Free Knitting Pattern: Slightly Shifting Knitted Cowl
I fell in love with the slight color variegation of this yarn from blue to purple and set about to create a knitting pattern that would make the most of these beautiful colors. Sometimes, I think simple patterns are best for multi-colored yarn so that the varied hues can be the main focus.
This cowl features a simple slipped stitch pattern that shifts the design slightly with every pattern repeat. These shifting slipped stitches bring the different colors to the front, and breaks up any pooling, while creating the look of a woven texture.
Although this pattern was designed for variegated yarn, it would also look great in a solid color (particularly a neutral tone) or in a self-striping yarn. This simple, yet interesting design creates a wonderfully warm cowl that is perfect for men, women, and children.
- 1 skein Cascade Yarn Pacific in color 508 (Hydrangeas), 213 yards/195 meters
- Both size # 5 and #7 circular needles (16 to 20 inch length), or correct size to get gauge
- One stitch marker
- A tapestry needle to weave in ends
18 sts x 24 rows in Stockinette stitch on larger needles = 4 x 4 inches
Gauge is not terribly important for this pattern, but if your gauge is different, your finished piece will be of a different size. You could also use dk or bulky weight yarn for this pattern, but you will want to adjust the number of cast on stitches for the length of your cowl. I suggest knitting a swatch to check if you might need to increase or decrease the number of cast on stitches.
My finished cowl is about 20 inches in length and 8 inches high. I specifically wanted a shorter cowl that would stand high on my neck so I knit until I was almost out of yarn.
This pattern would also look wonderful as a longer cowl to hang around your neck, and I've included a second size in the instructions for a longer length (this size will require a second skein of yarn).
Terms Used in this Pattern
k = knit
p = purl
rnd = round
sl = slip stitch (all stitches in this pattern are slipped purlwise)
psso = pass slipped stitch over (in this pattern, slip the stitch over the last three knit stitches)
yo = yarnover
- The slipped stitches in this pattern are slipped purlwise
- The passed stitch (psso) is passed over the last three knitted stitches
- The pattern repeat on Round 3 ends with a yarnover (yo). Be sure to remember this yarnover when finishing Round 3 and starting Round 4.
- You can change the size of your cowl by adding or subtracting stitches in multiples of 4
To Begin Slightly Shifting Knitted Cowl Pattern
Cast on 108 stitches on a #5 needle for a shorter cowl like mine, or 172 stitches for a longer cowl. Place your marker and join stitches to knit in the round. Start by knitting 8 rounds of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. Then switch to your larger needle and begin pattern below:
Round 1: Knit all stitches
Round 2: Knit all stitches
Round 3: *Sl1 purlwise, k3, psso (all 3 stitches), yo*, repeat pattern to end of round
Round 4: Knit all stitches
Repeat the four rounds above to desired height, ending with Round 4. Then knit one more round in Stockinette Stitch. Switch back to the smaller needle and knit 7 rounds of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. To finish, bind off all stitches in pattern and weave in your ends. Block gently and enjoy!
I'm excited to wear my new cowl and I hope you like it too. If you're looking for a coordinating pair of fingerless mitts or gloves, my Textured Mitts would make a nice set!
© 2015 Donna Herron. No part of this pattern may be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the author/designer. For personal use only. This pattern and materials made from this pattern are not meant for commercial sale.
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© 2015 Donna
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