cowl pattern

For today’s guest post I want to welcome Carrie, she lives in rural NY state with her husband and son. Carrie is an avid baker, knitter, and babywearer. She chronicles her adventures in gentle parenting, crafting, baking, and mindful living on her blog, Oh Baby O.

The last few weeks certainly have been wintry ones here in the northeast [USA]. We’re now buried under a thick blanket of sparkling white snow. Warmth in all it’s forms is so important during this chilly time of year, especially for children. Emotional warmth, spiritual warmth, and perhaps most often forgotten, physical warmth. When children’s bodies are adequately warm, they are free to spend their energy on the most important things of all: growing, learning, and playing!

Whenever I bundle our little guy up for a wintertime adventure, I’m always plagued by the fact that his neck is exposed. I wear something around my own neck nearly everyday, even indoors. A small child loses body heat more quickly than an adult. Surely keeping the neck covered is important, but attempting to wrap a toddler in a scarf seems a bit impractical. A cowl, however, is a wonderful solution!

This is a simple ribbed cowl that can be knitted up in just a couple of hours. It is thin enough to not be bulky under a coat and soft enough not to irritate a child’s sensitive skin. Wool and silk are excellent insulators, making this garment nice and warm! The ribbed texture allows the cowl to fit closely while still providing some stretch to comfortably fit over the child’s head.

A Toddler’s Cowl

– Less than one skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino
– US size 6 circular knitting needle
– Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
– Scissors
– Soft measuring tape


1. Cast on 84 stitches using the long tail method.
2. Mark the beginning of the round and join.
3. Work in a 1×1 rib (k1, p1) every row.
4. When work reaches 4 inches (20cm) from cast on edge, cast off using a stretchy bind off such as EZ’s sewn cast off
Cut yarn, weave in ends and enjoy!

– This garment will fit most children between 12-24 months of age.
– Blocking is unnecessary for this project.
– Cowl is worked in muliples of 2.

Ravelry page


Cowl Girls: The Neck’s Big Thing to Knit by Cathy Carron. Sixth&Spring Books (2010)

Cowls are the perfect thing to knit for the cooler season, and because they are so quick to knit up they make fabulous gifts – its not too late to start. Many of the projects this book are knit in bulky yarns, so can be finished quickly and would make for great last-minute gifts.

The designs themselves are all so different, but with one thing in common – they are interesting and dramatic, some even verging on the weird and wonderful! But there are some really good basic designs that you could play around with and get started on. To see thumbnails of all the designs featured in the book, go to Cathy Carron’s webpage where you can see all the cowl girls in action. (Some images of my favourite designs are featured below.)

The patterns themselves are all pretty straightforward but you might need to have some knitting experience or at least someone experienced to get you started. But I think as a beginner there are quite a few pattens that once you do get started and you get the stitch pattern down, you can just keep knitting around and around until the you reach your final size. Also for more experienced knitters there are some more challenging designs so you won’t get bored. The book tends to mention specific yarns so if you don’t have access to these you will need to swatch (which you should do anyway) and the gauge sizes are all given at the beginning of each project.

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JC shares this knitting pattern for a very snug looking cowl/capelet, depending how old you are!. Link to pattern.