DIYdiy projects

Knitting DIY: Danielle Henderson’s Chunky Cowl

by Maxwell Tielman

Above photo by Maxwell Tielman. All other photos by Danielle Henderson. Thanks to Jen Heuer for being our model!

Last week, we showed you the bare-bones basics of knitting. Today, we’re continuing our knitting craze with a beautiful and simple cowl created by writer/crafter Danielle Henderson. In addition to answering some questions about her crafting life, Danielle was kind enough to contribute this lovely project, a perfect piece of neckwear for a chilly day like today. — Max

As a busy graduate student, I am constantly looking for ways to decompress. My blog, Feminist Ryan Gosling, has been a great outlet for me over the past year, but I still find myself falling back on crafty habits to feel truly at ease. I taught myself how to knit almost 20 years ago, and I always look forward to spending the colder months bundled up with a lap full of yarn.

I live in Wisconsin, a state that is freezing cold at least four months out of the year. As a result, I believe you can never have too many scarves or cowls. They’re great for wrapping around your face and can be a bonus as you try to remind yourself why you moved to such a frigid region in the first place. When my schedule is full, I appreciate quick projects with bold results. The contrast of neutral and neon gives this cowl a bright pop of color when the sun often refuses to do the same. — Danielle

Full directions after the jump . . .


  • Plymouth Yarn DeAire in Cape May (primary) and Borealis (secondary) 100% Merino wool, 100g/109yds
  • size 15 32” circular needle*
  • yarn needle
  • quilter’s pins for blocking (optional)


Gauge: 2.25 sts = 1” on US 15

*You can knit this project using straight needles, but you will need the circular needle when you do the edging.


Using primary color, CO 25 stitches.
Row 1: P5, K15, P5
Row 2: K5, P15, K5

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until the piece measures 56 inches. Bind off, leaving a 10-inch tail.


Row 1: Using secondary color, pick up stitches along each long edge.
Row 2: Bind off using purl stitch. Leave a 4- to 5-inch tail at the end of each edge.

Block your piece. Using your primary-color 10-inch tail, sew a seam connecting the edges. Repeat for secondary color. Weave in any loose ends.

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  • So cool! I love that you guys are doing a whole knitting series. I’m from Wisconsin as well and I have almost an entire bookcase filled with scarves, I think it’s just part pf the upbringing! I recently made this simple braided cowl:


    And I’m super happy with it. Really just 3 strips knit separately and then joined after intertwining. So much you can do with just the basic skills!

  • So glad you’re doing a knitting series! I’m a little new to knitting and circular needles confuse me–could you explain why you need circular needles for part of the scarf and not regular straight needles?

  • What a beautiful design. Are there any photos of the finished cowl laid out? I’d like to see an image of how the edging lays across the whole piece. Thanks!

  • Thank you so much for doing a whole series on knitting – one of my 2013 goal is to teach myself how to knit! Those colors are gorgeous together, I can’t wait to try this pattern!

  • Danielle (aka Feminist Ryan Gosling), I’m virtually your neighbor in the Windy City, and I’m all about keeping warm too. Never too many cowls in my life…but none and I mean none match my black puffer coat. Why is it that I can’t I knit at least one thing in black? How hard would that be? Would that be like walking into Lake Michigan at this time of year? Braving the El platform during a snow storm? Crossing Michigan Avenue at Chicago swaddled up barely able to see, trusting motorists see you clearly?

  • Love showcasing your scarf on such a beautiful model. But then again, she’s my beautiful daughter-in-law. :-)

  • Love the cowl and also love the earrings the model is wearing. Info on these would be appreciated.

  • love this sight.you have given me the courage to try to knit.will let you know how it turned out.I am retired and have a lot of time on my hands.THANKS AGAIN.

  • Love this cowl! I tried knitting this on circular needles, following the pattern and ended up with a very small sized cowl that barely fit over my head and missing the lovely pattern. Am I missing something? 25 stitches is clearly too few for an infinity cowl…

  • I’m trying to do this pattern and casting on 25 stitches seems too few. Am I supposed to do this in multiples?

  • Kate & Amanda– this cowl isn’t knit in the round. You would be casting on 25 stitches and knitting flat, until you have a rectangle that is 25 stitches wide and 56 inches long. Then you would seam the two ends together. Hope that helps!

  • I recently made a chunky cowl and rather than wrapping it around my neck twice I doubled the yarn when I knitted it and only wrap it around once. It turned out very cute, and it is very warm!

  • This is so much fun and I love it! I’m making this for my daughter today. Knitting is one of the most relaxing activities and I thank my mom for taking the time to teach me at age 7! So much fun…

  • Love this pattern! Started knitting and realized I will run out of yarn, right now it measures 26″ long. Was I supposed to order two skeins of the primary color? From the directions I thought one skein of each was enough. I used a 15 32″ circular needle and knitted flat.

  • Love this pattern too, and was just looking at it again to double check the yarn yardage thinking I had made a mistake. Ditto to Suzannne’s comment above – I bought one skein of the main color and knit 26 inches long. Obviously it should have been two skeins. It would be great if you could correct the instructions. Thanks!

  • I plan to knit the entire cowl on a circular needle,the first and last rows will be in the contrasting colour.my question how wide does it need to be?

  • Just to confirm how many balls are required for the main colour. Is it 2? I’m seeing comments that not everyone had enough with 1?

  • My finished cowl is curling along the edges as I am not sure how to do your edging. I would love suggestions. It is beautiful. Thank you for the pattern.