Monday, March 21, 2011

Versatile Cabled Cowl by Mary Jane Hall

As a Neck Warmer
As a Hood
I have always been the kind of designer who says, “What else can I do with this?” I love playing around with a crocheted piece and sometimes my mind just goes crazy. It all started with a design in Crochet That Fits, where I have 6 designs all from the same exact shape. 

As a Capelet
As a Skirt

I didn’t start out planning to do the same with this cowl, but after it was finished, I was not satisfied with just one way to wear it!
As a hood
My model, 24 yr old Mihaela Vaduva from Romania, so patiently allowed me to manipulate this cowl all over her body.

There are several ways you can wear this cowl, so it's really 7 patterns in one!

They are:
1. As a Cowl - neck warmer
2. As a Hood - over your head
3. As a Capelet - around the shoulders
4. As a Skirt
5. As a Tube Top - to wear under a jacket
6. As a Tote Bag
7. As a Throw Pillow 

 Of course, if you wear this piece as a skirt, you may need to weave in a chain tie through the waist to help keep it on your hips. And if you use the pattern as a tote bag, you'd need to crochet a rectangle shaped bottom, sew on handles, and add lining and a stabilizer to help keep its shape.

For those of you who are fairly new to crochet, you may look at the stitch pattern and think it looks complicated. But it’s not at all. Believe me, I try not to do real difficult patterns.

If I can’t figure out a stitch pattern in a few minutes, I’m done with that one, and go on to try another. I am known to design easy patterns, and this textured cable and aran stitch won’t disappoint you. It’s not the quickest pattern, but well worth your time.  The stunning texture resembles knitting from afar. BTW, I would never advise anyone to wear a crochet sweater, such as this, (at left) with the crochet cowl. I had been taking pictures of Mihaela in crochet pieces I found at the thrift store and was in a hurry! A post called "Thrift Store Finds" can be found on my blog here.

This cowl pattern is now available for sale on my blog here.
As a Tube Top
As a Tote Bag
As a pillow

Each piece you see in the photos is the exact same piece. (the original cowl) My model is a size 4-5, but as a skirt this would also fit a size 1-2.

If you need to make a larger size skirt or capelet, all you'd have to do is add more rows.
For the pillow at right, I sewed up one end, put a pillow form inside, then sewed up the other end on the outside.
Maybe you have another idea of how this pattern can be used, and if so, I'd love to hear about it! Details of the pattern (price - shipping options) is here. Please let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Great post and design, Mary Jane, I loved seeing all the things you can do with this cowl design. Making it in this warm neutral color makes it even more versatile!

  2. Glad you like it Vashti! I've enjoyed seeing all the creativity with your cowls :)

  3. Wow! I have never seen so many different ways to wear one item! I love it as a skirt! Great work :)

  4. Thanks for your comments :) I remembered another way the cowl could be worn, but I just didn't have time to do it. It could be made as a turtleneck capelet, by just extending the top (either edge), with the same ridged neckline. Of course, then it would have to be decreased as you go to form the turtleneck.

  5. This is terrific. I actually just put on a cowl of mine today and was playing around with it in the mirror trying to make it work differently. It ended up as a capelet. :)

  6. A great piece and beautiful stitch work! Thanks for sharing

  7. Beautiful. I love the cabling. This is a piece I will definitely be making. Thank you for sharing Mary Jane.

  8. Thanks to all of you for your comments :) Would you believe I still don't have this pattern for sale on my blog? With all the packing and moving the past few months, I have misplaced the hand written pattern! I always keep my patterns in a spiral notebook, but for some reason I had started this on a separate piece of paper. Can't believe I did that!!!

    1. Hi Mary Jane.
      I wanted to make this cowl for christmas gifts and I cannot find the pattern. I'm wondering if this means you never found your pattern to post it. Thanks. V.

  9. Hi Vivi,

    I have just been putting this off, but I'll try to make it a priority this week to type up the pattern. Really, since I've been extremely busy, I thought I'd do something about it when someone asked for the pattern! If you want to contact me personally, my email is
    Sorry for the inconvenience
    Mary Jane

  10. I finally found my handwritten pattern for this Cowl! So sorry this happened but shortly after I posted the photos, I moved and it was just misplaced somehow. Then I got really busy and didn't think about it til someone asked about the pattern. I just sent in some designs and will need to start another one as soon as I receive yarn from the publisher, but I will do my best to post the pattern in the next couple of days. Just have to make myself a note! Thanks for being patient :)

  11. This cowl pattern is finally available on my blog! Thanks for being patient!


Thoughts? We'd love to hear them.