Traveller’s Cowl Pattern

I designed the Traveller’s Cowl to coordinate with the Traveller’s Hat pattern by Sue Jackson.  This advanced beginner project is quick, easy, and turns out great. It works well with stripes, as shown here, or would be equally nice in a single color of yarn, either solid or verigated. I used Madison, an aran weight yarn by Miss Babs, although any medium weight yarn would work.  

Traveller’s Cowl
Traveller’s Hat and Cowl


The following is the pattern for the Traveler’s Cowl, or you can download a free PDF below:


  • Aran or worsted weight yarn, approximately 150 yards; to make the stripes, get 75 yards of each color. 
  • US Size 3 and Size 6 needles (you could just use size 6); I used 16” circular needles, or you could use magic loop
  • A straight needle in a much larger size (I used size 10)
  • A crochet hook (I used size G)
  • Some smooth scrap yarn
  • A stitch marker 

Gauge and Finished Measurements: 

My gauge in the patten (row of K1, P1, row of knit) is 18.5 stitches in 4”.  Gauge doesn’t have to be exact.  

The cowl is designed to be worn by an adult.  My finished project in 6.75” tall and 10” in diameter (not circumference.) 


These instructions start with the circular tubular cast on for 1×1 rib.  You can substitute a different cast on and 2 rows of 1×1 rib if you prefer, then pick up the pattern at row 5 below.  An instructional video for how to do this beautiful and stretchy cast on is available at

Cast On and First Stripe:

  • Provisional Cast On: Tie a knot at the end of your scrap yarn, then an inch or so above that tie a slip knot and place it over the crochet hook. Chain a few stitches. Using the knitting needle that’s several sizes larger than your project needle and the provisional cast on method, cast on 44 provisional cast on stitches, chain a few stitches, cut the yarn and loosely pull through the last loop.  
  • Set Up Row: Using the color of yarn you want at the top of your cowl (for under your chin) and the size 3 needles, *K1, yarn over,* repeat all the way across. As you transition from the set up row to row 1, you’ll need to join the project into a loop. Remember to make sure your stitches aren’t twisted, do the final yarn over, add the stitch marker, then knit the first stitch of row 1. Make sure you have a total of 88 stitches and yarn overs (44 of each.)  Note I used size 3 needles here to help make the top of the cowl a little smaller.  To make it even all the way up and down, you could use size 6 needles for all the steps (or whatever size needle you need to achieve the approximate gauge.)
  • Row 1: K1, move the yarn to the front and slip one (insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to purl and slide over to the right needle.) In other words, you’ll knit every stitch you knit in the previous row and slip every yarn over (remembering to hold the yarn in the front.) Repeat all the way across.
  • Row 2: Move the yarn to the back and slip one (insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to purl and slide over to the right needle), then move the yarn to the front and purl the next stitch. Repeat all the way across. You will be slipping the stitches you knit in Row 1 and purling the stitches you had previously slipped.
  • Row 3: Repeat Row 1.
  • Row 4: Repeat Row 2. 
  • Remove the Scrap Yarn: Start with the tail end that does not have a knot at the very end. Untie the knot at the first chain and pull gently until you can remove all the scrap yarn.  At the other end, you may need to untie the first slip knot and then pull the yarn completely from your work.  
  • Row 5: Switch to the size 6 needles.  *K1, P1* all the way across.  
  • Row 6: Knit
  • Rows 7-10: Repeatrows 5 and 6 two more times. 
  • Row 11: *K1, P1* all the way across 


  • Row 1: Switch to next color.  Knit around 
  • Row 2: Slip the first stitch to create a joyless join, P1, then *K1, P1* the rest of the row
  • Row 3: Knit
  • Row 4: *K1, P1* across 
  • Rows 5-8: Repeat rows 3 and 4 two more times. 

Completing the Cowl:

  • Knit four more stripes as directed above (for a total of six stripes.) 
  • Bind off using the tubular bind off.  
  • Weave in ends and block if desired. 

Pattern Download

The following is the free pattern you can download:

Video Tutorials

The following videos may be helpful when knitting this cowl:

Want to Knit the Matching Hat?

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