I've been crocheting since I was a little girl. Since then I've designed for magazines and offer free patterns at my site.
You'll find 24 or more free patterns for cowls. I started crocheting scarves for gifts and when I found so many patterns for cowls, I decided I'd start crocheting them instead. They are a good way to keep the back of your neck warm and be fashionable at the same time. Because most are just a simple tube, they are easy to make. Most use a skein of yarn or less.
They are considered quite fashionable this year. Wear them over crew neck sweater and dresses that need to be dressed up a bit. They can be worn under or over your coat for a little extra warmth and to keep the winter cold out . Many of these are like the Infinity scarves.
Most are made with a loose stitch to provide better drape. Be prepared to use N and M hooks on many of the projects. Don't stitch tightly. Most of the patterns use super bulky yarn, but you will find them created with worsted weight too.
Interestingly, cowls were first worn by monks. It meant a closed garment, but now refers to the hood on the monks gown. They were warmer than wearing a more open gown. Now we use them attached to a garment or alone.
Just click on the blue titles to be taken to the pages with the pattern and photos.
A good tip is to use only stretchy yarn, so they will go over your head. If you'd like to design your own, many of these pattern state the measurements. It is simple to change the stitch pattern or you just use these patterns.
30 Minute is offered by the Nicupp Crochet blog. The pattern is offered in two different sizes. One will fit a child and the other a lady. I think I'll crochet one of these if it only takes only a half an hour. You can't beat that.
Accidental - Crochet in Color Blog offers this free pattern that uses chunky yarn and a large hook giving it a nice drape. It fits well around the neck and would work well to keep out the cold winter air. You'll need chunky yarn and a size M or N hook. The designer says to crochet loosely. This project shouldn't take long to crochet.
Use this url to find the pattern http://hectanoogapatterns.blogspot.ca/p/yarn-and-hooks.html
Autumn Sunset Infinity - The Moogly Blog offers this free pattern that is a little different than a typical cowl. It hangs much lower, but makes a nice scarf wrap. It has beautiful stitches used. Worsted weight yarn and a size J hook were used.
Broomstick Lace - Crochet'n Crafts offers this pretty scarf. The stitches created with broomstick lace are just beautiful. The cowl has a turtleneck like collar that covers the shoulders. Patons Canadia The New Generation yarn was used and a size H hook. You will also need a 20 mm knitting needle. The pattern is offered in 3 sizes - Small, Medium and Large.
Calm Cowl - This pretty pattern is a free Ravelry download. It can be worn as a scarf or wrapped as a cowl. The project is crocheted with sports weight yarn and a size I hook. It has a solid design with openwork worked in to add an extra touch.
Convertible - Favecrafts offers this free pattern that can be used as a scarf or a hood. It was created to be easy enough for beginners. The project was created with Plymouth Alpaca Grande yarn and a size N hook. The project is crocheted in the round.
Cross-Over Long DC - The pattern has almost a knit look. A matching hat, fingerless gloves, cell phone holder and purse patterns are also available at no cost. You'll need worsted weight yarn and a size 4.5mm hook.
Crossed - Bulky weight yarn and a size K hook were used in this free project from Crochet Spot. She states that you will need to know how to do front crossed stitches to be able to complete the project.
Simple Cowl - Created by SimplyHookedCrochet at Youtube
Diamond - The Moogly Blog offers this pattern and it is nice. She states that it only consist of 18 rows and it can be finished in a couple of hours. I believe this pattern is written with British terms, because she starts with a foundation single crochet. Worsted weight yarn is used.
Jay's Boutique Blog - Uses worsted weight yarn and a size I or J hook. This pattern is rated Easy. It is worked as a straight piece and then sewn together. It uses simple stitches.The designer said that it was so easy to create that she almost didn't write the pattern.
Lime Green - This pattern offered by Crochet in Color is quick and easy. It would be a good beginner project. Super chunky weight yarn was used to create the project and a size N hook. She used Lion Brand Hometown yarn. The slip stitch and half double crochet are the only stitches used.
Loose - Crochet Spot offers this pattern for a cowl with an open stitch. They used a yarn rated a 4 or medium weight which usually refers to a 4-ply worsted weight yarn and a size N hook. This gives it an airy look. The pattern is quick to crochet.
Meringue - This pattern by Fiber Flux is a quick and easy project. It is crocheted with an easy V-stitch and a N hook. It would make a nice project to make in an evening.
Misty Morning Cowl - The ruffly lace cowl is offered by About.com. It only takes one skein of yarn and it is suggested that you use a luxury yarn that you might have purchased, but aren't sure what to do with. The cowl shown was crocheted with silk yarn in a light worsted weight. Also suggested is using a light weight mercerized cotton to keep the shiny look of the cowl. A size I hook was used.
Having Trouble Finding the Right Yarn? You Can Find a Variety at Amazon
Short Cowl with Infinity Loop - This easy pattern is created with super bulky weight yarn. It is offered by JJ Crochet. The project is created with herringbone half double crochet stitches, but she says if that scares you to just use half double crochet and chain stitches. She used Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn, but you can use any other super bulky weight and a size P crochet hook.
Simple Speedy Cowl - This easy pattern furnished by Crochet Uncut, uses just the chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. It should be easy to tackle for even the beginning crocheter. She used 1 ball of Plassard Pop 4. It is a 100% wool yarn and a size K hook.
Summer Lace - This design is unique, because you can wear it four different ways. Red Heart Baby Sheen yarn was used in the project. This is a sports weight yarn. You'll also need a size F hook.
This pattern is great for those that live in warmer climates. You can wear it when the days are a little cooler. It would be great for summer weather here in the north.
Twisted Shell Cowl - This design isn't just pretty, but is warm at the same time. She used Impeccable Cream yarn in the pattern and a size H hook. You will enjoy crocheting this quick and easy project. The shells are easy to make.
Ups and Downs - This is a longer cowl that is both fashionable and warm. You'll need a size I hook and worsted weight yarn. The designer used Crystal Palace Merino yarn for the pattern. You'll also need stitch markers for this project and a tapestry needle. I don't recommend this project for beginners.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on January 19, 2013:
Rhonda, Thanks and I'm happy you found it useful.
Rhonda Humphreys from Michigan on January 18, 2013:
Thank you so much for all of the free links. I love to find new patterns t crochet. Voted up and useful
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 05, 2012:
teaches12345, Thanks for viewing. These are considered high fashion right now and yes they'd look great on your jacket.
Dianna Mendez on December 05, 2012:
I think this would look so nice on my winter jacket. Thanks for the sharing of ideas on this one.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 05, 2012:
Angela, I'm happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.
Angela Blair from Central Texas on December 04, 2012:
I'm a "winter" crochet person -- never touch it in the summer but enjoy winter hand work. Unfortunately, I can't follow directions at all -- usually just look at the pics and do the best I can and usually come pretty close -- same way with knitting. Enjoyed this Hub immensely -- great work and super info. Best/Sis
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on December 04, 2012:
Wonder wool, Thanks for viewing the patterns. I'm going to try to get some of these crocheted for Christmas presents. I hope I have enough time left.
Priyanka Estambale from United States on December 04, 2012: