This is a quickie (only 12 pages long and only one page of charts), but I promise it’s all you need. And I do manage to sneak in a little guide on my favorite way to block cowls while we’re at it!
Skills & scope
This is a perfect example of how something that sometimes sounds scary (lace, oh no, that’s hard) is often surprisingly easy if you just give it a try. It’s worked in the round (which I always find makes it much easier to read your knitting because the right side of the fabric is always facing you), and all the increases and decreases are neatly stacked up in an orderly fashion. Once you have the pattern established, I suspect you’ll zoom along, even if you (used to!) think lace was a little tricky.
The pattern uses charts, so you will need to know how to follow a knitting chart.
Yarn, gauge & sizing
The cowl comes in five sizes (from a 154 stitch cast on to a 210 stitch cast on) and is written for four gauges (four, four and a half, five, and five and a half stitches per inch). That means you can use just about any weight of yarn from heavy fingering up through aran. The different sizes and gauges will give you a cowl with a circumference between 38.5 and 52.5 inches at the widest point, between 18 and 26.5 inches at the narrowest point (and you can stop at several points along the way, so you don’t have to worry about it being too snug around your neck). So there’s a size to fit pretty much anyone, and pretty much any yarn weight that will give you a fabric with a drape you like somewhere in that range of gauges will work.
The cowl in the pictures is made in the 196-stitch size and the medium height at about 5 stitches per inch. It took about 275 yards of fingering-weight yarn.
If you’re working with thinner yarn or making a bigger size or taller cowl, 375 yards is a safer bet (though because you can stop at several points, you can absolutely just stop early if you start to run short on yarn).
Tools & supplies
You’ll need needles that let you work in the round (circulars or DPNs) in whatever size lets you get a nice fabric with your chosen yarn plus the general knitting tools you need for most projects (scissors to cut your yarn, a darning needle to weave in ends, maybe a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your round). You’ll also want whatever you like to use to block cowls (blocking wires are great, blocking pins and a mat will work if you don’t have wires, pins and somewhere flat like a bed or a couch cushion will work in a pinch if you don’t have a mat).