Sunday, October 23, 2016

Easy Cake Cowl - Free Knitting Pattern!

As I sit here at our farmhouse in Montana, in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to do while my husband putz's around on the 4-wheeler I thought I'd knit a cowl.
I really like the Caron Cakes that are at Michaels - seems they've been all the rage!  I wanted to make something with one complete cake.  I bought my Caron cakes (36 of them!) at Michaels when they were on sale for $4.59 back in September.

This cowl is knit flat and joined at the end.  You can either knit it flat and sew a seam at the end or another option is to do a provisional cast on and secure the seam at the end with a 3-needle bind off. 

The Stringy fringe is made simply at the end with dropped stitches - no need to cut fringe and tie on.

Materials and Tools: 

  • U.S. Size 9 (5.5mm) knitting needles
  • OPTIONAL for those using the provisional cast on.  An extra knitting needle to be used for the 3-needle bind off.  (size doesn't matter too much, anything between a 6 - 8)
  • 1 Caron Cakes (or similar like Premier "Sweet Roll") or just Worsted/Aran weight, approx. 383 yds. 
  • OPTIONAL: A little waste yarn in a contrast color for provisional cast on. 


20 sts in stockinette stitch = 4"


K = knit
P = purl
yo = yarn over
k2tog = knit 2 together
RS = right side


Provisional cast-ons: (here are a few different methods)

3-needle bind off:


**Choose now whether you’d like to make this by starting with a provisional cast-on, which means you will join at the end with a 3-needle bind off,  OR you can just choose a regular cast-on method of your choice, then bind off at the end and sew your seam. 

Set up:

For Provisional Cast-on (this means you will use a 3-needle bind off at the end) Using waste yarn perform a provisional cast on of your choice, cast on 42 sts.

For Regular Cast on (this means you will sew your seam at the end.)  Using main yarn, cast on 42 sts using any regular cast on method you prefer.  I myself prefer the long-tail cast on. 

1-2 Knit
3.  (RS) k2,  *yo, k2tog, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.
4-7. Knit
8-15. Starting with a purl row, work 8 rows of Stockinette St.  End on RS.

16-18. Knit
19. (RS) k2,  *yo, k2tog, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.
20-23. Knit
24-31. Starting with a purl row, work 8 rows of Stockinette St.  End on RS.

Repeat rows 16-31 until you've used up all but a couple rows worth of yarn or very close to the end of the cake.  Make sure to end on row 31.


For those who used a Provisional Cast-on:
Using spare knitting needle, pick up the 42 stitches from the cast on, set aside.

Now, on the end that was the last row you worked, k2 sts, then k1, then place the last st worked back on the left hand needle, drop the other 2 sts off the needle (yep, let 'em drop off the needle, this will become your fringe later) then place that st that you worked (the 4th one) back on the right needle.  On the spare needle, the one with the sts you picked up from the provisional cast on, hold it parallel to the other working needle, right sides together, drop the first 2 sts off the needle.  Now knit a stitch from the provisional cast on side, now you have 2 sts on your right hand needle, pass st 1 over st 2.
Now perform a 3-needle bind off, when you get to the last 2 stitches (on both needles), stop, and let them drop off (again, this will become fringe).  Tie off on the last st worked and weave in end.

For those who used a regular Cast-on:

K3,  k the next st, pass the 3rd st on right needle over the 4th one as to bind off, place the new stitch you just made when you bound it off onto the left hand needle temporarily, drop those 2 edge sts off of the right hand needle, now place the st that you set onto the left needle back onto the right needle, continue to bind off until 2 sts remain on each needle, drop these last 2 sts on each needle (these will become fringe also).  Cut yarn, tie off and weave in.  Sew your bind off edge to the cast on edge (except those 2 edge stitches on each side which are dropped - don't sew those, they need to stay loose and dropped to pull the fringe.

To make the fringe, start gently tugging at an end where 2 sts were dropped, until a loop works its way out, when one loop comes out tug the next one.  I am going to refer you to a video that I made for a different pattern but the fringe pulling is the same.  Please ignore the fact that this is a different pattern and different look, just look at the way I pull the fringe out.  The video is here:

My cowl was approximately 64" long before seaming.  After seaming I washed it in the washing machine and dried it in the dryer, I did not block it.   I actually prefer the "wrong" side better than the right side.  I wear mine doubled around my neck.   Back to Pattern Index