This is a simple knit, perfect for TV knitting – and with the current lockdown what else is there to do?! It’s fully adaptable – make it wider or more snug, longer or shorter. And my favourite: knit until you run out of yarn.

I used 100g of DK weight yarn that I had dyed – it was hanging around in my cupboard from way back – about time to use it! You can use any DK weight yarn here – you could even make it a stash buster and knit several coloured stripes. Or how about holding 2 sock weight yarns together ?

I knitted my cowl flat with 4mm needles, if you would rather knit in the round, skip to the bottom for an adapted version.

Cast on and border

Start by casting on 103 stitches in a stretchy cast on like the long tail cast on. You need an odd number of stitches for the pattern, so adjust as needed if you want it to be a more snug fitting cowl.

Knit 3 rows in garter stitch (knit every stitch every row).

Tip! To know how much yarn to leave before the slip knot with a long tail cast on, wrap the yarn around your needle the same number of times as the number of stitches you are casting on. Then make the slip knot.

Main pattern

k: knit
sl: slip (purlwise)
Abbreviations used

Switch to half-linen stitch as follows:

Row 1: k1, * bring the yarn to the front, sl1, put the yarn to the back, k1. Repeat from * to end

Row 2 and Row 4: purl

Row 3: k2, *bring the yarn to the front, sl1, put the yarn to the back, k1. Repeat from * to 1 stitch from the end, k1.

And that’s it, continue repeating these 4 rows until you are happy with the length or you are nearly out of yarn (see the tip below for how to know if you have enough left for the border).

Border and finish off

Work 3 rows of garter stitch (knit every stitch every row).

Tip! The tip above also applies for borders – to know if you have enough yarn left for the border just wrap the yarn around the needle the same number of times as you have stitches to do in the border. Here we’ve got 103 stitches and 3 rows. That’s a lot of wraps, so I would measure out the amount of yarn for 50 stitches, then measure out 6 times that, add a bit (for the extra 9 stitches) and go from there. This isn’t exact of course, but it’s a pretty good estimate.

Cast off loosely and block your work to even out the stitches. I always steam block because it’s quicker, and here we literally just have a rectangle so it’s very easy. Just lay your work on the ironing board and hover the iron over it (don’t touch the iron the work) with the steam on. Shape the work, pulling gently after steaming (careful – it may be hot!)

Seam the sides together using mattress stitch and you’re done.

Half linen stitch in the round

If you prefer to work in the round then you need an even number of stitches. Start by casting on 104 stitches and joining the round marking the start of the round. Then knit 3 rounds of garter stitch – in the round this means knit one round, purl the next, knit the next. Then start the linen stitch pattern as follows:

Round 1: *K1, bring yarn to front, sl 1, put the yarn to back, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 2 and 4: Knit.

Round 3: *Bring yarn to front, sl 1, put the yarn to back, k1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat these 4 rounds until you have a cowl of the desired length. Finish off with 3 rounds of garter stitch, cast off and block.

Half Linen Stitch Cowl

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