Free Crochet Pattern: Loose Cowl

By Rachel Choi – 74 Comments
This cowl is meant to not choke you! For some reason whenever I wear something around my neck it feels a little too tight, but finally here is something that isn’t. It’s great for when the weather gets warmer or to add some flare to an outfit. The cowl is made with a big crochet hook to work up fast and use a small amount of yarn. Feel free to adjust the size of the cowl as you see fit! crochet cowl
Skill Level: beginner crochet skill level

Finished Size: 8” (20 cm) tall, 19” (48 cm) around
Note: to adjust size, follow directions within pattern

Medium Weight yarn (approximately 90 yards)
Crochet Hook N (10.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge: not really important, use the instructions in the pattern to adjust the size as needed.

Crochet Pattern: Cowl
Start by chaining 35 or as long as you want your cowl.
Row 1: ch 1, sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 35 sc
Row 2: ch 2, turn, dc in each sc across: 35 dc
Row 3: ch 1, turn, sc in each dc across: 35 sc

Repeat rows 2 – 3, seven more times or until cowl is as tall as you desire.

Slip stitch or sew the shorter sides of the cowl together and finish off. You may also choose to use buttons as a closure instead of sewing ends together.

If you need help with crocheting this cowl, let me know and I would love to help!

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  1. feli says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I have just started crocheting and found your blog.

    This would be an easy project for me to do. We are heading towards winter here in Australia and this would be great!

    Thank you for sharing this pattern.



  2. Roseanna says:

    What a nice simple project! I would suggest that you could join your chain into a ring and avoid stitching it together later.
    I have done it this way before and then wove in bits of interesting leather strips, fabric, and ribbon. Alovely easy gift!

  3. WendiG says:

    This looks great-I hate things tight around my neck too, Rachel, and this can be adapted in so many ways! Thanks

  4. Sheila in UK says:

    Hi Rachel – I take part in a Craft Fair every couple of weeks and I make lots of these cowls. My tip for a difference is when you sew up the two ends, first twist the piece of work. You should find this makes the cowl sit really neatly round your neck. I have also made lots of these in some really fancy yarns, made them a bit smaller and, with the twist, they can be used as a hair band instead. They look really good! At Christmas I must have made about 10 of these for someone and she and her friends all wore them to look festive!

  5. Rachel says:

    The twist is a great idea Sheila! I’ve seen it that way and it looks really pretty.

  6. violeta says:

    Hi Rachel. Gracias por el modelo de “cuello bufanda” que te pedí. Here in Lima we are in auttom time. So, I´m going to knit some of them (de paso, estoy practicando mi inglés). ..Besos…..

  7. Irene says:

    Im trying to print just the instructions for the cowl but the whole page comes out what button for just the pattern Thanks

    • Rachel says:

      hey Irene!

      I haven’t made the printer friendly versions yet, but for now you can always limit your printer options to just print out the first page. Or you can copy and paste the pattern into a word doc so that it only prints out the part you want 🙂

      printer friendly versions are on my fun list of things to do!

  8. Jenny says:

    I just discovered your site and had to comment on this –
    my son has braces and was having trouble putting the tiny rubber bands in. I loaned him one of my tatting/lace hooks so he could put his bands in. He’d attach the rubber band to a hook in the top brace then use the tatting crochet hook to stretch and secure his band to the bottom brace. It worked great!

  9. nutmeag says:

    This is awesome. I’m wanting to make one of these that’s longer and wider to go around my shoulders, shawl style. Thanks so much!

  10. Judith says:

    Thanks for this pattern. It is just what I am looking for, though I want to make it a continuous loop and wide enough to go around my shoulders and possibly tall enough to be used as a hood also. I love how easy your pattern is. Thanks!

  11. margie says:

    could you tell me how far to sew the back of the cow up or show me how .
    thank you i love this pattern it is so easy

  12. Allyson says:

    R u supposed to ch. 3 before round 2 and ch. 1 before round 3 or do u just DC and SC in the sts.

  13. mmcrochet says:

    This is one of my favorite things I’ve made. Thank you! I’ve posted my pictures and notes on as mmcrochet.

  14. sandra says:

    R u supposed to ch. 3 before round 2 and ch. 1 before round 3 or do u just DC and SC in the sts.

    Does she mean before each row, or round?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Sandra, you will ch 2 at the beginning of row 2, and ch 1 at the beginning of row 3. This will make the beginning of the row the same height as the rest of the row.

  15. Lindsey says:

    Are the directions correct at the top now? I see there were some comments posted about ch2 at the start of row 2 and ch1 at the start of row 3… is that in addition to what is posted above?

    Thanks- going to try to make one today!

  16. Shawn says:

    Thanks, for the well written instructions.My daughter has been asking me to make one of these scarfs for a couple of months now.

  17. Emily says:


    I really like the design of this cowl – do you think it would work as a scarf? I want to make a scarf that is more modern (I’m 21) that isn’t just like plain straight and kind or rolls over like this does. I only have a H hook right now, so I’m afraid I’ll lose that look if I use the smaller hook.

    I would love to hear your thoughts, or if you think I should, I can go get a different hook if it ever stops snowing!


    • Rachel says:

      Hi Emily, sure you can make it a scarf! The drape look is made by the extra large hook though, so if you use a H hook the stitches will be much tighter and you won’t get the same drape. I would recommend purchasing the larger hook when you can. You can also try a different pattern such as the Lover’s Knot Loop Scarf that does use a H hook and has a nice drape look.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    are you allowed to sell any of the projects you make?? i think this is such a awesome pattern and would sell really well at the craft fair! 🙂 lat me know if it is okay! 🙂

  19. Megan says:

    Hi Rachel 🙂

    I’ve been trying to make this, only I’ve been using a thinner yarn and smaller hook. (I ordered the yarn thinking I could make a patchwork blanket, but I didn’t realize how thin it was until it came in, and I stumbled on your little pattern here and decided to make this instead. :)) This is supposed to be a rectangle sewn together right? Because for some reason, if you look at the top of my project, it isn’t straight, it’s kind of hilly, lol. Does this mean my stitches are too tight? Is there a way to even it out without pulling it apart?

    Thanks! Have a great day!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Megan, yes it should be rectangular. The “hilly-ness” is probably from being either too tight or too loose. Here’s a post with some tips that might help you out: 7 Tips to Establish Consistency in Crochet
      Unfortunately I don’t think you can fix it without taking it apart and redo that part. You can also ways leave it the way it is if you’d like.

  20. Matthew says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I have one skein of cashmere and was looking for something nice to make with for my mom. This is perfect! Its beautiful and the crochet is open so it won’t be too warm.
    Thank You.

  21. Bethintx1 says:

    This is perfect for my Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Paint yarn. I got it for my birthday and there is only 110 yards. I found that 110 yards doesn’t go very far. The simple stitching in this pattern will also help show-off the beauty in the colors of the hand painted yarn. Thanks for the pattern!

  22. kit says:

    Would vannas choice be okay to use…it says 4 but seems heavier that other 4s……thanks for a great pattern.

  23. kit says:

    Would one skein be okay….sorry again to bother you.

  24. Lauren says:

    I made this using a little less than one skein of Vanna’s Choice and I love it! The pattern is so simple and it works up in a jiffy. I just bought a whole bunch of yarn to make tons of these for family! Thank you for a wonderful yet simple pattern! 🙂

  25. Bobbie says:

    What do you mean by giving it a twist? Sheila said to you back on May 2009 that her “tip for a difference is when you sew up the two ends, first twist the piece of work.” and “You should find this makes the cowl sit really neatly round your neck.”
    I would also like to make it where I could use as a hood; so do I just make it taller? And can I make is a continuous loop; instead of sewing the ends together? And can you still do the twist to lay neatly if you do a continuous loop?
    Hope this has not been too many questions at once. I am wanting to make this for my granddaughter and have not crocheted much over the years and this will be my first crowl.
    Thanks, Bobbie

  26. Bobbie says:

    Oops, my fingers did not walk to well in spelling Cowl.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Bobbie, the “twist” idea is to add a bit more style to the cowl if you want. Before you sew the cowl together, you can twist the entire cowl one time around, and then sew the ends together. That way there will be a twist in the finished cowl. If you are trying to make a hood, yes you can make the cowl longer and also wider if you desire. Yes, you can crochet it in a continuous loop of you want to as well. To do so, join the ends of the rows as you crochet. You can do a twist if you want, even if you crochet in a continuous loop, here’s a tutorial on that: How to Crochet a Mobius

  27. ANGELA says:


    Do you request any special yarn to make this loose cowl. I have tried Loops & Thread impeccable yarn 4 medium but had to increase the chain.

    Please advise.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Angela, you can use any yarn you like that is the medium weight yarn. There’s nothing wrong with having to increase the chain. You can make it as long or as short as needed to fit your liking.

  28. Colleen says:


    I am so excited to make this! I am going to use peaches and cream cotton yarn. I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂 Thank you for the pattern!

  29. Barb says:

    Hi, What kind of yarn did you use and what is the name of the color? Thanks

  30. Flo says:

    I can see this being made as a neck warmer, a scarf, and even a shoulder warmer for those long winter evenings. Thank you for this pattern and all the tips for crocheting different items.

  31. Karla says:

    Thank you so much for posting this ! I am very new to crocheting and am loving it so much, It was great to begin this today and finish it today !!! And the best part is it looks so great! Thanks for sharing something for those of us who are just getting our feet wet !!!!

  32. Carol says:

    These are the neatest things, I have made about 20 of them so far, short ones, medium length, long, and extra long and it is wrapped around twice….I use joining the chain to form a circle method, and out of various types of yarn…..I have neck and back problens, and having it on provides a constant warmth to my neck. I read where someone weaves leather or ribbon through it…that is a great idea, and will be trying that as well…..Thanks for all the great info.

  33. kit says:

    Thanks so much for the lovely cowl pattern. I made a few of them…..

  34. Wendy says:

    Thank you for posting this great cowl. It has so many possibilities . I’ve made this using super bulky and bulky yarns. Turned out great. This pattern is basic and easy to follow and can be translated to any yarn. Thanks again.

  35. Mary says:

    Rachel love this pattern please tell me can I add extra stitches to make it larger since I don’t have a size n hook and can you tell me how do I close it off with buttons or maybe a flower thank you kindly .

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Mary, you can start by chaining 35 or crochet a chain as long as you want your cowl. You’ll probably end up with a chain longer than 35 chains since you are using a smaller hook. After you’re done crocheting, you can sew on the button onto one side of the cowl and use the spaces that are naturally between the stitches on the opposite end of the cowl as button holes. Have fun with it!

  36. Mary says:

    what is the correct kind of yarn to make a cowl with does regular 3 ply yarn work well or not thank you

  37. Diana says:

    Hi, I just finished the instructions and ended up with a choker scarf! I’m not a large person, so that’s not the problem. However, I looked at my hook and it says “N”, but it also says 9.00mm, not 10.00mm. Which letter hook is a 10.00mm?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Diana, a 10mm hook can be marked as either N or P depending on the company that makes it. That’s what I don’t like about the letters on the hooks, they aren’t always consistent. It’s best to always go by the mm measurement before looking at the letter. If you don’t have a bigger hook, you can always add more chains at the beginning of the pattern to adjust the size of your cowl. I’d recommend wrapping it around your neck to make sure it fits before you go further.

  38. Carly says:

    Would I follow the same pattern if I were to join the chain with a slip stitch? For rows 2 and 3 would I still chain and then turn?

  39. Jamie says:

    Hi Rachel!

    Thank you for sharing this. I seen a patient of mine come in with something similar to the cowl & it was adorable. I am super excited to make this!

    In your instructions you have posted, what do the accornmys: “sc” / “ch” / “dc” mean?

    Thank you 🙂

  40. Tina says:

    Wow! Love this. Very quick and easy. Had some spare bulky yarn and it made up great. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Maggie Colletti says:

    It looks from the photo like you might have used multiple strands… if so, how many?

  42. barbara weiss says:

    Rachel you say to use medium 4 yarn any brand you recommend and most medium yarns say to use J crochet needle is N good

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Barbara! It is unusual to use a N hook with medium weight yarn, any brand that you like. But this pattern uses it to create an open and airy stitch. Try it out and see how it gives a different look 🙂

  43. Lynne says:

    I love this and want to make a couple for Xmas gifts. Can you tell me if the latter is in US terms as I am in the UK and will need to convert if it is, many thanks

  44. Beverley says:

    I am confused by the directions that say to chain 35 or as long as you want your cowl. It says at the tope the cowl will be 8″ tall and 19″ around.

    When I do my chain 35, it get the 8 “, is that the height of cowl? if so then my yarn color/pattern will go up and down, not around the scarf. 35 chains will never make 19″ around. So if it is 8″ tall, then is the height adjusted by number of rows you do around, not the original 35 chains. It says repeat rows until cowl is as tall as you desire, so it needs to be about 80 chains to even be 19″ long then, why do you say start with 35 chains – which is 8”????

    Something is wrong here in how this is written. I can adjust I guess, but seems weird.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Beverley!
      The 35 chains will go around the neck (the 19″ measurement). This pattern is using a letter N (10 mm) hook, so your stitches should be really big. If you are using a smaller hook then your stitches will be smaller and you would need to adjust the pattern to compensate.

  45. Beverley says:

    On row 2 do you chain 2 or 3? For DC I have always ch 3 to begin row (counts as 1st dc). Then do you skip the first stitch or go into the 1st stitch? Mt stitch count is coming out wrong. Please email response if you can.

  46. Mel says:

    I just made this and it sure didn’t turn out like shown. I can’t even get it over my head 🙁 Not sure what I did wrong. I used the 10 mm hook with medium weight yarn and I chained 45, hoping to make it bigger.

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