5 Free Fabulous Cowls That Could Make You Swear Off Scarves

These free cowl knitting patterns reformed my cowl-disliking ways… they could have you swearing off scarf knitting for good

Once upon a time, I did not care for cowls.

I thought they looked a little strange, like a turtleneck sweater missing its sweater. Or a tied-together scarf.

But I kept seeing knitting patterns for cowls everywhere. Websites. Newsletters. Catalogs. After a while, I wondered if I was missing something. Why were cowls so popular? Was it time for me to give them another chance?

To my surprise, I realized that a lot of cowls are actually quite cute. Not only that, but they also have a lot of practicality built into them. In fact, I’ve come to realize cowls have a few advantages over scarves.

They don’t accidentally slip off. It’s impossible to accidentally step on them and come close to strangling yourself. These days, the only real disadvantage I see with the cowl (and this is only an issue with shorter cowls) is it’s a little harder to remove without messing up your hair.

So if you want to make a short cowl for someone, you’d better make it really cute. Because it may not come off when the coat is off!

In this spirit, I offer you a selection of charming, warm, and practical free cowl patterns.

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Free Irresistible Cowl Knitting Patterns

free cowl knitting patterns
Eleanor Cowl
Photo: Audrey Knight

Flurries Cowl: I love the stylish stitch pattern and the button! I also love that it can be slipped up over the head to be worn as a hood.

Bandana Cowl: Erin at the Purl Bee calls this “casually glamorous,” and I must agree. I love the bandana shape!

Eleanor: Isn’t this little cowl darling? It’s so petite that it can easily be kept on after the coat is removed, and stylish enough that it can add to an outfit’s sophistication rather than detract from it!

free cowl patterns
Play It Cool Neckwarmer
Photo: Lion Brand

Incognito: This cowl is fun! Love the idea of hiding from the cold and the world, courtesy of a “mustache.”

Play It Cool Neckwarmer: Here’s a no-frills cowl that knits up quickly and is full of warmth and charm.

My apologies to humble cowl knitting patterns; it turns out that they are more versatile and charming than I had ever dreamed! I may well be knitting a lot more cowls than scarves from now on.

Eager for more free cowl patterns? Check out my Cowl Convert collections: Infinity Scarves, Chunky Cowls, and Skinny Cowls!