively. 

Before you start the project, loosely crochet a small length of chains and treble stitch into them to get the feel of the wool, your tension and the hook size. 

You can find the full version of this article in Issue #14 of Pip Magazine, which is available here.

Like more articles like this one? Subscribe to Pip Magazine’s print or digital editions here.

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