Cowl Island Knit (Free Pattern) is a simple, snuggly cowl that’s knit as a long(ish) tube and then has the top and bottom grafted together. For added interest I have knitted stripes and then twisted the tube a quarter of the way round before joining for extra structural texture. You can knit it plain or stripe as you wish. What really makes this cowl special, is the use of mohair blends and large needles which creates a “light as air” cowl that has volume and holds its shape beautifully without flopping around your neck, as well as being very warm. Another bonus is that it only uses 35g of yarn!
Cowl Island Knit is a Free Pattern…scroll down for instructions.
You may have guessed the inspiration for the name of this pattern… yes, I was knitting a sweater in the round and I was stranded on “Sleeve Island” for what felt like an eternity…whilst on Sleeve Island, I wrapped one of the stripy sleeves round my neck and thought, “Hmmm, if this was a bit wider it would make a gorgeous cowl”. So right after I finished the sweater, I cast on for this cowl!
To get the best result, I recommend using a Mohair blend yarn as it’s the long, fluffy halo on the yarn that helps the fabric to keep its structure and not collapse like a flat tyre round your neck! Make sure that the yarn you choose isn’t going to irritate your skin – many people have quite sensitive necks. If you are striping your cowl, you can try using a mohair blend as the main yarn and use another, smoother 4ply as the contrast stripe… this should still give the desired affect.
Cowl Island Knit – Tools & Materials
4ply/fingering Mohair/Silk Blend or 2 strands of 2ply/Laceweight yarn held together – a total of 170 meters (186 yards) in 4ply or 340 meters (372 yards) in 2ply held double.
5.5mm circular needles – I used 50cm & magic loop method. You could also use DPNs or two shorter circular needles.
For the cowl in the photos I used approximately:
- 5g / 28.4 meters (31.0 yards) of Artyarns Double Mohair Ombre, which I purchased from Tribe Yarns Life. (used as a single strand).
- 10g / 44.6 meters (48.8 yards) of Sublime Yarns Kid Mohair Blend (used as a single strand).
- 10g / 84.9 meters (92.8 yards) of Elann Silken Kydd & 10g / 84.9 meters (92.8 yards) of Elann Super Kydd (both yarns held together).
So you can see it’s an excellent way to utilize precious scraps of yarn!
If you don’t have something suitable in your stash, here are some ideas for yarn that would work with this pattern, from Indie dyers to more commercial brands:
Approximately 19 stitches & 24 rows =10x10cm
Finished cowl measures 20cm wide by 58cm long.
Cowl Island Knit – Free Pattern – Instructions
Using a long tail cast on, cast on 68 sts in your main colour (MC).
Row 1 : knit all stitches.
Round 2 : join in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches – you may place a stitch marker at the start of the round if you wish; knit all stitches.
Continue to knit in stockinette (knit each round) for 124 rows or until it’s long enough to pull easily over your head when you hold both ends together.
I have made a stripe with the contrast colour every 6th round, i.e. 5 rows in main colour 2 rounds in contrast. When starting a new round, always wrap the colour you are using for the next round around the colour you are not using – this keeps the vertical “floats” neat.
When you have knitted the required or desired number of rows, DO NOT CAST OFF; break off the yarn that is not currently in use. Now, leaving a long enough tail to sew the ends of the tube together, cut the yarn on the needles. Thread the yarn onto a wool needle. Now make sure you position the cast on edge correctly, i.e. right side facing out. You may add a twist to the tube by moving the cast on edge to the left or right – I turned it by 1/4.
Now graft the stitches on the needle to the cast on edge as follows:
Start off – Slip the first stitch off the needle with the sewing needle, knitwise. Then thread the sewing needle purlwise through the next stitch on the needle – do not slip it off the knitting needle.
1. Thread the sewing needle horizontally around the 1st stitch of the cast on edge.
2. With the sewing needle, slip off the next stitch knitwise.
3. Thread the sewing needle purlwise through the next stitch on the needle (do not remove it). Pull the yarn gently to ensure your sewn stitches match the knitting.
Repeat steps 1-3 until you have no stitches left. Find the very first stitch you slipped off the needle knitwise and go into it purlwise with the sewing needle.
Fasten off and sew in ends.
If you can’t face joining the cowl by grafting, you can cast off loosely and then whip stitch the edges together. Or nag me and I will do a video tutorial.
Please sign up to my newsletter to receive news about my latest patterns and tutorials as well as exclusive, subscriber only content!
I use affiliate links in my posts. If you click on a link and buy something I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.
Connect with me!
You can often find me on Instagram. Please do follow and tag me if you make one of my patterns, tips or stitch patterns. If you knitted this free Cowl Island Knit pattern, please do share! I love to see what you’ve made.