Mood Cowl - Knitting the Stash - Part 3: It finally got cold out!

Mood Cowl - Knitting the Stash – Part 3 - It finally got cold out…

EVERY fall, when the first few breezes of cold air hit my neck, I immediately snap into action and begin knitting dozens of scarves and cowls and hats. Forget looking for the ones I actually finished and wore last year, no…. feeling the cold air is like the first time I’ve ever felt cold air and, therefore, I need to knit!!!! I LOVE winter and fall, so my response to the cold air is more of a celebratory knitting fervor rather than one of despair.

Well, thinking about my stash and the adorable ponchos I made using fingering weight doubled (see the blog post before this one, people!), I decided I wanted a cowl. And QUICK! I have two specific favorite cowls because of their sizes and drape. I fashioned the sizing of the Mood Cowl after these two cowls:

The Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland (my Honey Cowl may have been a slightly different finished size from the pattern) and my Clementine Cowl.

One last thing before the pattern details! These projects make for GREAT group swaps. Bring all your odds and ends and even some full balls of fingering and sock yarn to your next knitting guild meeting or knitting group and trade with friends to get some really interesting color combinations. Of course, please make sure to buy some yarn from your LYS if you’re planning this swap there… they may even have some “mini skeins” or ombre sets that you can use to spice up your color selection! Since it's easier to weigh your bits and pieces than count the yards, I’d recommend using a kitchen scale like this one to measure how much yarn you have for each cowl so you can plan for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 100 of them. They're easy knitting - so it's especially great to have these handy for when you are between projects or need somthing mindless to work on. Happy knitting!

Mood Cowl by Shaina Bilow

SMALL - over the head - tall and skinny:

Yarn: about 100-120 grams or 350-420 yards of fingering weight yarn in a variety of colors

Finished Measurements: 22” circumference and 13” depth

Needle: US 9 (5.5 mm) 24” circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge


LARGE - loops over the head twice - short and wide:

Yarn: about 165-180 grams or 575-630 yards of fingering weight yarn in a variety of colors

Finished Measurement: 48” circumference and 9” depth

Needle: US 9 (5.5 mm) 32” or 40” circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge


Gauge: 4 stitches = 1” in stockinette stitch holding yarn double stranded. The fabric shouldn't feel dense because this cowl is meant to be soft and flexible when finished. 

Notes for changing colors:

  • Yarn should always be held doubled for this cowl.
  • Change colors wherever in the cowl you like. You don’t have to change colors at the beginning of the rounds. In fact, your cowl will be less bulky with tails if you stagger them throughout the piece.
  • I suggest fading colors into one another by never abruptly changing both colors of yarn at the same time. If you work two strands of color A at the beginning, cut one strand and attach color B. Then work AB for a little while. Then cut color A and attach another strand of color B or a strand of color C. If you change both strands abruptly, you will have defined stripes rather than a subtle fading of one color to another. Of course defined stripes aren’t a bad thing, if that’s what you’re looking for. And, if you follow my suggestions but your colors are highly contrasting, you may get “abrupt” looking stripes anyway.
  • You might have a few balls of yarn that might work well together in terms of colors – mix and match those combinations at will. If, on the other hand, you have a few colors that don’t work with one another, plan a little bit in advance so you don’t end up using a combination that you find unappealing. For me, contrasting colors on the color wheel (red & green, yellow & purple, blue & orange) combinations are not my favorite for stranding so I would avoid putting those colors together directly. I might put red with a deep yellow and then put that deep yellow with the green to soften the contrast of red and green.
  • ABOUT MY COWLS: For the smaller cowl, I used leftover bits from hats that I’ve been making. Some of it was Three Irish Girls, Mothy and the Squid, Zen Yarn Garden, and Dale of Norway Baby Ull. For my larger cowl, I used two full balls of Koigu KPPPM and one full ball of Rhichard Devrieze Fingering weight. The RD yarn has 65 g per ball. I didn't end up using the green and purple mini-skein pictured below on the right. That color was terrible with the others once I knitted it in. It got frogged. 




Instructions for the smaller cowl are written first and the instructions for the larger cowl are written in the parenthesis.

Holding yarn doubled, cast on 88 (168) stitches. Place a marker and join the work in the round without twisting.

Work 5 rounds of k1p1 ribbing or k2p2 ribbing. This is your preference – my samples are in k1p1 ribbing.

Continue in stockinette stitch, a.k.a. knitting every round in the round, changing colors as desired using the suggestions above, until piece is about 12 (8)” from the cast-on edge.

Work 5 rounds of ribbing to match the bottom. Bind off in rib pattern. 

Weave in tails and wet block. Wet blocking really loosens up the stitches and softens the work. To wet block, soak the piece in a tub of cool water with a little wool-friendly soap. Pull the piece out and roll it in a towel to "wring" out excess moisture. Lay the piece out in a dry area of your home (for me, that's near my boiler closet or heaters once they're on for the season) and let it dry. 

Please post photos of your finished cowls on Ravelry! I can't wait to see your color combinations!! 


Mood Cowl

Love designs using leftover yarn! Thank you for this. I call these FLY on my projects page (From Leftover Yarn).

I love the term FLY!!! I'm

I love the term FLY!!! I'm glad you like the design. I can't wait to see your finished cowl!

Mood Cowl

Thank you for sharing this easy, delightful pattern. I'm having fun building (two!) stacks of colours I think will be happy together. Then just lovely knitting! And a much smaller stash!

I'm so happy you're

I'm so happy you're enthusiastic about starting the cowls. Please be sure to post photos of your finished projects to Ravelry. I can't wait to see them!

I love your designs. Thanks

I love your designs. Thanks for sharing.

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