Knitted Cowl Tutorial

28 November 2010

Knitted Cowl Scarf in Moss Stitch

Random fact, this post where I explain how to knit a circle scarf is the my most popular and searched for item on this blog.  I do worry slightly that there are numerous disappointed knitters when they see that I don't write about knitting too often but despite my wandering eye, this craft will always have a special place in my heart. I am so obsessed that my first thought upon hearing the Royal Wedding date was 'Oh dear, that's literally weeks before our graduate show, I hope the University doesn't close....'  I can imagine non-knitters euphoric about the nuptials and me, slightly delirious with broken fingernails and bits of yarn tied around my leg.  I even did the unspeakable and exclaimed during Harry Potter 7 about the fairisle and cable jumpers that Hermione managed to cram into that beaded bag for herself and the boys, sending her character up even higher in my estimation.  Anyway back to the point at hand, I've decided to do a follow up knitting post as this got such a great response last year and to introduce you to my new knitted cowl.

close up moss stitch

Knitted bobbles
The bobbles that got away

It wasn't always going to be this way.  I did experiment with knitting bobbles and I was envisioning a huge bobbled scarf to make me look like some kind of sculpture, but it was just taking too long to make.  I hope to try this technique again at some point or at least have a really long train journey (perhaps to Scotland) where I can attempt this properly.  In the meantime I will gift this swatch to my little sister, as she is always fascinated by my knitted cast-offs.
Moss Stitch Cowl Circle scarf tutorial

More knitting advice here, so you don't even need to follow my brief instructions.  You could just keep knitting every row and see what you end up with...well garter stitch.  Again I bought my yarn here, but if you have a knitting shop, John Lewis or even a knit-friendly charity shop store near you, it's worth having a gander.  If you really are stuck or confused by my instructions, comment or even e-mail me.

Normally I like huge scarves but after knitting solidly for a few train journeys and having more important knit-related work to do, I decided to cast it off and leave it as a cowl.  Although it's pretty thick, I like to leave no scrap of neck uncovered in the winter so I might wear a contrast jersey scarf underneath for maximum warmth.  I think if I had cast on more stitches, it would've been a lot thicker but I'm still happy with the shape and will bear this in mind for next time.  Also, when worn with my leather jacket, I can squint in the mirror and pretend it's the expensive Acne number.
knitted moss stitch cowl
See I can pull faces too...

Did anyone make the scarf from last year?  I'd be interested to see how my instructions served you and whether you try this again this year.  Maybe you've created something completely different, yet equally warm like Pinkbow's crochet number here.  Let me know in the comments!

Any Trent students reading this?  Say hello if you see me!

Thanks for all the comments on the previous post, most comments ever!  Happy days!

Update: I've posted an update and video for 2015. come and take a look!


  1. this post really made me smile, you're so witty! i miss knitting :(
    are you coming to mine, lucy and carrie's xmas do? x

  2. Although the knitting part makes no sense to me (might have to try and remedy that soon!) the actual cowl is lovely. I really want one now.


  3. i love the ring!
    & the scarf is adorable - it looks so warm and cosy :)

  4. I really do wish I could get the hang of knitting.

  5. Looks great!

    I might try the moss stitch for my next set of leg warmers :D So far I've kept it all dreadfully simple, I am a knitting greenhorn.

    Those bobbles look amazing, I've always wondered how those are done. :)

  6. This looks so warm and perfect for winter!

    I am a total knitting failure though I'm afraid! When I was young my grandma tried to teach me but I completely failed because I was left handed and really uncoordinated on top of that and just couldn't work out how to reverse the stitching so I could do it 'backwards' to a right handed person.

    I did eventually learn to knit aged about 17 but was so slow and pathetic I managed one square for a blanket, which wasn't all that square anyway, and gave up!

  7. Aaah such a good tutorial - really hope I get a few days over the hols to try this one!!


  8. i forget which blogger it was, but she knitted those crazy bottoms i posted a while back. and im so jealous! i need to learn how to knit asap!!! ill probably get a silly start kit and never follow through with actually making anything :x


  9. haha owww can't you just give us them all for xmas??!

    I remember when I was little i really wanted to knit so my great nan sat me down to teach me. I could't hold the needle and she said 'your lefthanded it's impossible' and packed it all away. WAAAH! xx

  10. I knit too, but mine don't look half as good at this. I love your blog! Following x

  11. tu est magnifique, et j'adore ton blog

  12. Gorgeus!!!!!Beautiful scarf!!

  13. Yeah ! I love what you did, it's lovely and warm ! Your horse necklace is stunning !!!

  14. the cowl oh so pretty! plus i love how you have kept your outfit simple and monochrome. i adore the jumper, is it topshop?

    y'know, i've only ever knitted once. a good few years ago when there was a knitting magazine out, the first issue was only a pound with knitting needles and wool. i ended up knitting a scarf for one of my teddy bears, hehe. i'd love to try knitting again, i just don't think i'd have the patience! i'm so useless at finishing stuff...


  15. oooo you clever bee!!

    This looks amazinggg :)

    Char x

  16. this is all rather gobbeldy gook to me at the moment but I will deinitely come back to this when I learn to knit, it's lovely!

  17. Yes yes to more knitting posts!

    I love your cowl and I'm going to convince little sis to knit me one...a lovely bright red one! I don't understand those diagrams but they're probably really simple huh?

  18. Its summer down here but the cowl is gorgeous!

    I have been meaning to give knitting a go for so so long

  19. Ooh, that is a very nice tutorial indeed. The end product looks great, I must say! ;) Love that necklace too, very sweet. x

  20. This is pretty much amazing Kristabel, one day, when I finally start knitting ( oh believe me, it's in my top 20 things to learn/do) I will come back to this tutorial and do it!! And it would look so cool with little balls all over! But one way or another- it's super useful in *this* weather!

  21. you make me feel so lazy! I've been planning to learn how to use my sewing machine or start to knit for AGES but I keep putting it off! ah, uni leaves me no time for hobbies :(

    the snood looks great!

  22. Just stumbled upon your blog. I love your header and you have such strong looks in your outfits posts!
    :) x

  23. Ah!
    I've just finished knitting a massive moss stitch jacket on size 8 needles. I thought it would be super quick, especially as it was my own design, but i was wrong. Very Very wrong! a 3am finish on it last weekend meant i just got it finished and washed ready for pre collection! xx

  24. Ooh your circle scarves are so pretty- I found your posts through Google and decided to learn how to knit and make me own. Just finished it- but I ended up just doing plain garter stitch to start. I bought some chunkier wool and now plan on doing a seed stitch cowl like this one. Thanks for the how to!