Free cowl pattern: The Uber Cowl

This hardly qualifies as a pattern. But given that I needed a two-class project for beginners-of-discriminating-taste, I went big. Big needles. Big yarn. Big impact. Big challenges wrangling big needles for the newbies. But they did smashingly well. And are well on their way to knitting what I hope will be their first neckwarmer of many. Pattern below.


To fit head 21 in circumference.


1 skein Cascade Magnum, 100% wool, 123 yds (112m)/8.8 oz. (250g)

Tapestry needle


Circular or straight needles size 19 US (15mm)


1.75 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch


Cast on 17 stitches.

Rows 1: Purl across to end of row.

Row 2: Knit across to end of row.

Repeat rows 1-2 until piece measures 19 inches. (Knit extra inches for a drapey look.)

Bind off loosely.


Using tapestry needle seam cast on edge to bind off edge using mattress stitch. Weave in ends.

Free Crochet Pattern: Wattle Warmer Cowl


So as not to have to do my hair and train Nake-id IT in the use of the camera, I enlisted the help of the next America's Top Model. Look how he works that neckwarmer!

Yarn: Tahki Donegal Tweed, 853 Deep Purple, three skeins

Hook: J/10

Finished size: 18" x 22" tube

Gauge: 12 sts sc=4"

Wattle Warmer

Ch 96 loosely and without twisting ch, sl st in first ch.

Rnd 1 and all subsequent rnds: Ch1, sc in first ch, sc in each ch around, sl st in first sc to join.

Continue until piece measures 22" or desired length. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Wear myriad ways.

Handknit cowls

At The Lamb Saturday we debated the difference between the terms cowl, snood and whimple. Could they be used interchangeably or are they in fact different items?

Giant, oversized neckwarmer/capes/hoods are everywhere in the fashion press. And Etsy is lousy with them. There was a time only Batman wore a cowl, but now it seems to be the preferred cold-weather streetwear.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a cowl is: The hood or hooded robe worn especially by a monk; A draped neckline on a woman's garment; A hood-shaped covering used to increase the draft of a chimney; The top portion of the front part of an automobile body, supporting the windshield and dashboard; The cowling on an aircraft.

A snood, on the other hand, is: A small netlike cap worn by women to keep the hair in place; A headband or fillet; A fleshy wrinkled fold of skin that hangs down over a turkey's beak.

Whereas a whimple is: A cloth wound around the head, framing the face, and drawn into folds beneath the chin, worn by women in medieval times and as part of the habit of certain orders of nuns; A fold or pleat in cloth; A ripple, as on the surface of water; A curve or bend.

Whimple can also be used as a verb, as in to dress in a whimple.

I don't relish this happening any time soon, that is the appearance of a "fleshy wrinkled fold of skin that hangs down over the beak", and though "whimple" is certainly descriptive, "cowl" seems to say it best.

People, we are knitting cowls.