Quick & Easy Knitted Cowls – Perfect for Last Minute Handmade Christmas Gifting

Is there one person left on your Christmas gift list that’s got you stumped? I know there’s always one of those on my list – this year it’s my father-in-law, so I’ve dumped that project on his son. Or there’s the person you suddenly realize you forgot to write down on that list!

How about something handmade? What, you think there’s no time left for handmade Christmas gifts? Nah! There’s  time!

Just grab those knitting needles and a ball of yarn and stitch ‘em up something special! Trust me, there’s still time for even a beginner knitter to whip up something fabulous.

How about a quick cowl or neck warmer? Seriously, a skein or two of yarn, circular needles and two evenings it all you need.

I just finished knitting seven Anna Cowls – three for teachers, four for swim coaches.

Quick Cowls

They may look complicated, but they aren’t at all – just knit, yarn over and knit-two-together, and they only take about four hours to knit each one.

Cowl

Here’s the original pattern from Ravelry -

Anna Cowl

Anna Cowl by Barb Fritz

I used Berroco Vintage Chunky – a super soft, washable wool-acrylic-nylon blend. (130 yards/hank).

Berroco Vintage Chunky

Berroco Vintage Chunky – Cerulean, Cracked Pepper & Juniper

Following Barb’s original pattern, I knitted up one cowl, but decided I wanted mine to be a bit taller, so they can be pulled up over lips & noses on blustery New England days.

Here’s my revised pattern:

New England Anna Cowl

What you need:

  • 16″, Size 10 (6mm) circular needles
  • approximately 140-150 yards of chunky yarn (A bit more than one hank of the Berroco Vintage Chunky, but three hanks was more than enough for two cowls.)
  • 6 stitch markers
  • row counter – I used counter that hangs from a ring (like this one) – keeps track of which row I’m on & marks where I started

Directions:

  • cast on 84 stitches, place markers every 12 stitches, place row counter at end
  • Initial Row 1 – join knitting – knit, purl, knit, purl to end of row
  • Initial Row 2 – purl, knit, purl, knit to end of row
  • Initial Row 3 – knit, purl, knit, purl to end of row
  • Begin lace pattern
  • Rows 1-17-33-49 –  knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 4, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, slip two stitches, knit-2-together
  • Even Rows – knit to end
  • Rows 3-19-35 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, slip two stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 5-21-37 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 2, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 2, slip two stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 7-23-39 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 3, slip two stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 9-25-41 – knit 1, knit-2-together, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 4, slip 2 stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 11-27-43 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 3, slip 2 stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 13-29-25 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 2, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 2, slip 2 stitches, knit-2-together
  • Rows 15-31-47 – knit 1, knit-2-together, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, slip 2 stitches, knit-2-together
  • Lace pattern complete
  • Final three rows – repeat initial three rows.
  • Bind off using purl stitching. Weave in ends.

Need help? Check out KnittingHelp.com – she’s my favorite resource for knitting tutorial videos. She covers everything – cast on, knitting on circular needles (joining the two ends of your cast on), yarn overknit-two-together, slip stitchesjoin in a new skein of yarnbind off, and so much more! And there’s a KnittingHelp.com app for your iPhone!

Here are few other fabulous & free cowl patterns I’ve found on Ravelry.com -

Swirling Petals

Swirling Petals by Casandra Lyons

BandanaCowl

Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho

Captivating Cowl

Captivating Cowl by Lion Brand Yarns

If you have a little extra time to stitch, you might want to try the lovely Snowdrift Infinity Cowl. (This one is on my “for me” knitting list!)

Snowdrift Infinity

Snowdrift Infinity Cowl by Kalurah

Even if you don’t have any last minute gifts to whip up, grab your needles, relax and stitch something for yourself!

Looking for more stitching inspiration? Check out my knitting-related Pinterest boards.

Follow Lollie – Fortuitous Housewife’s board Infinity Scarves & Cowls to Knit on Pinterest

Follow Lollie – Fortuitous Housewife’s board Knit, Purl, Knit on Pinterest

What are your go-to quick & easy handmade or homemade gifts? Please, share ‘em in a comment below!

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