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Free Crochet Cowl Pattern – 2 easy options

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Don’t fear cold! Whether you decide to call it a cowl or infinity scarf, the Maine Coast Seashell Cowl will offer you a warm style for the cold season. With this free crochet cowl pattern, you have the option to make a thick and cozy cowl or a lighter version of it to keep you warm at those chilly fall nights.

This is the first accessory pattern I publish here on the blog. And I was so happy to crochet this cowl. Mostly, because fall is my favorite season. It feels so nice and cozy to be around warm and squishy yarn.

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You will find instructions for two versions of this cowl in this pattern. First, for extra coziness, you can make a chunky cowl using a super bulky yarn.

Then, if you prefer, you can make a lighter version of it, using worsted weight yarn. Pick the one you like the most. I hope you enjoy making this cowl as much as I did. Have fun.

But before we dive into the instructions, let’s learn a little about crochet cowls.

Pin the free crochet cowl pattern for later here

What is a crochet cowl scarf?

Originally, cowls were long hooded cloaks that were worn by monks. But, as it happens with any other garment or accessory in the fashion industry, it evolved over time.

Cowl scarves are meant to be simple accessories, that you wear wrapped around your neck. And are made to keep you warm in the winter.

Different from traditional scarves, cowl scarves consist of an “infinite loop”, that are worn tightly wrapped around your neck.

How tall should a crochet cowl be?

A height between 13″ (33 cm) to 15″ (38 cm) is great for a crochet cowl. Remember, crochet cowls are meant to keep your neck warm, but they need to feel comfortable as well.

They are supposed to “hug” your neck for coziness. So, the heavier the yarn, the shorter they can be. But if you’re using a lighter weight yarn, they can be a bit taller.

How do you crochet a cowl?

To crochet a cowl, you will need a foundation chain, then crochet the stitches in rounds. By the way, a crochet cowl pattern is one of the easiest projects for beginners.

For this pattern, you will use multiples of of 8 + 7 chains and then crochet the shell stitch around. Not to mention, they are quick to make and you can use a variety of stitches to make one.

A lot of times, if you are an experienced crocheter, you won’t even need a pattern to crochet a cowl. That’s how easy it is.

Best yarn for a crochet cowl pattern

The best yarns for crochet cowls are Worsted (4) to Super bulky (6). By the way, for this cowl, you can use any kind of yarn of your preference. You will have instructions on how to adjust the size of your cowl.

However, if you would rather use the same yarn I used, here they are, with their respective amount.

The first option, if you are making the super bulky cowl, is Super Bulky weight (6) yarn. I used Lion Brand yarn Wool Ease Thick & Quick, 80% acrylic / 20% wool, color was Fisherman. And the amount was 10.17 oz (288 g), 180 yds (165 m).

As for the second option, if you are making the medium weight cowl, I used Yarnspirations Caron Cakes. It’s a worsted weight (4) yarn, 80% acrylic / 20% wool. The color was Pumpkin Spice. And the amount was 5.44 oz (154 g), 293 yds (268 m).

Instructions for the free crochet cowl pattern

  • Chain 3 at the beginning of every round counts as a stitch
  • This cowl is worked from bottom up, in rounds, with the right side facing you
  • The pattern uses a combination of a shell stitch round and a foundation V stitch round, which is worked over a two-row repeat
  • Adjust the size of your cowl as you wish by chaining any multiple of 8 chains + 7 chains
  • This cowl will come up beautiful with any self-stripe or cake yarn
  • This Pattern is written using standard US terminology
  • Level of difficulty: Easy
crochet shell stitch

Supplies you need for a crochet cowl

  • 10 mm (US N) crochet hook, if you are making the super bulky cowl
  • 5.5 mm (US I) crochet hook, if you are making the worsted weight cowl
  • Scissors 
  • Yarn needle

Pattern abbreviations

  • ch/chs chain/chains
  • dc double crochet
  • FO fasten off
  • Rnd round
  • sc single crochet 
  • sk skip
  • sl st slip stitch
  • sp space
  • st/sts stitch/stitches
  • ( ) work crochet instructions within parentheses as indicated
  • * repeat instructions after asterisks as instructed.
crochet cowl

A note on gauge

  • If you use Super Bulky Wool Ease Thick & Quick: 7 dc sts x 3.5 rows in dc sts = 4”
  • If you use Yarnspirations Caron Cakes: 11.5 dc sts x 6 rows in dc sts = 4”

Approximate sizes of the finished items

  • With super bulky yarn: 13.5” tall x 15.5” wide
  • With worsted weight yarn: 14” tall x 14” wide

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Here is the crochet cowl pattern

Crochet cowl pattern

Cozy cowls are essential winter accessories. With this super easy pattern, you can customize it to your taste and desired level of coziness. By the way, it is as simple as 4 steps only.
Have fun making your cowl.

Total Time: 2 hours

  1. Make the foundation chain

    crochet shell stitch tutorial

    Ch 64 + 7 (or any multiple of 8 + 7 if you are customizing it to a different size)
    Join to first ch with a sl st, make sure it’s not twisted.

  2. Make the first shell stitch round

    Crochet cowl pattern

    Rnd1: *sk the next 3 chs, (dc 3, ch 1, dc 3) in next ch, sk the next 3 chs, sl st in next ch. Repeat across from *. Finish round with a sl st in the same st where you started the first shell.

  3. Make the foundation for the next rnd of shell sts

    crochet shell stitch tutorial

    Rnd2: This round will be the foundation for the next round of shells and the first round of the pattern repeat: (ch 4, dc) in the same st you joined, ch 2, *sc in ch 1 sp of next shell, ch 2, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next sl st between shells, ch 2. Repeat across from *, join with a sl st on third ch at the beginning of this round.

  4. Make the next rnd of shell sts and repeat

    Crochet cowl pattern

    Rnd3: sl st in next ch sp, ch 3, *(dc 2, ch 1, dc 3) in same ch sp, sk next 2 chs, sl st in next sc st, sk next 2 chs, dc in next ch 1 sp. Repeat across from *, join with a sl st to ch 3 in the beginning of first shell. Pull st tight. Sl st one st back in previous sl st.

    Rnd4-15: repeat rnd 2 and 3 (If you are making your cowl with the Super Bulky yarn)
    Rnd4-29: repeat rnd 2 and 3 (If you are making your cowl with the Worsted weight yarn)

    FO. Cut the yarn. Weave in ends.

  5. Use a shell stitch chart if you are a visual learner

    crochet shell stitch tutorial chart

    Here is chart on how you crochet the shell stitch in the round.

Estimated Cost: 10.00 USD


  • Worsted (4) or Super bulky (6) yarn


  • 10 mm (US N) hook for the super bulky cowl
  • 5.5 mm (US I) hook for the worsted weight

Materials: Scissors Tapestry Needle

I hope you liked this free pattern and that you enjoy making it for yourself or to gift a loved one.

Drop a comment below if you have any questions or if you just would like to say “hi”. Another way to reach out to me is by joining my community group on Facebook

If you use any of my patterns or tutorials for a project, please tag me @zamiguz or use the hashtag #zamiguzmakers. I would love to see what you make.

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