04 July 2011

Cowls cowls cowls!

Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!  Cowls!

Cowls are neat-o!  I didn't own any, so I thought to remedy this unfortunate situation.

A girl at my work has been wearing some spiff cowls done in a shell stitch long ways.  Does that make sense?

I couldn't find a pattern to match, so I made one up!  Shell stitch is pretty basic, so any nerd can do it.

The ingredients:
Some yarn.  duh. 
I used 2 skeins of King Cole Riot in "Dude".  Kinda wishing I'd chosen one of the other colourways.  Oh well.

 You could use any yarn for this cowl, just adjust your hook size accordingly.

I used a 6mm hook,

The method:

Make a chain the desired length of your cowl. OR if you're really clever make a foundation single crochet chain instead.  This is what I did, because it gives you a bit more stretch.  Your chain should be a multiple of 6, plus 3.  Thats the length of the pattern, plus an extra bit to join the pattern together (see the image below). 

I wanted mine so I would get two loops around my head, but not too tight.  Just hold the chain together and test it out.

I was a bit off with my count, but I'm a big fan of fudging to get the result you want :)  If you're getting to the end of your chain and your numbers are off, just fudge it by skipping 1 ch instead of 2 as required so you can join your pattern.

Join your chain with a slip stitch to make a loop. 

Then its just *dc, sk 2 ch, 5tr, sk 2 ch* and repeat from * to * until you come back to where you started from.
Here is a chart of the stitch pattern:

Thanks Wikipedia!
When you get back to where you started, dont turn, but keep doing your shell stitch around and around.  the 5tr go on top of your dcs, and a dc goes in the 3rd tr of the 5 tr. 

My join is not very neat, here is kinda what I did:

Starting in the black, shell stitch around.  The red shows where you'd come back to the beginning.  To continue with the pattern, you will end with a dc, then 5tr into your starting dc.  The green is the next row.

The most important thing, when you finish your first row of shell stitch and are going onto the next row, make sure your work is not twisted.  I learnt this the hard way and had to frog about 4 rows before I realised.

I did about 14 rows, then ended off and did 14 rows on the bottom of the chain, to make the cowl symmetrical. 

I steam blocked my cowl, but it still wanted to curl.  I think it looks spiff anyway :)  It's about 140cm around.  Ravelled here.

Before blocking

Blocking attempt.

And wah-lah!  Very snuggly, stays in place beautifully, unlike a scarf which can flap around all over the place.

I have another (possibly daggy) cowl on the hook now.  I hope to have it finished by the weekend! 


  1. Love your cowl! It's fab. I have been looking for a pattern to use my Riot on and this maybe the very thing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. cowls are fun, aren't they? and I think simple patterns are better, they make the yarn shine.