Free and Easy Knitting Cowl Patterns

by Jamey
Easy Knitting Cowl Patterns

Free and Easy Knitting Cowl Patterns

Introduction

I am genuinely happy and excited to share in this post the best free knitting patterns for cowls that are easy to follow and will keep you warm with style. But before everything else, what is a knit cowl? A knit cowl is a stylish accessory that will make any outfit stand out. Knit cowls are usually made from soft, stretchy yarn so they can fit over the head easily.

Cowls are the favorite knitting projects among knitters because they work up quicker than larger projects like scarves or sweaters.  Knitted cowls are also a great way of practicing new stitch patterns and techniques such as Fair Isle, slip stitch, cabling, and ribbing. It is also an excellent project for using up your bulky yarn or showing off the different colors of your hand-dyed yarn.

A knitted cowl is an excellent introduction to different stitch patterns that create a fantastic texture. Check out the list below if you want a free knit cowl pattern for your next project.

 

How to Knit a Cowl

Knit cowls are neck coverings designed to fit over the head easily. It can be worn with or without twisting, which means they are made in one piece. 

Cowls are an easy knitting pattern. And are usually made in the round. The number of stitches you cast determines the cowl’s circumference, while the number of rounds you knit will determine its length. 

A knitted cowl uses simple stitches and a repeat row to create stitch patterns that give it some body and texture.

 

Tools and Materials Used to Knit a Cowl

To be able to make a knit cowl, you will need your basic knitting materials:

  • Yarn: You can use any yarn, in any yarn weight, to make a knit cowl. Consult your pattern for the suggested yarn, yardage, and gauge to be sure you have enough yarn for the project.
  • Knitting Needles: Your pattern will tell you if you need to use circular needles or straight needles. The needle size will vary depending on the pattern you are following.
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch Markers
  • Tapestry Needle

 

Best Yarns for Scarves and Cowls

When choosing the best yarn for making a knit cowl, you will want to use a yarn that is soft, stretchy, cozy, and easy to wash.

You can use any yarn to make a knit cowl, from fingering-weight yarn to super bulky yarn.

    • Acrylic: Acrylic yarn is durable and easy to wash. They are also inexpensive and readily available in most craft stores.
    • Wool: Wool and wool-blend yarns are perfect for making cowls for cold weather. Wool is warmer than acrylic and holds up well in the wash. Merino wool is lightweight and breathable and has antibacterial and water-repelling properties.
    • Alpaca: Alpaca is similar to sheep’s wool but a little fuzzier. Alpaca yarn is soft and is much warmer than wool which makes it great for making cowls for the winter months.

Here are some examples of yarn you can use for knit cowls:

(3) Light/DK: Berroco Vintage DK, Cascade 220 Superwash

(4) Medium/Worsted: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, Lion Brand Heartland, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Malabrigo Rios, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Berroco Vintage, Berroco Pima 100 

(5) Bulky: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick, Malabrigo Chunky

(6) Super Bulky: Lion Brand Hometown, Bernat Softee Chunky

Make sure to check your pattern for the recommended yarn. 

 

Free and Easy Knitting Cowl Patterns

Browse this collection of the best free cowl knitting patterns to find your next knitting project. Whatever your skill level, you will find a free cowl knitting pattern that will suit you. 

Simple Garter Stitch Knit Cowl Pattern

This easy garter stitch cowl is made with alternating knit and purl rows. It is a versatile winter accessory that you can wear around your shoulders or neck. In neutral colors, it will quickly become a staple in your winter wardrobe.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Bulky Yarn
Knitting Needles: 29” 12.75mm Circular Knitting Needle

Pattern via Ashley Lillis

Simple Garter Stitch Knit Cowl Pattern Scaled

 

The Katy Cowl

This knit cowl is the perfect beginner knitting cowl pattern or a mindless project for more experienced knitters. This simple cowl has a Moebius twist that fits nicely when wrapped around your neck. Make this simple cowl for yourself or as a stylish gift for friends and family.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Bulky Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 15 (10mm) needles

Pattern via Flax and Twine

The Katy Cowl

 

Easy Seed Stitch Knit Cowl

Super bulky yarn makes this beginner-friendly cowl easy to knit and extra warm! It’s an easy knitting cowl pattern project that has gorgeous texture and drape. Make one in your favorite colors to match your style.
Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown Super Bulky Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 15 (10mm) circular knitting needles (32”)

Pattern via Fiber Flux

Easy Seed Stitch Knit Cowl

 

The Cowl

This easy-to-knit cowl is made with 3 strands of yarn together – 1 strand of worsted weight and 2 strands of fingering yarn. Subtle shaping is done using three different needle sizes. Knit as many rounds as you can until your yarn runs out.
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Halo Worsted and Phoebe Fingering / Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal
Knitting Needles: Needle A: 24″ circular needle in size US 10.5 • Needle B: 24″ circular needle in size US 10 • Needle C: 16″ circular needle in size US 9

Pattern via The Plucky Knitter

The Cowl

 

Alpine Heights Knit Fair Isle Cowl

This simple and easy knitting cowl pattern of Fair Isle knit cowl is a great way of using up partial skeins of yarn in your stash. Part of the fun in making this knit cowl is playing with colors. It is a great pattern to practice knitting Fair Isle in the round and learn new techniques like attaching a new color for color changes.
Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA and Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Bulky Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 17, 24” (60cm/12mm) circular knitting needles

Pattern via Mama in a Stitch

Alpine Heights Knit Fair Isle Cowl

 

 

Dotty Cowl

Would you believe this knit cowl was made with only one skein of yarn? The dot stitch gives this cowl its beautiful texture. It works quickly, and once you get into the rhythm, you’ll make this cowl for your loved ones too.
Yarn: Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling Yarn Worsted Weight Yarn
Knitting Needles: 5mm (US Size 8) 16” circular needles

Pattern via All About Ami

Dotty Cowl

 

Bandana Cowl

Another one-skein wonder, this cute and cozy knit cowl is soft and stylish. It is worked in the round with short rows for shaping. You can make four versions: Breton Stripes, Transitional Stripes, Colorblock, and a duplicate stitch Monogram. Pick your knit cowl pattern and your favorite colors, and cast on!
Yarn: Purl Soho’s Plenty Aran / Malabrigo Rios
Knitting Needles: US Size 10 (6.0mm), 16” circular needles

Pattern via Purl Soho

Bandana Cowl

 

Bubblegum Cowl

This easy-knit cowl pattern is perfect for days when you want to add a bright pop of color to your winter or spring wardrobe. It is worked from the bottom up in alternating stockinette and seed stitch rounds.
Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown
Knitting Needles: US Size 15 (10mm), 16” circular needle

Pattern via Fiber Flux

Bubblegum Cowl

 

Easy Garter Cowl

This easy garter stitch cowl is great for the beginning knitter. You will use large needles with chunky yarn to quickly whip this up if you need a last-minute gift for the holiday season.
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool
Knitting Needles: US Size 17 single-point needles

Pattern via Posh Patterns Blog

Easy Garter Cowl

 

Just Try It…

Show off your handspun yarn with this great statement piece. A more practical accessory for the active, outdoor man, you can make it with any yarn weight from fingering to DK weight yarn or even worsted weight Aran yarn. You have an option for a regular or large size – double the stitch numbers to make a double loop (the standard size will be tighter around the neck, while the larger size will be a little looser).
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios
Knitting Needles: US Size 8 (5.0mm) knitting needles

Pattern via Stitchnerd Designs

Just Try It Cowl

 

Tall Eiffel Cowl

A super-tall knit cowl, this free knitting pattern is great for beginner knitters. The yarn would give it a ribbed look even if it were knit with the basic knit or garter stitch. It adds a modern touch to any wardrobe, and super bulky yarn will keep you warm and cozy all winter.
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun Thick and Quick
Knitting Needles: US Size 35 (19mm) knitting needles 

Pattern via Mama in a Stitch

Tall Eiffel Cowl

 

Turtleneck Knit Cowl

A super fun bulky yarn stash buster, this easy-knit cowl is a free pattern for knitters of any skill level. It was designed to keep your neck warm while you wear your favorite top. It is a pretty layering piece, mainly if you use your pretty-colored bulky yarn.
Yarn: Superwash Merino Wool from Harbor Fibres Bulky Weight Yarn / Malabrigo Chunky
Knitting Needles: US Size 10 (6.5mm) circular knitting needles with 16” cord

Pattern via Pink Plumeria Maui

Turtle Neck Knit Cowl


No Purl Ribbed Scarf

Create a purl-less rib with a series of smartly placed slip stitches. This cozy cowl has a robust rib that gives you defined columns of knit stitches with valleys of texture in between.
Yarn: Purl Soho Alpaca Pure (discontinued) / Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted / Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca
Knitting Needles: US 8 (5mm) straight or circular needles

Pattern via Joelle Hoverson

No Purl Ribbed Scarf

 

Simple Knit + Purl Cowl

This cozy cowl creates a fun, unique look meant to roll. To create this roll, you will make stockinette stitches on the right side for half the width and do the same on the wrong side for the other half. This cowl is knitted back and forth lengthwise to achieve its unique look.
Yarn: Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool Super Bulky Yarn / Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick
Knitting Needles: 29” 15mm circular needles

Pattern via Ashley Lillis

Simple Knit Purl Cowl

 

Breeze Louise

This simple cowl is a quick, easy cowl that is the perfect project to practice your decreases with. It is a one-row repeat that you make until you get the size you want. A stretchy bind will help give your cowl a nice flare.
Yarn: Emma’s Yarn Washable Worsted Wool / Malabrigo Rios
Knitting Needles: US Size 9 (5.5mm) 24” circular needles

Pattern via Laura Dobratz on Ravelry

Breeze Louise

 

Shadow Cowl

Knit this cowl in your favorite colors. The shadow effect is created with rows of knit and purl stitches. This is a great pattern to show off the beautiful colors of hand-dyed yarn.
Yarn: Manos Fino Mini Skein Set / Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino Fingering Weight Yarn or Malabrigo Mechita
Knitting Needles: US Size 5, 16” circular knitting needles

Pattern via Noble Knits

Shadow Cowl

 

Side Line Cowl

Knit this quick and easy cowl from the sidelines. It might look like a simple garter stitch cowl, but it is actually an easy P3, K3 pattern repeat that creates the subtle stripe effect. Made with super bulky yarn, it will keep you warm on the sidelines at the game..while knitting a new one.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Super Bulky
Knitting Needles: 

Pattern via Fifty Four Ten Studio

Side Line Cowl

 

Canaletto Cowl

This luxurious cowl is an excellent pattern for advanced beginners. Rows of seed stitches, eyelets, and stocking stitches create a beautiful texture. The pattern has two sizes: a small size that makes a simple neck warmer and a large size that can be looped around twice, like an infinity scarf.
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Collection Cairo Worsted Weight Yarn (discontinued) / Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton
Knitting Needles: US Size 8 (5mm), 24” circular needles

Pattern via Tricksy Knitter

Canaletto Cowl

 

Chunky Solid Cowl

This easy-knit cowl project is great for beginner knitters. It comes in various sizes, from toddler to adult, so that you can make one for every family member. It works in the round and is so easy you can finish while watching your favorite tv series.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Super Bulky yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 13 (9mm), 24” circular needles

Pattern via Fox and Pine Stitches

Chunky Solid Cowl

 

GAP-tastic Cowl

This fun and easy knit cowl is a great project for beginner knitters to practice their knitting and purling, and a mindless knit for fast knitters. It is a classic statement piece you will want to wear (and make!) again and again. It also makes great last-minute gifts.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky (discontinued) / Lion Brand Hue + Me Bulky Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 13 (9.0mm), 29” circular needles

Pattern via Jen Geigley on Ravelry

Gap-tastic Cowl

 

Mid-December Knit Cowl

A simple knit and purl combo creates the unique textured stitch in this gorgeous knit cowl. Hold 2 strands of worsted weight yarn, or use a bulky yarn in your favorite colors. It is a fun and easy knit pattern, and is reversible too!
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Worsted Weight Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 13 (9mm), 24” circular knitting needles

Pattern via Ashley Lillis

Mid December Knitting Cowl Pattern

 

The Traveler Knit Infinicowl Scarf

In all its oversized glory, this infinity scarf cowl is wide enough to lift over your head like a hooded cowl. Knitted from the bottom up, this cowl pattern features a lovely mesh stitch pattern to create a cozy texture. While the stitch pattern is simple, this pattern is for experienced knitters or an advanced beginner who is up for a challenge.
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion’s Pride Woolspun (discontinued) / Malabrigo Chunky
Knitting Needles: US Size 11 (8mm), 24” or 30” circular needles

Pattern via Mama in a Stitch

The Traveler Knit InfiniCowl Scarf

 

Slip-It Cowl

If you have a few hours to spare, you can make this quick and easy knit cowl. This chunky cowl is the perfect accessory to protect your neck from the cold. It is a great pattern for showing off the pretty colors of hand-dyed yarn.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rasta
Knitting Needles: US Size 15 (10mm), 16” needles

Pattern via SweaterFreak on Ravelry

Slip iT Cowl

 

Chunky Moebius Cowl

This cozy cowl, made with super bulky yarn, is a quick knit, especially for the fast knitter. You can whip it up as a gift for someone special, or make one for yourself. The alternate rib pattern gives texture to this quick, easy cowl.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick
Knitting Needles: US Size 15 (10mm) needles

Pattern via Flax and Twine

Chunky Moebius Cowl

 

Gradient Ribbed Cowl

This squishy ribbed cowl is worked in the round using half fisherman’s rib stitch. To knit this easy pattern you will need to know some basic knitting techniques such as knitting and purling, k2tog through the back loop, purling into the row below, and working in the round. Grab three of your favorite blendable colors and accent color to achieve the gradient look.
Yarn: Lion Brand Color Theory
Knitting Needles: US Size 10.5 (6.5mm), 16” circular knitting needles

Pattern via Two of Wands

Gradient Ribbed Cowl

 

Luxe Faux Fur Cowl

Faux fur yarn makes this cozy cowl more luxurious and comfy. It has two different textured sides, made by creating two rectangles using two different types of yarn giving it double thickness. The “long-slip textured stitch” gives this cowl its beautiful texture.
Yarn: Lion Brand Go For Faux Yarn and Lion Brand Heartland Yarn
Knitting Needles: 9mm (US Size 13) and 5mm (US Size 8), 16” straight or circular knitting needles

Pattern via All About Ami

 

Ripples and Ridges Cowl

Ripples and ridges give this cowl an amazing texture that looks amazing whether you make it with a worsted weight yarn or a chunky yarn. Basic techniques like knit and purl stitches and k2tog are used to create the ripples and ridges.
Yarn: Scheepjes Stonewashed XL Worsted Weight Yarn
Knitting Needles: US Size 7 (4.5mm) straight or circular needles

Pattern via Mon Petit Violon on Ravelry

Ripples and Ridges Cowl

 

Gentle Ribs Cowl

A great project for new knitters, this easy cowl pattern uses knit and purl stitches to create a gentle rib pattern. This simple cowl is soft and warm and is made with a soft super bulky yarn, and with larger needles it will only take you an afternoon to knit!
Yarn: Manos Franca Yarn Super Bulky Yarn (Amazon)
Knitting Needles: US Size 11 (8mm), 24” circular needles

Pattern via Noble Knits

Gentle Ribs Cowl

 

“Two Ways” Giant Knit Ribbed Cowl

This giant knit cowl can be worn or made in two different ways, both of which look trendy yet comfortable. Jumping on the “big knit” trend, this cowl is an easy beginner knit pattern that uses the stockinette stitch to create a wide rib. It has amazing texture and drape, and is super warm and cozy when made with a super bulky yarn.
Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA
Knitting Needles: US Size 13 (9mm) needles

Pattern via Mama in a Stitch

Two Ways- Giant Knit Ribbed Cowl

 

Video Tutorials

If you want a more detailed step-by-step tutorial of how to make an easy knit cowl, check out these tutorial videos below.

Easy Lace Knit Cowl

This easy lace cowl is a great first project that will ease you into lace knitting. The stitch pattern is a four row repeat, with one row being the lace row. The video tutorial takes you through the process to help you get started, and is available in both right and left handed knitters.
Yarn: Lion Brand Summer Kiss Worsted Weight Yarn / Lang Yarns Aura
Knitting Needles: US Size 7 (4.5mm), 24” or longer circular needles

Pattern via B Hooked Crochet

Easy Lace Knitting Cowl Pattern

 

Afternoon Stroll Cowl Pattern

A delicate lace pattern gives this easy lace cowl a simple, feminine look that is perfect for breezy days. Using a simple stitch pattern and one skein of yarn, you’ll be able to make this lightweight, lacy cowl. The video tutorial will walk you through from the long tail cast on to the stitch pattern so you can recreate this lovely lacy cowl.
Yarn: Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca
Knitting Needles: US Size 7 (4.5mm), 24” circular needles

Pattern via Yay for Yarn

Afternoon Stroll Cowl

 

Cascades Cowl Pattern

New knitters who want to make an easy knit cowl pattern will want to check this tutorial out. All you have to know is how to cast on, knit and purl, and the rest of the techniques you will need are taught in the video.
Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek / Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice
Knitting Needles: US 8 (5mm), 16” or 24” circular needles

Pattern via The Blue Mouse Knits

Cascades Cowl

 

Super Simple Rib and Lace Scarf Cowl Pattern

Ready to expand your knitting skills? All you need is one ball of yarn to create this colorful knit cowl project. This free knitting cowl pattern features an easy-to-learn lace pattern that is separated with ribbing. You can make it into a scarf or a cowl, depending on your preference.
Yarn: Colorscape Yarn by Red Heart / Lion Brand Ice Cream Roving
Knitting Needles: US Size 10 (6mm) knitting needles

Pattern via Marly Bird

Super Simple Rib and Lace Scarf Cowl

As the weather turns, and the days start getting shorter and colder, you will want to start stocking up on warm layering pieces. A knit cowl is a great addition to your cold weather wardrobe. They are versatile accessories that you can use as simple neck warmers, wrapped around twice like infinity scarves, or even pulled up over your head like a hood. 

Cowls are quick knits, and are also a great way of learning new knitting techniques, and working with new patterns for knitters of all skill levels. Knit a lightweight, lace cowl for breezy afternoon walks, or a chunky cowl for cold winter nights. Whichever knit cowl pattern you choose, you will have a stylish and sensible addition to your cold weather wardrobe.

Easy Knitting Cowl Patterns Collage

Wrapping Up

If you are looking for a crochet tutorial, check out my post How to Double Crochet Stitch tutorial. Or perhaps a blanket pattern project to start? Visit my Easy Weekend Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern post.

One more thing that I wanted to mention before I go. As you know, making blankets is perfect for beginners who want to practice a variety of stitches and techniques. If you’re still learning to crochet or looking to take your skills to the next level, I highly recommend these great foundational videos to help you develop your skills quickly and easily, visit the Crochet Fundamentals professionally filmed classes.

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