Directions for Making a Cowl Scarf

    by Heidi A. Reeves

    About the Author

    Heidi Reeves writes in Alexandria, Va. She got her first writing and editing job in 2001, when she worked as editor-in-chief of her undergraduate newspaper. Since then, she's earned a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Alabama, where she wrote and designed artist's books. Reeves writes hobby, lifestyle and wedding planning articles for various online publications.


    A cowl scarf is essentially a knitted tube that fits loosely around your neck. Its seamless construction makes it a good knitting project for those who want to practice knitting in the round, and its small circumference means that it doesn't require as much yarn as a traditional long scarf. Cowl scarves are easy to knit. Even beginning knitters will have no trouble constructing one of these winter accessories.

    Things You'll Need

    • Worsted weight yarn
    • U.S. size 6 circular needles, 16 inch
    • Yarn needle

    Cast 110 stitches onto your circular needles.

    Slip a stitch marker onto the needle. It should sit next to the last stitch you cast on.

    Orient the cast-on edge so it sits along the underside of the needles and the cable connecting the needles.

    Hold the needle with the end of the cast-on in your right hand and hold the other needle in your left hand.

    Knit into the first left hand stitch and pull your working yarn taut to close the gap between the new stitch and your last cast-on stitch.

    Continue knitting into all the stitches, being careful not to twist your work. As long as the cast-on edge remains along the underside of the needles, you will create a piece of untwisted knitting. When you get to the stitch marker, you'll have finished Round 1.

    Slip the marker to from the left to the right hand needle. Purl Round 2.

    Alternate between knit rounds and purl rounds to create garter stitch, continuing until you've completed 8 rounds.

    Knit 2 rounds in stockinette stitch -- to create stockinette stitch in the round, you simply knit every round -- and then knit 8 more rounds in garter stitch, alternating between knit rows and purl rows. The combination of wide garter stitch sections and narrow stockinette sections will give your cowl a textured, corrugated look.

    Continue working in the pattern as established until the cowl measures 7 inches from the cast-on edge.

    Bind off all stitches and use a yarn needle to weave in any loose yarn ends.

    • If you prefer a more loosely fitting cowl, cast on an extra 20 stitches.
    • For an extra-warm cowl, choose alpaca yarn. This soft fiber provides more insulation from the cold than wool yarn.
    • Once you're comfortable with knitting in the round, experiment with different stitch patterns for your cowls.
    • Make a stripy cowl by changing yarn colors as you knit.