Cool Cowls: The Must-Have Neckwear for Trendsetters

Have you noticed that there are some accessories that you can never have enough of?  Shoes and purses come to mind, along with sock, scarves  and shawls.  Another one to add to the list is the not-so-humble cowl. There are a number of reasons why cowls are the ideal project for knitting and crochet artists.

A cowl can be as simple as garter stitch circle - depending on the yarn you use - and still be beautiful as well as functional - two of our favorite attributes.  A cowl is  also the perfect “laboratory”  for exploring new stitches or designs with modest  time or money risk. They  are economical when it comes to  yarn length – many can be accomplished with just one skein or left -over partial skeins.  These are no small assets when you think of how many people you may wish to “gift” at this time of year.  (It’s the kind of present people will thank you for on the first cold or unpleasant weather day.)

Cowls present you with new style ideas: You can go wild with a new color or combination of colors – just for the fun of it   and still not need to re-think  your wardrobe. 

They are the ideal ‘interim season” accessory – allowing you to bundle up with a sweater and a hat and still not break out the winter coat.  Throw in a pair of hand-knit mittens and, depending on where you live, you might make it through a moderate winter.

Cowls can be worn by people of all genders, ages and temperaments.  They can tuck into a purse or into the pocket of your coat and be ready for service any time. 

Now that we have finished extolling some of the cowl’s many  virtues it’s time  to recommend a few and show you why we like them so much. 

First, we need to show you this year’s Holiday Gift Set, which contains a generous collection of KnitPro needles as well as a selection of our new Symfonie Yarn mini skeins.:

Knit Pro Holiday Gift Set

Knit Pro Holiday Gift Set.

We asked some of our favorite knitting designers for permission to use their patterns, and for the fun of it, we made up samples of the cowls using the yarn included in the Holiday Gift Set, Terra, Symfonie Yarn’s fingering weight sock yarn

Leftie by Martina Behm

Leftie by Martina Behm

Orwell's Garden Cowl

Orwell's Garden Cowl

Chameleon Cowl

Chameleon Cowl

Terra is a beautiful and resilient  blend of 75% merino and 25% nylon.  It is the ideal yarn for making a multitude of projects, including socks!  Terra is as practical as it is beautiful.  It’s  machine washable and dryable, and  that small amount of nylon (which is not visible) means it doesn’t lose its stretchability with the frequent pulling on and off that happens during the winter season.

Here's  another cool thing about cowls: Depending upon the design, some of them can be  made longer which means that they can be wrapped around and  pulled  up over the head and function as “snoods”  - that’s an old-fashioned word that describes a combination garment that covers the head and the neck. Search  the word on to see what we mean. Here are a few examples of free snood patterns:

Ukraine Snood Free Pattern

Ukraine Snood
Free Pattern

Note: This free pattern requires you know how to do “short rows”.  It’s easy to learn and well worth it.  It also suggests a fingering weight yarn, like Terra.


This free pattern comes in two stitch versions and is super easy and fast thanks to the fact that it is done on bulky yarn the pattern suggests using circular needles, like these fixed circulars.

Here’s hoping that you decide to give cowl making a try.  We can assure you that it’s a thoroughly enjoyable project to make, and, as importantly,  it’s just as nice to receive.