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Snowy Seas Cowl

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The Snowy Seas Cowl is worked in the round from the bottom up. It begins with a very forgiving crochet provisional cast-on (no crochet skills necessary). The cowl progresses into a striped garter stitch pattern that transforms into white waves cresting on top of the ocean when combined with the swirling lace pattern. Each round of knitting only uses one color at a time to create the two-color waves.

Alternating the stripes of garter stitch combined with the lace creates a wintry ocean full of motion and depth. The swirling waves of lace are very easy to master in a 10-stitch repeat that features mostly knit sts, one yo, and either an ssk or k2tog stitch. This would be a good first lace project with an easy to memorize lace repeat knit in worsted weight yarns.

Once the watery scene has been created, the lining for the cowl is worked entirely in stockinette stitch. The inner layer (or liner) is folded into the cowl and is joined to the provisional stitches using the familiar 3-needle bind-off.

The simple lining makes the Snowy Seas Cowl very warm and cozy while adding the structure the cowl needs to stand upright and clearly display the oceanic lace.

All my patterns are tech edited and test knit to ensure accuracy and clear instructions.


1. written instructions for the crochet provisional cast-on;
2. written instructions for 3-needle bind-off;
3. written instructions for blocking;
4. suggested modifications;
5. optional lace chart;
6. schematic; AND
7. links to video tutorials for the cast-on and bind-off used.

SIZE: 20” x 6”; 51 x 15 cm, easily stretches to 24” / 61 cm; note outer circumference:; measurements taken after blocking. Size is easily adjusted with modifications noted in the pattern.

SKILLS NEEDED: K2tog, ssk, yo, video and written instructions provided for crochet provisional cast-on, 3-needle bind-off.

YARN USED: MC Malabrigo Rios (100% Superwash Merino; 210 yd / 192 m per skein): sample uses 1 skein of # 852 Persia.
CC Berroco Vintage (52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon, 218 yds / 199 m per skein): sample uses 1 skein of #5100 Snow Day.

YARDAGE: MC 97 yds / 89 m; CC 135 yds / 123 m.
SIZE: 20” x 6”; 51 x 15 cm, easily stretches to 24” / 61 cm; note outer circumference: 21.25"/ 54 cm; measurements taken after blocking. **Size is easily adjusted.**

YARN SUBSTITUTION: Light worsted or DK weight yarn with **mostly wool content**. **Some fibers like alpaca may be too drapey** and result in a floppy cowl. Tonal, solid, lightly speckled, and gradient work best. Swatch for gauge to be sure you’ll get the size and drape you want

NEEDLES: US # 6 (4 mm) is recommended or size to obtain gauge. 20” (51 cm) circular needle. An additional circular needle US #6 (4 mm) or smaller that is at least 20” (51 cm) is needed for the bind-off. Crochet hook of any size for cast-on.

GAUGE: 20 sts x 28 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette stitch; 19 sts x 32 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in lace; 19 sts x 48 rnds = 4” / 10 cm in garter st. All stitch patterns are worked in the round and lightly blocked prior to gauge measurement over 4” / 10 cm swatch. A different gauge will affect drape, yardage required and size.

NOTIONS REQUIRED: Tapestry needle, unique BOR stitch marker, 9 stitch markers, and contrasting scrap yarn for cast-on.


Originally, I designed and knit a cowl that was short and worn close to the neck. It would use the same gorgeous, watery lace pattern as the Ocean Home Shawl. However, when I put it on, all the beautiful lace vanished in a crumpled heap of fabric. Disappointment didn’t last long as I decided to accept the challenge before me. To create a cowl that could fully display the lace.

This quest lead me to create three very different cowls. With the Swirling Seas Infinity Cowl. I solved the disappearing lace issue by adding length. The Snowy Seas Cowl is the second one in the series. This time I was determined to keep the original size. But could I get the cowl to stand proud while showing off the lace?

What if I made the cowl even taller and then folded it in upon itself? I gathered up the floppy cowl, removed the bound-off edge, and then picked up the stitches to begin knitting again. I was now adding a white inner layer of simple stockinette fabric.

After the knitting was done, I blocked it. I eagerly put the layered cowl on. Smiles ensued. Not only was the lace on full display, the reinforced cowl stood upright too. It was a wonderful feeling to see my design succeed.

The Snowy Seas Cowl is made to be worn close to the neck. Its size makes it easy to wear over a sweater, winter coat, or over a t-shirt to add stylish warmth. Its unisex design and suggested modifications make it a good cowl for all to wear.

Modifications for making a longer version are included. This will require additional yarn. I do not recommend knitting this cowl without the inner layer unless a floppy version is desired.

My journey doesn’t end here. The quest continues with at least one more cowl in this watery series. Each one uniquely solves the problem of how to design a cowl that will show off lacework.

You are downloading a digital knitting pattern, not a physical item.

This pattern is a copyright of Brenda Schack of BrenJS Knits. Credit must be given to BrenJS Knits when selling items made from this pattern. Pattern and photos can not be used for resale purposes. Please share your work with the hashtag #SnowySeasCowl and #brenjsknits so that I can admire your knitting!

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I hope you enjoy your digital knitting pattern. Please read the product information carefully before purchasing it. Once you have downloaded or started to download a digital pattern, I cannot make a refund on a non-faulty product if the download link has already been accessed.

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