Expedient Cowl: Stretchy Capelet-Style Slip Stitch Crochet

This stretchy 100% slip stitch crochet pattern contrasts two simple kinds of slip stitches. Crochet this fast, cozy, satisfying capelet-style cowl in one piece with a big crochet hook and thick yarn.
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  • Item #: 6-N21616S
  • Manufacturer: Vashti Braha

This capelet-style cowl took me one evening to crochet with a jumbo crochet hook and two balls of thick yarn. It's exactly the accessory I've been needing for an unpredictably chilly season: warm, snug, breathable, and easy to put on.

All you need to use for this "expedient" satisfaction are the two most familiar slip stitches (front loop only, and back loop only).  Simply alternating groups of front and back loop slip stitches provides smooth shaping because they vary in stitch height. (See the Slip Tectonics Cowl for an interesting demonstration of this.) An occasional short row enhances the way this Expedient Cowl pours over the shoulders. 

This pattern is a good introduction to slip stitch crochet technique, so I've included tips that help students of my "Slip Stitch Crochet 101" classes. If you're new to slip stitch crochet, Eva's Ribs Scarf is a free beginner pattern of all back-loop slip stitch that you can try if you'd like some practice before beginning Expedient. Some beginners find front-loop slip stitch easier to start with than back-loop - an easy pattern to try this stitch out with is the Slipster Slackscarf (see bottom of pattern for more options).

You'll have the opportunity to learn these skills:
✤ How to crochet jumbo-sized slip stitches with thick yarn and a big crochet hook.
✤ How and why to crochet back-loop and front-loop slip stitches within the same row.
✤ How to count rows of back-loop slip stitch as ribs, vs front-loop rows.
✤ How to do simple and occasional short rows.
✤ How to use the designer's row direction diagram, a handy tool with slip stitch crochet.

Finished Dimensions
Neck opening circumference 17" {43.2 cm}, stretches to approx. 42" {106.7 cm}.
Shoulder opening circumference 42" {106.7 cm}, stretches to approx. 64" {162.6 cm}.
Height is 17.5" {44.5 cm} from neck opening to shoulder opening, edged; 13.5" {34.3 cm} when collar is worn folded over.

Crochet Hook: Size P {11.5 mm} crochet hook or size needed for gauge. Note: size P in some brands are 12 mm instead, which is fine too. 
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Tweeds (6oz/170g, 106yds/97m per skein, 86% Acrylic, 10% Wool, 4% Rayon), color Wheat, 2 full skeins used. Yarn substitution advice: choose a yarn thickness classified as a #6 Super Bulky Weight or look on the yarn label for a recommended crochet hook size range of US M/13 {9 mm} to US Q {15 mm}. These yarns have also been called Super Chunky, Roving, or Polar Weight.

  • Skill Level: Easy-Intermediate if this is your first 100% slip stitch crochet project.
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Price $5.99

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