Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Basketweave Knit Cowl

A free knitted cowl pattern perfect for beginners or experienced knitters who just want a quick and easy project.
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
Sometimes if I'm let loose in a shop that sells balls of wool and yarn they call to me and I am forced to buy them and take them home. Then I have to think of something to make with them. 
Most of my purchases are made like this, I fall in love with the yarn then have to find a pattern. I think the other way round is probably easier but the yarn calls when the yarn calls.

I bought 3 balls of this beautiful multicoloured yarn a little while ago.
It's Illusion by Hayfield and comes in a few different colour ways with magical names like Abracadabra, Enchant and Presto. I had to buy 3 because there was an offer and it would be rude not to. I chose 3 different shades, thinking a 100g ball would be enough for a scarf, hat or other winter warmer type thing.
I used 1 ball for a child sized scarf for one of my niece's birthday present. I didn't take photos but it was a simple crochet scarf with big ol' tassels on the ends. Maybe one day I'll make another similar one and take some photos and write up a pattern, on this occasion I just needed it quickly as her birthday was looming!
Ball number 2, Abracadabra, is this lovely black, blue, green and purple mix that I used for this simple cowl in a basketweave knitted pattern. 
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern

Basketweave is such a simple pattern and there are lots of different versions. You only need to be able to knit and purl to do this - easy peasy!
Basketweave knit
My basketweave is 4 knits, followed by 4 purls, kind of like doing a really wide rib, then after 4 rows you switch and the knits sit on top of the purls and visa versa. Now it's kind of like an enormous moss stitch.
What I love about this pattern is:
  • it is completely reversible, which means you can wear the cowl in loads of different ways.
  • it doesn't roll up at the sides like stocking stitch.
  • it doesn't pull in and become narrow like rib.
The finished cowl measures 26cm(10") x 76cm(30") and it joins with 3 buttons.
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
You could easily add additional button holes if you wanted more buttons. I used old buttons from my stash so they are all sightly different, which I kind of like. The buttons are not just a decorative feature though, joining the cowl like this makes it more versatile to wear.
I've found a few different ways to wear it but I'm sure there are loads more.
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
Just pop it over your head as a simple tube.

Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
 With just the top button done up

Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
 Undo the buttons, give it a twist and then do the buttons up again. This is my favourite as the twist makes it hang nicely. Here you can see how the knit is double sided - you can twist it as much as you like and it makes no difference what side is showing.

You could make your cowl longer or shorter if you like, just knit it to the length you want. You could make it wider or narrower too, just cast on more or less stitches at the beginning, as long as it's in multiples of 4 you can please yourself. 
This photo show how this length hangs round my neck, to give you an idea. (I have the 1 twist in it here too) 
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
The yarn I've used is DK, which is by far the most common type in the UK. I believe it's the equivalent to a light worsted in the US. You can use any yarn that's close enough, this is definitely not an exact science type project. I used 5.5mm knitting needles which is a larger than the button band suggested for this yarn. The bigger needles make the finish knit nice and floppy.

Basketweave Knit Cowl pattern

You will need:
100g ball of DK or equivalent (you won't need the full 100g though, I had about 1/4 of the ball left)
5.5mm knitting needles
3 fairly large buttons

Cast on 44 stitches
row 1: *k4, p4 repeat from * to end
row 2: *p4, k4 repeat from * to end
row 3: repeat row 1
row 4: repeat row 2
row 5: repeat row 2
row 6: repeat row 1
row 7: repeat row 2
row 8: repeat row 1
These 8 rows form the pattern.
Work the 8 rows 20 times in total (the work should measure about 73cm (29") at this point)
Buttonhole row 1: pattern 5, cast of 2, pattern 14, cast off 2, pattern 14, cast off 2, pattern to end.
Buttonhole row 2: pattern 5, cast on 2, pattern 14, cast on 2, pattern 14, cast on 2, pattern to end.

Continue in pattern for 6 more rows then cast off in pattern.

Sew on the button, lining them up with the button holes. Sew in the ends.
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
8 rows seems like a lot to memorise for a pattern if you are a beginner but trust me, it's really really simple. You will see how it's building up in no time at all and won't need to refer to the pattern after a couple of repeats.
My buttons are all just under an inch in diameter, but these button holes are plenty big enough if you use buttons that are a bit larger. The knit is very floppy and loose. If your buttons are smaller then I'd recommend making your buttonholes smaller by only casting off 1 stitch instead of 2. 
Basketweave cowl free knit pattern
Let me know below if you have any questions, and if you do make a basketweave cowl I'd love to see it so do tag me in any Facebook, Twitter or Instagram shares. 

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I'll be linking up at these great link parties
Julie Nyanyo
Julie Nyanyo

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.

24 comments:

  1. Oh Julia, I love this, the buttons are so cute! My dear, late MIL used to knit gorgeous cowls and I still treasure each and every one of them!

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    1. How lovely that you still have precious handmade cowls Andrea. Like a snuggly hug round you neck from the one who made it for you.

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  2. This cowl looks great - I'm not much of a knitter myself but I am def tempted to bust out my knitting needles to make one!

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    1. It's super easy, and only took a couple of evening by the TV. Almost as quick as crochet (lol, what am I saying, knitting is rarely anything like as quick as crochet!!)

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  3. I don't even knit.. but I had to click over and check it out in more detail. I just love this! Pinned.... and possibly sent to my mother in hopes that she'll knit if for me.

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    1. Knitting is not difficult, and you tube is full of great tutorials. Or sit next to someone who knits and get them to teach you (it's easiest if you sit along side and knit as they knit) You only have to learn 4 things - casting on, casting off, knit and purl. Everything else is pretty much a variation on one of them!
      Or just ask mum! It's a quick knit so she might just say yes!

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  4. Very pretty way to keep warm in the winter! I learned to knit many years ago...and haven't picked up needles since! I may need to try again. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. I love to knit but don't actually get round to doing very much. It is nice to have something fairly easy on the go so you can pick it up when watching tv of an evening. I hope you feel inspired to pick up those needles again!

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  5. Oh dear think we must be yarnaholic twins as I get spoken to by wool. fabric, all things craft. They want a good home and to be used, lol.

    Love the cowl scarf very elegant and reminds me of Downton Abbey style.

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    1. Oh yes, the yarn calls when the yarn calls - it would be rude to ignore it wouldn't it?! And I feel I'm just helping it to fulfil it's destiny by taking it home and making something!

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  6. I am just starting knitting but I want to make this now! So cool!

    Thank you for linking up at #bloggerspotlight

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    1. It's a perfect one for beginners Hil, good for practicing your knits and purls!

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  7. The cowl looks lovely Julia and the yarn you used reminds me of tweed, all those beautiful colors twisted together. I love the fact that the cowl can be worn in three different ways and the pattern seems easy enough for a novice like me to try. Thanks, I really, really like this.

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    1. it is quite tweedy isn't it Michelle. I'm glad you like it, it really is simple and great for beginners wanting to move on from just garter stitch. I'm sure you could find more than 3 ways to wear it too!

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  8. Your cowl looks great. You did a great job.

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  9. Julie, I am a scarf addict and this cowl is gorgeous! It looks so cozy and warm. But alas, I am not crafty at all...so I will just admire your craftiness and artistry from over here!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Thanks Shelbee, glad you like it. Knitting is pretty straightforward - honestly....if you ever fancy having a go soemthing like this would be a great place to start!

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  10. Very pretty. I love the wool. I bet it will look great on.

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    1. It's pretty isn't it. I love the tweedy look and the soft colour changes.

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  11. So lovely. I am so far from being gifted in this skill. I you familiar with those big chunky wool blankets? I really love them.
    http://thriftytonifty.com/handmade-chunky-wool-blankets-i-love/

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    1. Knitting is a lovely craft to learn - honestly! You Tube has some great tutorials if you don't have a friend to teach you. I love those chunky blankets, people must use huge needles to knit them. I pin a lot more knitting ideas than I ever actually manage to make!

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  12. I really need to take up knitting. You can really make some adorable things!

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