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Free Knitting Pattern: Reindeer and Cowl Tracks

An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.

Follow this article for a pattern for a reindeer tracks cowl.

Follow this article for a pattern for a reindeer tracks cowl.

Cowl Tracks

This cozy cowl features yarn carried in front and knitted stitches moving up and down to look like reindeer tracks. A beautiful pattern to show off the colors of variegated yarn, this cowl also looks great in solid colors. This pattern is easy, but suggested for advanced beginners or experiences knitters who are familiar with knitting terms and slipped stitch techniques.

How to Knit Cowl Tracks

I have included descriptions of some of the knitting abbreviations, but for more help visit http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-glossary. Because of the slipped stitches, the gauge of this cowl tightens up as you knit. Be careful not to pull the yarn carried in front or behind the stitches too tight, as it will make it difficult to knit and pull the cowl out of shape. If you are a tight knitter, you might want to go up a needle size or two.

The beautiful knitted stitches.

The beautiful knitted stitches.

My Materials

  • About 200 yards of Worsted Weight Yarn (the pattern looks great in variegated, but a solid color also works). I used Caron Simply Soft paints in Sunset. I love the colors in this yarn – it’s my new favorite!
  • Size #8 and #9 circular needles (24-inch length) or size needed for gauge (because the slipped stitches can tighten up your work, I used one needle size larger than what I would normally use for this yarn.)
  • One stitch marker

Knitting Gauge

16 sts x 20 rows in Stocking stitch = 4 x 4 inches

Terms Used in this Pattern

  • rnd = round
  • sl = slip stitch (all stitches in this pattern are slipped purlwise)
  • yb = bring yarn to back of work
  • yf = bring yarn to front of work
Completed reindeer tracks cowl

Completed reindeer tracks cowl

How to Create the Cowl Tracks

Cast on 96 sts using #8 needle for a snug cowl (about 26 inches), 116 sts for a looser cowl (about 30 inches), or any multiple of 4 sts. Join in the round, but be careful not to twist the stitches and place the marker.

Begin by knitting 6 rnds in k2, p2 ribbing.

Foundation row:

Switch to larger needle, then knit first st front & back, knit rest of rnd (increase to 97 sts or 117sts).

After setting the foundation, follow these patterns:

  • Rnd 1: Knit all stitches.
  • Rnd 2: K1, p1, *yb, sl 1, yf, p1*, repeat * to last st, k1.
  • Rnd 3: Knit all stitches.
  • Rnd 4: K1, yf, sl 1, yb, k1, yf, *sl 3, yb, k1, yf, * repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 1, yb, k1.
  • Rnd 5: K1, yf, sl 1, yb, k1, yf, *sl 3, yb, k1, yf, * repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl 1, yb, k1. (same as rnd 4)
  • Rnd 6: Knit all stitches.
  • Rnd 7: K1, p1, *yb, sl 1, yf, p1*, repeat * to last st, k1.
  • Rnd 8: Knit all stitches.
  • Rnd 9: K1, yf, sl 3, yb, *k1, yf, sl 3, yb,* repeat from * to last st, k1.
  • Rnd 10: K1, yf, sl 3, yb, *k1, yf, sl 3, yb,* repeat from * to last st, k1. (same as rnd 9).

Repeat rounds 1-10 until the cowl is 5 inches from the cast-on edge (or whatever height you choose), end on rnd 8.

Finish the patterns by:

  • Knit one more rnd, but knit the first 2 sts together (k2tog). (decrease back to 96sts or 116sts).
  • Knit 5 rnds in k2, p2 ribbing. BO in pattern.
  • Weave in ends, block, and enjoy!!
The finished product is wonderful.

The finished product is wonderful.

Comments

Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 10, 2012:

You're very welcome! I'm glad you like it. Thanks for your comment!

Becky PS on December 10, 2012:

Thank you so much - so pretty!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 19, 2012:

Thanks!! I love the colors in this yarn and designed this pattern to show them off. Hope you give this cowl pattern a try :)

theframjak from East Coast on November 19, 2012:

Very beautiful. I love the color.