Knit a Cowl: Beyond Your Basic Scarf

Davina Choy, Yarn Wrangler at Sheep & Stitch

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1 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Knit a Cowl with Seed Stitch


Project Description

Knit Your Own Seed Stitch Cowl

STEP 1: Choose Yarn and Needles

Head to your local yarn or craft store and choose a yarn that you'd like to knit with. Look at the yarn label to find the "Recommended Needle" size. Use this as a guide for choosing your needle size.

My yarn label suggests a needle size between 10-15mm, so I've chosen to use a pair of 10mm circular needles that are 24" long.

If you're knitting a cowl, a circular needle with a length of 24" is ideal. The needle size will depend on your yarn weight.

Keep in mind that a thin yarn will take longer to knit and a thicker yarn will make for a quicker knit. The yarn I'm using is a bulky weight yarn, which is very thick (and quick!)


STEP 2: Choose a Width For Your Cowl

Determine how wide you'd like your cowl to be. You can use a soft tape measure and wrap it around you neck to gauge your ideal circumference. I wanted my cowl to be narrow so that it hugs my neck, so I decided to make it 25" in circumference. Write down your ideal width. We'll call this number B.

STEP 3: Knit a mini gauge swatch

Knit a swatch with your yarn and needles to figure out how many stitches make up 4" of fabric. We'll call this number A.

Scrub ahead to the 17:11 mark of the video to see how to knit and measure your swatch.


STEP 4: Determine the Number of Cast On Stitches 

Now it's time for some math! Not hard math, just some basic middle school math. We'll use the below formula to figure out how many stitches to cast on to get your ideal cowl width.


A = number of stitches that make up 4"

For me, 13 sts = 4"

B = ideal cowl width 

For me, it's 25"

Divide B by 4" (For me, 25 / 4 = 6.25)

Multiply that number by A (For me, 6.25 x 13 = 81.25)

That's your number of cast on stitches!

Round up to get an odd whole number I can't cast on 81.25, so I need to round up or down to a whole number. Seed stitch in the round requires an odd number, so for me, I rounded up to 83.

So now I know that in order to get a cowl with a width of 25" with my particular yarn and neeldes, I need to cast on 83 stitches.


STEP 5: Cast On and Start Knitting

Now that you know how many stitches you need to get your ideal cowl width, cast on and start knitting! 

Share photos of your work in progress in the Project Gallery and let us know what yarn and needles you used along with the number of cast on stitches you chose!

PROMO CODE: If you'd like to knit this cowl with the yarn I've used, TJOCKT Martta the Merino, then head to Sheep & Stitch and use promo code SKILLSHAREKNITS for 15% off your yarn order from now through January 31, 2016.


Knitting I: Learn the Basics with a Simple Scarf

Knitting II: Learn Stitch Widths with a Triangle Scarf

Knitting III: Leran Knitting in the Round with a Slouchy Hat

Knitting IV: Learn Advanced Techniques with a Trendy Headband

Knitting Hats: Beyond the First Four Stitches

Student Projects

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Davina Choy