In an attempt to incorporate different coloured yarns without the hassle of switching colours on and off for each row I designed the Braided Cowl. I love the look of knit and crochet accessories with multiple colours but after a tedious experience crocheting a striped sweater (pictured in my Chroma Yarn post), I figured there’s an easier way to achieve the same effect.
I also recently saw a beautiful merino wool knit shirt that had a beautiful pastel palette by Good Night Day in their pre-fall 2014 look book that inspired this design. The bright colours and softer look makes it a nice piece to transition from summer to fall.
To make incorporating colours even easier, I used leftover Knit Picks’ Chroma Worsted yarn that gradually changes colour so that I only needed two types of yarn for the project, one for the cowl and one for the braids. The colours in the Chroma yarn provided enough variance for the braids to give it a multicoloured look. I also like the pastel palette of the colour-changing yarn that keeps the braids all within the same colour family. Michael’s and Wal-Mart have similar yarns that are fairly inexpensive that can be used for this project or you can use any other yarn you have left in your stash.
The braids can be switched out to change the look of the cowl so the project is versatile. The one pictured is made to have a more muted look. You may choose to go with bolder yarns for the braids or a bolder colour for the cowl. I especially like the Chroma Buttermint yarn pictured directly above as the colours change quickly in the ball so that each braid turned out different from the last. I did use a bit of the darker purple and blue chroma yarn that I ended up having to unravel slightly as I found certain sections to be too dark for the pastel look I was trying to achieve. Before threading the braids through the cowl, lie them across the cowl to see which order works best and to see if the colours are going to work well together.
There’s many ways to tie the cowl closed using the braids. The cowl pictured is closed using two braids in parallel rows tied together to create a bow for a total of five bows. I was trying to get a balanced look, but you might want to experiment tying all of the braids together in one giant bow, or tying braids using one strand each for 10 bows. Keep in mind this will affect how the cowl lies around your neck. I kept the bows tied loosely but the braids can also be cinched together to create a different look before tying the bows.
The bows give the piece a nice pop of colour and compliment the subtle colours of the braids threaded through the cowl. This project is easy to make, great for beginner crocheters and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a warm and functional accessory. Perhaps mittens with a braid along the cuff would be a nice add on to this piece.
The pattern is available for free below. Enjoy!
- 5.5mm hook for the cowl
- Approximately 2 balls of Knit Picks’ Brava Worsted yarn (or similar yarn) for the cowl
- 3.5 mm hook for the braids (depending on the type of yarn you choose to use)
- Worsted yarn of your choice for the braids (a colour-changing/Chroma works well)
To start: Chain 80. Double crochet in the second chain from the hook and in each stitch across.
Row 1: Chain 1. Single crochet in the closest chain from the hook and in each stitch across.
Row 2: *Chain 2. Skip 1 and single crochet in the next stitch. Repeat from *, ending with a single crochet.
Row 3: Chain 1. *Single crochet in the chain from the row below, then single crochet in the single crochet stitch from the row below. Repeat from * until the end of the row.
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
Row 5: Repeat Row 3.
Repeat all of the above instructions, minus the starting chain, four more times. To finish off the cowl, single crochet a border around the scarf to even out the edges. Block if necessary before adding the braids.
Chain 200. Turn, slip-stitch in the top of each chain across to the end. Tie off. Repeat 10 times, one braid for each section of chain spaces in the cowl.
Thread each braid through the cowl where spaces were created in Rows 2 and 2 of the pattern. Make sure that the ends of the braids come up over the ends of the scarf so that the bow, when tied, will rest on top of the cowl rather than underneath. Make sure that the braids are threaded evenly, with the same length remaining on each end of the cowl to tie an even bow. Lay the cowl out on a table, ensuring that the braids aren’t bunching anywhere, then group together the braids in twos, and tie together in loose bows, closing the cowl.