Etsy Hack: Knit Button Cowl

You’ve heard of an Ikea hack.  Now, I’m introducing the Etsy hack.  While browsing Pinterest, I came upon an adorable cowl/scarf/neck warmer.  (Its creator calls it a scarf, but to me it looks more like a cowl/neck warmer than a scarf, except that it is not an infinity cowl).  It was perfect!  I’ve been looking for a new knitting project for Christmas gifts.  Last year, I made hats.  Scarfs normally take a L-O-N-G time, but this one is a shorter version and oh-so-adorable!  I clicked and saw this beauty.

I love this adorable cowl! I just had to try to make one!

When I arrived at Etsy, I found this 12″ by 36″ beauty is being sold for $74.  No, ma’am.  I am not paying that much for something I could make myself, and how much cooler is it to say I made it?Often times people who knit offer a pattern for their creations that can be purchased, so I was hoping to find that for this scarf.  No dice.

No worries, I’ll just scour the internet for a similar knit stitch and try to create it myself with trial and error!  SPOILER ALERT: I figured it out, and my perfected  pattern is at the end.  I found, via Ravelry, a “lace knit stitch”.  Now, this is by no means lace, but a lace stitch can refer to any open knit stitch.  The best part?  It is so easy and a very quick knit.  I discovered this cowl on Monday and have knit three prototypes since then (no, I do not have oodles of time on my hands- I work and go to school!).

For my first try, I thought of my wonderful friend Minna.  She’s my friend, my hairdresser, and my photographer.  Last year, I knit her some fingerless gloves with chunky rainbow yarn, and I figured I had just enough left over to knit this cowl.  Here’s how it went in pictures.

Here is the birth of the cowl: I cast on 20 stitches  of chunky yarn on size 15 needles.

I knit it with a pattern of K1, *Yo, K2Together* repeat from* until one stitch left,  K1.

It took me about two hours, and the hardest part was adding the buttons!

It looks more like a gator than a cowl, but I still think it is cute!!!

Here I am wearing the cowl knitted for Minna!

So it didn’t turn out exactly like the picture, but I love how it came out!  It’s warm, but breathable, since it was knit with the open stitch.  Minna loved it, too!  She’s even going to wear it in her maternity photo shoot!  I’ll post some of those pictures when she gets them to me!

Next, I grabbed left over matching yarn left over from another friend’s Christmas hat.  This time, I cast on 26 stitches of chunky cream colored yarn and knit until I was almost out of yarn.  This one turned out to be about 10 inches wide and 25 inches long.  Pretty great!  I think she’ll love it!  No pic of that one, because I want it to be a Christmas surprise!

My mom is my third guinea pig.  I knit her a cabled beret and this cowl would look great with it, especially since she is traversing to Nebraska in a couple of weeks!  This time, I wanted it to be as damn close to the picture as I could manage.  I cast on 30 stitches this time to make it a little bit wider.  I thought I could do it with one skein of chunky yarn, but since this one is wider (about 13″ wide), I needed another skein to get the length right.  One skein knitted a length of about 20″, so two skeins made it about 42″.  Longer than the Etsy one, but I like it!  I knit until I was out of yarn, then added the buttons!  I am ever so proud of myself for my Etsy Hack!

Here is my mom wearing her matching set:

This is my lovely mom wearing the cowl (nailed it!) and hat I knit for her.

Etsy Hack: Knit Cowl Pattern


US Size 15 needles

2 Skeins of chunky yarn (My mom’s is knit in Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in color 502 Mesquite, which is 80% Acrylic & 20% Wool)


K1= knit one

yo=yarn over (so simple, literally just wrap the yarn around the right hand needle from front to back, creating a new stitch

K2Together= knit the next two stitches together


1. Cast on 30 stitches- that will knit a scarf about 13″ wide  (If you want it wider or thinner cast on less, just be sure it is an even number!)

2. For every row, K1 *yo, k2together* repeat until there is one stitch left, K1 (You will always knit the first and last stitch of every row!)

3. When you almost run out of yarn, bind off.

4. Weave in ends and add buttons, voila!


First, this scarf is very stretchy, which makes it hard to measure, but wonderful for creating different styles when it is worn.  I also wanted to explain a bit about the pattern.  The reason for the yarn over is to create a new stitch, since two are getting knit together-a decrease, in order to keep the total number of stitches the same.  It is a stitch used in all lace patterns.  I wasn’t sure what exactly yarn over meant before this project (I’m a self taught knitter), and I found’s description helpful.  I knit using the continental method, so the first two YouTube videos I found on Google didn’t help; they were for the English method.  When I first watched the two videos, I thought, “Oh God, have I been knitting wrong all along?”.  No, just a little bit different technique!

I am going to knit myself a cowl using 1 1/2 skeins of yarn to try to get the 36″ length (the other 1/2 a skein will towards a cabled beret).  I might try 28 stitches to get the 12″ wide, but I really like how wide my mom’s is.  I think I might add smaller buttons (or toggles?) attached behind the large button to make the wear-ability even more versatile. Maybe I’ll even post a picture of me, when I get my set done!  I’m excited for my new matching set!  I normally don’t knit for myself too much, and my mom bought me a new coat and leather gloves (purple to match my cowl and hat, of course), but I don’t get it until Christmas.

Tips on how to knit?  Finished projects? Add ’em in the comments!

Happy knitting!