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Easy Cowl Tutorial

SUPER easy cowl pattern FREE
I’ve talked about dyeing yarn with Kool-aid… and now I have a finished project: an awesome cowl! Cowls seem to be everywhere this season, and I love them because they’re so versatile. As you can see in the photos above, they can be worn around the neck as a scarf, on your head like a hat, rolled up like a headband, or as a hood!

SUPER easy cowl pattern FREE

I knitted a simple stockinette cowl so that the color changes of the yarn were the main feature. It’s a fairly easy pattern that allows you to use any yarn you want! Here’s what you do if you want a simple cowl like mine:

  1. Pick your yarn and an appropriately sized needle. I selected a fingering weight yarn, and a size 5 needle (slightly large for the yarn), to get a loose, soft fabric.
  2. Knit a test swatch to determine your gauge (number of stitches per inch). Try to do a 4×4″ (10x10cm) swatch to get a good idea. My gauge was 6 sts/inch.
  3. Measure your head and calculate how many stitches it will take to get around it. My head is 21″ in circumference, and I wanted a tight fitting cowl, so I aimed for a 19″ cowl circumference. If you want a looser fit, just make this number larger. To calculate, multiply the number of inches by number of stitches per inch. I needed 19×6, or 114 sts.
  4. Cast on the number of required stitches (rounded to an even number).
  5. Knit in a ribbing for an inch or so. I did a 1×1 rib (knit one, purl one, and repeat), but if you have a multiple of 4, you could do a 2×2 rib.
  6. Knit in stockinette. I knit until I was close to using up the full skein, which ended up being about 12 inches… but you can keep going until you have the length you want!
  7. Knit another inch or so of ribbing, and cast off.

SUPER easy cowl pattern FREE

That’s it! It’s a simple cowl that will show off a lovely yarn texture or color. I hope to enjoy my cowl all winter long!

SUPER easy cowl pattern FREE


  1. Juliette SAYS...

    Wow! awesome job on the cowl and the dye job. I bought a few skeins of undyed sock yarn…and now I know exactly what I am going to do with it! Thanks!

  2. Penny SAYS...

    Did you knit this in the round or did you stitch it together when you were finished?

    Many thanks and I love your blog!

  3. Annabelle Cambier SAYS...

    Beautiful! And like all good art, it remains so with the test of time. I wanted a close cowl pattern and happily this popped up. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Robin SAYS...

    And here it is 2022 and I’m trying to figure out how big around a cowl should be and you’re the only one I’ve seen who very logically says to measure my head! Thank you for this very practical advice.