Thaxton Hooded Cowl in Toasty Slip Stitch Crochet

Crochet short rows for a self-shaping crochet hooded cowl scarf. This knit-look 100% crocheted cowl features my all-time favorite type of ribbing: simple crochet slip stitches worked into the back loop.
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  • Item #: 4-N92711S
  • Manufacturer: Vashti Braha

-: New edition for 2013: Stitch diagram and assembly schematics added! :-

Luxuriously roomy, stretchy, warm and squishy, the Thaxton Cowl keeps your upper back and chest toasty whether worn like a collar or unfurled into a hood. 

This close-knit yet 100% crocheted cowl features my all-time favorite type of ribbing: crochet slip stitches worked into the back loop. The pattern offers two lengths, and a seaming alternative that creates a true hood. Even without a seamed hood, it's long and stretchy enough to cover the head in the style of a wimple or "snood." 

It's a cowl that is crocheted side to side for a change, meaning that the rows run from top to bottom of the cowl opening. The lovely short row wedges allow it to flare at the shoulders yet cozy up to the neck. When not worn as a hood, the full-length version is long enough to be triple-folded. The shorter, yarn-conserving option is still roomy.  

Skill Level:Intermediate. If you haven't tried slip stitch short rows yet, download my popular free pattern: Slip Slope ScarfHere is a free tutorial to go with it.

The slip stitch is an elementary stitch, and I find that crocheting slip stitch short rows is a breeze. It adds just enough spice to a simple stitch to create that "Just one more row!" fun; however, short rows are considered an Intermediate skill, and the stitch gauge is much looser than most crocheters are taught to use when they learn how to make their first stitches. I call this skill a "hook-led" gauge, and it's important for Tunisian crochet lace as well as for exciting possibilities with slip stitch fabrics.

I have written this pattern with few abbreviations. UK and Australian equivalents for American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms are in brackets { }. After following this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • How to crochet stylish and stretchy slip stitch ribbing
  • How to shape a ribbed cowl with short rows
  • How to add decorative accents to short-rowed ribbing
  • How to seam a flared cowl into a hooded capelet
  • How to use a hook-led stitch gauge

Finished Dimensions, Unstretched: 21" long (from neck opening to shoulder opening) X 22" circumference at neck, widening to 43" circumference at shoulder {53 cm X 56 cm & 110 cm}. Extra length is for doubling or tripling as a cowl when not worn over the head as a hood. The shorter cowl option can be easily be folded over once and is 16" long {41 cm}.

These roomy dimensions are a guideline. They allow for the slightly tighter slip stitch ribbing that I see many crocheters making. (If your stitches are tighter, the overall finished dimensions of the cowl and hood will be smaller.) Pattern includes customizing options if your stitches are coming out tighter or looser so that you can end up with the fit you prefer.  

Supplies List

  • Crochet Hook: Size J/US10/6.0mm hook.
  • Size #4 Medium yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted (50% baby alpaca, 50% merino wool, 218yd/200m per 3.5oz/100g skein), 2.5 skeins (approx. 550 yds/500m) of color TW10 (raspberry red) for the roomy longer hooded cowl pictured; 2 full skeins (approx. 440yds/400m) for a shorter cowl as described above and on page 1. Substituting a yarn: The best fibers for this project add bounce and plump stretchiness to the cowl because of their wool or acrylic content. A special upscale yarn with tonal hand dyeing adds to the experience. Choose a #4 medium-weight yarn that lists a crochet hook size range from US H/8/5mm-J/10/6mm on its label. These yarns may also be referred to as Heavy Worsted, Aran, Afghan, and occasionally "Light Chunky" Weight.
  • Recommended if you're new to slip stitch crochet: 2 or more stitch markers (until you can recognize the last slip stitch of each row).
  • Special Technique: Slip Stitch Short Rows
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Season: Fall Winter Early Spring
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