Sideways Garter Cowl (pattern)

Sideways Garter Cowl by spacekitty/schmelinorSuper simple garter stitch cowl is knit flat and seamed end to end. Makes an excellent war warmer, neck cozy, convertible hat, and fashion statement!

Sideways Garter Cowl

Once upon a time, a special person bought me a very small, very expensive skein of yarn. It was natural brown qiviut, the under-fur of a musk ox. I tried to make this tiny, expensive amount of yarn into several different things, but none of them were special enough. I wanted to be able to feel the softness of the yarn, to admire the color, to show the fuzz. Finally, I realized garter stitch was my best friend. But I only had 50 grams. So I knit 50 grams worth of garter stitch, sewed it end to end, and I have since worn it in all weather, out running, around my head and around my neck, at Ultimate Frisbee games, all the time. It’s stylish and simple and people always ask where I got it. So. Achievement unlocked.

Yarn: 50 grams of any lace weight (doubled) or fingering weight yarn. You can also do this cowl, slightly modified for size, in DK, worsted, or bulky. Frankly, you can do this cowl any way you like. You can do it with your eyes closed. You can do it upside-down. But it looks super stylish when you’re done, so you might as well.

I used Folknits Regular Qiviuq Laceweight, Malabrigo Lace, and Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace for the various cowls I’ve knit. The Qiviuq I used as one strand, the others I doubled. One skein (50g) will do, as you’re knitting as long as you please.

Needles: US 4 for the laceweight, US 5 for fingering weight, larger needles for thicker yarn.

Gauge is not important.

Cast on 60 stitches.
Knit every row for 20 inches, or until the cowl, folded, will wrap comfortable around your neck/head/lower face.
Pick up all stitches along the cast on edge, hopefully equal to the number of live stitches on the needle.  Sew live stitches to picked up stitches to make the cowl round.  This method works much better than a) binding off the live stitches and THEN sewing them or b) using a three needle bind off, because it lets the cowl stay stretchy.

Instant fashion icon. Knit them for all your friends.



  1. Soooo happy to have found this pattern online again as I discovered recently that the 2 copies I printed July 11, 2013 had key words on the right side of each page cut off! I haven’t made it yet as I was missing the words and I haven’t taken up the needles for a while so imagine my horror! However, printing “one page” is resulting in printing 20 pages I think! I will not be able to make it in qiviut (lucky you! I don’t even think I’ve ever seen or touched it!) but like every knitter/crocheter (I do both), there is always a “special” yarn in the stash. Thanks for sharing the pattern with all of us. PS – like that you give the option to make it in many yarn wts – allows us to check out our stashes.

  2. Truly, this is the pattern I need. Nicely universal directions and it looks wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to share it!

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