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Free Knitting Pattern: Easy "This Way Up" Chevron Cowl

An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.

This Way Up! cowl pattern

This Way Up! cowl pattern

This colorful knitted cowl is a cheerful and warm addition to any winter wardrobe. This free pattern is pretty easy and a great way to use up your stash or leftover yarn. I've made all my chevron stripes the same size, but you can mix them up according to how much of each color you have!

This is a great project to personalize to match your own style. My cowl is super long so I can double it around my neck and have it hang with a bit of a Dr Who vibe, but you can make it shorter if you choose. You can also just use two colors, maybe to represent your favorite school or team, or use as many colors as you want!


Basic Construction

This cowl is knit flat, then the two ends are seamed together to make the cowl (you could also leave it unseamed and wear as a scarf). I started my cowl with a provisional cast on, which I unzipped at the end and joined with my other edge in a three needle bind off. This made a very clean seam that disappears in the garter stitch of the cowl.

If all this sounds scary, don't fear - you can also simply cast on in your favorite method and at the end, seam the two ends together using a basic seam stitch. The garter stitch texture will hide any seaming, and make for a beautiful finished cowl.

Provisional Cast On Tutorial

My Materials

I used a mixture of bulky and worsted weight yarn that I had leftover from other projects. To make up for the difference in the yarns, I held the worsted weight yarn doubled. Below are the yarns I used:

Caron Simply Soft in navy (held double)

Caron Simply Soft in plum heather (held double)

Caron Simply Soft in country blue (held double)

Red Heart Super Saver in tea leaf green

Bernat Super Value in lavender

Bernat Super Value in beige

Other materials:

size 8 needles (circular or straight)

size 8 dpns (for three needle bind off)

tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Scroll to Continue


4 sts per inch, although gauge isn't that important

Finished Size:

about 6 inches wide by 64 inches around

(you can adjust length by adding or deleting chevrons)

Terms and Abbreviations

st = stitch

k = knit stitch

sl 1 = slide 1 stitch knitwise

k2tog = knit 2 sts together (decrease 1 stitch)

RS = right side


This Way Up! Cowl Pattern

To begin:

CO 35 sts using provisional cast on or your favorite method. (After a few rows of knitting - if doing the provisional cast on - I found it easier to move my cast on stitches to two dpns, one holding 17 sts, the other 18 sts. This allows the chevron point to start to form.)

Follow chevron pattern:

R1 (RS): Knit 1st stitch front and back, k 15 sts, sl 1, k2tog, pass slipped st over, k 15 sts, knit last st front and back.

R2: Knit all stitches.

For my cowl, I repeated this pattern 13 times, or for 26 rows, and then changed color (always change color after finishing Row 2).

I made 12 chevron stripes to finish my cowl. I only repeated colors every fourth block and I made sure that my beginning color and ending color were different so that when I seamed my cowl together, I did not have two of the same colors coming together. It may be helpful to plan out your color arrangement ahead of time. This way, you won't end up with any colors too close together at the end.

After knitting my last chevron block, I wove in all my loose ends and joined my first and last block together using the three needle bind off method. However, you can use a simple seaming stitch to join the two ends together, just be sure to work from the underside (WS) of your cowl and use the yarn from your last block for seaming.

underside of the join using three needle bind off method

underside of the join using three needle bind off method

Three Needle Bind Off Tutotrial

This is a really easy and quick knitting project. I think it will be a bright pick-me-up when the weather gets gray, or will make a great gift! I hope you enjoy it :)

© 2013 Donna Herron. No part of this pattern may be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the author/designer. For personal use only. This pattern and materials made from this pattern are not meant for commercial sale.

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Crossroads - A Lightweight Textured Shawl

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This Way Up! Chevron Cowl

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Sweet Cables Baby Blanket


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Donna Herron (author) from USA on July 04, 2013:

Hi torrilynn - I love cowls too and have made a lot of them :) I'm glad you like this pattern. Thanks for your comments and the vote up!!

torrilynn on July 04, 2013:

I find that cowls are really cool and i like how they can be patterned into many different colors. Thanks for the read and for the easy steps. Voted up

Donna Herron (author) from USA on July 04, 2013:

Hi theframjak! You are so sweet! Thanks so much for your kind words and support!!

theframjak from East Coast on July 04, 2013:

purl3 agony, you do such beautiful work. I can't wait to see your next project. Voted up!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on July 04, 2013:

Hi DebeT - You're very welcome :) I hope you enjoy the pattern!!

Debe Tighe from USA on July 04, 2013:

This was super easy for me to do. Thanks for sharing it!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on July 04, 2013:

Hi Jabelufiroz- Thank you! It is very kind of you to stop by and comment. I appreciate it!

Firoz from India on July 04, 2013:

Wonderful craft. Voted up.

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