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Variegated Squares Cowl

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The Variegated Squares Cowl puts your skein of variegated yarn on full display. All those wonderful colors make for a versatile and unique accessory.

This cowl is designed to look like an asymmetrical shawl when worn, but it’s so much easier to wear. Just put it on and look instantly fabulous.


The Variegated Squares Cowl is an asymmetrical cowl that wears and looks like a big shawl. It is worked entirely flat from edge to edge. The cowl begins at the back of the neck at the right edge and ends at the left side of the neck.

After working a few rows of garter stitch, the shaping begins with increases along just the neckline. This creates a nice firm edge that compliments the knit on i-cord at the bottom edge and the i-cord bind-off.

Now it’s time for the fun part! Knitting alternates between sections of slipped stitch squares followed by garter stitch rows. Only one color of yarn is used at a time and tips are provided for switching colors.

The slipped stitches that outline the colorful squares also act as a visual aid for keeping track of the pattern repeats thus making stitch markers unnecessary for most knitters.

After the desired length has been reached, the cowl progresses without any shaping. This section creates the long edge of the cowl and the left side of the back of the neck simultaneously.


  • a schematic,
  • instructions for i-cord bind-off,
  • tips for seaming with whip stitch and mattress stitch (you chose the one you wish to do),
  • video tutorials for M1L, M1LP increase stitches, and mattress stitch, Want to see the tutorials? Click HERE or use this url:
  • blocking instructions


YARNS USED: Bamboo Pop by Universal Yarn DK (50% Cotton, 50% Rayon from Bamboo); 292 yards (100 grams), sample uses 1 ball each #120 Graphite & #204 Happy Birdie.

YARDAGE: MC 177 yds; (162) m, CC 161 yds; (148) m. Note CC is the variegated yarn in sample.

YARN SUBSTITUTION: DK weight yarn in cotton, cotton blends or other natural fibers. Wool yarns can be used. Keep in mind that you'll get the best results with a solid color for the garter stitch sections that is not included in the variegated yarn. The squares can be done in a variegated, tonal, solid, speckled, or gradient yarn. Use the yarn that makes you happy.

SIZE: 25” (63.5 cm) circumference at neck opening; 18” (46 cm) depth at widest point; 6.5” (16.5 cm) tall at back neck; measurements taken after blocking.

NEEDLES: US # 6 (4 mm) is recommended or size to obtain gauge. 32” (81 cm) or circular needle length you are comfortable using for flat construction.

SKILLS NEEDED: Slipped sts, M1L, M1LP, i-cord edge, i-cord bind-off, tips and video tutorials for MIL, M1LP, and i-cords, and schematic are also included.

GAUGE: 20 sts x 33 rows = 4” (10 cm) in garter stitch; 20 sts x 40 rows = 4” (10 cm) in the large square stockinette slipped stitch pattern (RS: sl1, k8); all swatches should be worked flat and lightly blocked. **Gauge is not critical for this cowl**, but a different gauge will affect drape, yardage required and size.

NOTIONS REQUIRED: Tapestry needle, markers if desired for increases and i-cord edge.


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 #brenjsknits so that I can admire your knitting!


You are downloading a digital pattern. There are  no refunds on digital products. If you have an issue downloading your file please contact me at so that I can help you.
You will get a PDF (5MB) file
You will get a PDF (4MB) file

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