Free & Easy Cowl Knitting Patterns

This collection of free cowl knitting patterns are perfect for beginner knitters. Get ready for winter with these easy knit cowl patterns below that are all easy to make.

Below, I found some of the best free cowl knits you can make today!

What is a Cowl?

A cowl is simply a shorter version of an infinity scarf.

A cowl is a type of neck covering that is designed so fit over the head easily and be worn without twisting, which means they are made as one singular piece.

Knit cowls are often made from a soft, stretchy yarn so that they can be easily pulled on and off the head. They are usually about 30 – 35 inches long on average, but the size can vary.

Materials to Make a Knit Cowl

To make a knit cowl, you will need yarn, knitting needles, a pair of scissors, measuring tape and a pattern!

  • Yarn: You can use any almost any type of yarn for a cowl. I go more into detail about a few of my favorites below and what to look for in a yarn when making a cowl.
  • Knitting Needles: The type of knitting needles (circular needles vs straight needles) you require will depend on the pattern you are making. Make sure to browse through each cowl pattern to see if you have the knitting needle size that is required.
  • Other Knit Notions: A pair of scissors (I prefer stork scissors), a good tape measure and a cable needle will also be helpful when knitting cowl designs.

What are the Best Yarns for Knitting a Cowl?

When choosing yarn for a cowl, you’ll want to choose a yarn that is soft, stretchy, and cozy. Yarns like acrylic and wool are all good choices for knitting a cowl. I prefer to knit cowls with bulky yarn or super bulky yarn so that it keeps me extra warm during the colder months.

Here are a few of my favorite yarns for cowl making as well.

Vanna’s Choice

This yarn is made by Lion Brand, and is a Weight 4 – Medium yarn.

Vanna's Choice

Fiber: 100% Acrylic
Yardage: 156m / 171 yds
Hook: 5.5 mm (I-9)
Substitute: Lion Brand Heartland

Buy Now Patterns Using This Yarn →

Wool-Ease Thick and Quick

This yarn is made by Lion Brand, and is a Weight 6 – Super Bulky yarn.

Wool-Ease Thick and Quick

Fiber: Acrylic (80%), Wool (20%)
Yardage: 106 yards (87 in prints/stripes, 92 in metallic)
Hook: 9 mm (M/N-13)
Substitute: Lion Brand Hometown USA

Buy Now Patterns Using This Yarn →

Hometown USA

This yarn is made by Lion Brand, and is a Weight 6 – Super Bulky yarn.

Hometown USA

Fiber: 100% Acrylic
Yardage: 74m / 81 yds
Hook: 9 mm (M/N-13)
Substitute: Mandala Thick & Quick Yarn

Buy Now Patterns Using This Yarn →

Each of the patterns below have the recommended yarn listed in the design, so be sure to look over that suggestion before beginning your knit cowl.

Free Knit Cowl Patterns

Browse the free collection of knit cowl designs below, ranging from a basic skill level to easy, to find your next favorite cowl pattern!

If you are new to knitting, I would highly suggest starting with the basic cowl patterns, then moving up to the easy knit cowl designs as you become more comfortable with the knitting.

Image & Pattern from Just Be Crafty

Rib Velvet Knit Cowl

You can quickly knit an easy cowl with this simple pattern. It uses basic knit stitches, circular needles and has detailed instructions to help. Find the free knit cowl pattern below to get started, today!

Image & Pattern from Joyce Fassbender

Beginner Knit Cowl

You’ll love knitting this simple cowl since it uses just two basic knit stitches. If you can purl and knit, then you can make this cowl no problem. Get the free knitting pattern from Knit Picks to get started.

Image & Pattern from StitchandHustle.com

Bulky Knit Cowl

Make this oversized cowl with super bulky yarn and an easy stitch pattern. It uses large needles (15 mm circular needles) and is quick to knit up. The finished cowl is soft, cozy, and stylish – perfect for winter.

Image & Pattern from HandsOccupied.com

Long John Cowl

This easy to make design is worked in the round using a simple repeat row to make an infinity cowl. It also uses two basic knit stitches, the purl stitch and knit stitch, to create a cozy tight weave. This is a tall cowl, so it is perfect for keeping warm during those freezing winter days.

Image & Pattern from Yarnspirations.com

Fair Isle Cowl

A fun pattern like this is a great cowl to try to start your journey into color work. It uses a bulky 5 yarn and is available as a free PDF pattern from Yarnspirations.

Image from MEZ Crafts UK, Ltd. Pattern from Georgia Farrell

Margot Cowl

This free knit cowl pattern is available as a free PDF from Ravelry. It uses knit and purl stitches as well as a cabling technique. You’ll need a pair of circular needles as well as a cable needle. This cowl pattern for the advanced beginner who’d like to try to knit something a bit more adventurous.

Image & Pattern from Espace Tricot

Getting Warmer Cowl

This gorgeous knit cowl is a free PDF pattern from Ravelry. This easy cowl is worked from the bottom up and uses the garter stitch. It also can be pulled down over your shoulders as well to keep you extra warm during the cold season.