Watching the Winter Olympics this week has had the impact of making me feel both freezing and energised at the same time. It has also included a fantastic story about the team for Finland knitting whilst waiting around between events. You can read more about that here.
We’ve also had a cold snap here in the UK this week, reminding me that although the snowdrops are out and the daffodils are teasing us, we are a long way from putting the hats, gloves and cowls away. I hate the cold but all the fun crochet goodies I get to make and wear are definitely a huge silver lining (they would definitely win gold over silver though!).
So this week I wanted to bring you a brand new, free crochet cowl pattern. I think it may be the warmest thing I own! This particular design came about as a bit of an accident really. I had been playing around with stitch patterns for a cardigan I wanted to design, in particular the V stitch, which is a great staple of mine. For those who haven’t tried the V stitch, it’s basically working 2dc, ch1, 2dc into the ch1 space from the row below. It looks amazing in multiple colours and is a really easy stitch to work.
I got to wondering if the V stitch would work it as a Y stitch and set about experimenting. I thought I could alternate working one dc into the chain 1 space with a traditional V on top to create a Y shape. Having tried a few versions, I couldn’t quite get the shape I had imagined. Just as I was getting ready to set down my hook in defeat, it occurred to me that it might create a more defined shape if I worked round the front post. Well, it didn’t work in the way I thought but I ended up playing about some more, changing the single dc to a treble and creating this 3 dimensional stitch pattern. I loved the way it created a kind of lattice with two layers which changed shape as you tilted the work. The fabric it created was way too thick for the cardigan I was meant to be planning, but I knew it would make a great cowl. This is just how it happens in crochet sometimes!
Here’s a peek at the texture
Ever since I went to Yarndale back in September, I have been hoarding some of my treats and I decided it was time to crack open the beautiful Aran Falkland Merino I have had sitting in my stash so I set about planning my cowl with this. (Using my awesome new slogan pencils – this is how to get motivated!)
Merino is great for scarves because it is so warm and, in general, doesn’t irritate as much as some wools when worn next to the skin. I made myself the first version of the cowl in this special yarn but I’ve written the pattern using Lion Brand Heartland in Acadia which I had in my stash (I had originally bought it as a boarder for the I Made This blanket pattern , but decided to stay with the pink on that one! It is a bit heavier than the Aran I was using and is widely accessible and inexpensive. This one will be a gift for my mum for mothers day which is next month in the UK.
I named this design the Connected Cowl. This is partly because of the way the stitches create and almost net like effect and partly because whilst I was making it, I was watching a Netflix show called Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. This is based on a book by Douglas Adams, who also wrote the Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy. It has the same off the wall humour but is based around the theme of how everything is connected and we are all exactly where we are meant to be at any one moment, even if we can’t see it yet.
I am a believer in trusting the universe so this appealed to me. I like to make my pattern names a bit thought provoking as it matches my general approach to life. Though I confess, this isn’t the first time I’ve been inspired by a TV show, as those who have seen The Upside-down Pullover will know! I’m not sure if I should be proud about that or not!!
So, lets get started with the pattern.
Although this looks quite complex, the pattern is a 2 row stitch repeat and really very simple when you get used to it! It’s suitable for those with some experience as it works round front posts but once you get the hang of it, it’s really very easy!
I used one 140g, 250yd skein of Lion Brand Heartland in Acadia. Because I crochet loosely, I went down to a 5.5mm hook. If you know you crochet on the tighter side, I would suggest a 6mm hook as recommended on the yarn label.
You’ll also need a yarn needle to sew in your ends.
Sizing & Gauge
The size of the Cowl based on one skein of Lion Band Heartland
You can keep working extra rows to make this longer, or add multiples of 6 to the foundation chain to make it looser, depending on the size and fit you are looking for
The gauge for this pattern is : 4in x 4in = 11 rows x 18 stitches (3 pattern repeats)
This is based on the materials given. However, gauge is not key in this piece, so long as the cowl is a comfy fit around the neck.
The red merino version is a little smaller as it’s a lighter yarn as you can see below.
- The cowl is worked in the round, joining with a slip stitch at the end of each round and turning.
- You can continue to work the stitch repeat to make the cowl as long as you want it.
- The cowl is worked over a multiple of 6 stitches, so if you want a looser or tighter fit then you can alter the length of the foundation chain by 6 stitches.
- Starting chains to not count as stitches.
- Instructions in brackets like (this) are worked into the same stitch.
- Instructions between *asterisks* are repeated the number of times indicated
- The stitch count remains the same as the foundation chain throughout, so is only indicated on the first row of the pattern.
Stitches & Abbreviations (US terms):
ch = chainst = stitch
ss = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
sp = space
sk = skip
yo = yarn over
fpdc = front post double crochet
Foundation double crochet (fdc)
Ch 3, yo, insert hook into 3rd chain from hook, yo and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook). *Yo and pull through one loop (this creates the base stitch of the next fdc). Yo and pull through two loops, yo and pull through two loops. To start the next st, yo and insert the hook into the v of the base stitch you just created and pulling up a loop. Continue from * for the number of stitches required.
If you struggle with this technique it can be replaced with making a chain of the number of stitches plus 2, then making a dc in the 3rd chain from the hook and across to the end.
Round 1: 96 fdc, join to the start with ss to create a ring. Be careful not to twist the foundation row. (96)
Round 2: Ch3, turn, *tr, sk next 2st (2fpdc, ch1, 2fpdc) round next st, sk next 2 st. Repeat from * to end. Ss into the top of the starting tr.
Round 3: Ch2, turn, *(2fpdc, ch1, 2fpdc) around the tr, sk next 2 st, tr in ch1 sp, sk next 2 st. Repeat from * to the end. Ss into the first two dc of the round and into the ch1 space.
Round 4: Ch3, turn, *tr into ch1 sp, sk next 2 st, (2fpdc, ch1, 2fpdc) around the next tr, sk next 2 st*. Repeat from * to the end. Ss into the top of the starting tr.
Round 5-22: Repeat rows 3 and 4, finishing on a row 4 repeat. If you want a longer cowl, continue these repeats until desired length is reached.
Round 23 / Final Round: *fpdc round the tr, hdc into next 2 dc, sc into ch1 sp, hdc into next 2 dc*. Repeat * to end. Ss into top of first dc, fasten off and sew in end.
Sew in starting tail, joining the bottom of the fdc row made in round 1.
Enjoy the cosiest cowl you will ever wear!!
Lets take one last little look at how chunky and squidgy this texture is…
As always, don’t forget to tag me in your finished makes! Nothing makes me happier than seeing my designs brought to life by others. I love the colour choices and personal touches you add to the patterns!
On Instagram, you can use the hashtag #HookMeHappy or just tag @doradexplored. You can tweet me your pictures, or add your them to my Facebook page. And if socials aren’t your thing, feel free to email me your efforts. It really does make my day! I’m also a huge fan of Pinterest so if you like my patterns I’d love it if you pin them, or visit my Pinterest page which showcases some wonderful inspirational crochet patterns – the talent out there blows my mind!
Until next time.