Is the weather getting a little more bearable in your neck of the woods? It’s getting better here . . . we even ventured outdoors for a walk yesterday afternoon! Sure, we only made it a block and a half, and okay, we required warm cookies and many episodes of Dora while wrapped in blankets to warm back up afterwards, but still. The end of winter is in sight!
So when I got my hands on some of Lion Brand Yarn’s new Zpagetti yarn, I knew just what to do with it. Turn it into an easy-to-make, easy-to-wear, lightweight spring cowl that will keep me warm until we can make park visits for longer than 20 minutes, but won’t make me sweaty once the weather gets warmer. Perfect!
The Zpagetti yarn is way cool—it’s made from garment manufacturing remnants, so each colorway is limited edition and unique. And since it’s a super bulky elastic and cotton blend, it’s very sturdy and great for dozens of home décor projects. It has the feel of a smooth, comfortable jersey or knit fabric, and I thought it would make for a great, stylish transition piece to wear into warmer spring weather. I love how soft and comfortable and wearable it is, I was really impressed with the feel and stretch of it, and it was seriously fun to crochet with.
You could of course make this cowl with any bulky yarn, although that might make it better suited to chillier winter weather, depending on the fiber content. If the Zpagetti isn’t an option for you, perhaps you could even try your hand at making a similar version yourself with knit or jersey fabric. But I’m loving the Zpagetti. Fun stuff.
Although portions of this cowl use crochet stitches, you certainly don’t need to know how to crochet! All you really need to be able to do is make a chain and a slip stitch. The absolute most basic basics of crochet. So don’t worry if this is new to you—there’s nothing to be scared of here.
Start by making a slip knot around your crochet hook. I used an N hook because that’s the biggest size I own—the yarn actually recommends a Q hook (mega!). The N worked fine for me.
(If you need help making a slip knot, visit this link for a how-to.)
Now, you’re just going to start making chains. This is pretty simple stuff, and you’ll be flying once you get the hang of it. Just wrap a loop of yarn around your hook, like so:
(Make sure you’re grabbing the yarn that leads to the ball, not the tail dangling from your slip knot!)
Then just pull that loop straight down and through the loop that’s already on your hook.
That’s it! You’ve made a chain. Now just keep chaining.
Chain chain chain. (Bet you’ll never guess what song was stuck on repeat in my head while I worked on this.)
You’ll go on and on and on. When you’ve got a big ol’ pile of chained-up yarn, start testing the length by draping it around your neck. Make sure you’re keeping it loose enough that you can pull it straight on and off—the little button cuff on the finished product is purely for show, so you’ll need to keep it loose enough to just slip on and off.
(Butterfly removable hand tattoo courtesy of my sister and the Valentines she gave us last week. Think I should make it permanent?)
If it isn’t big enough, chain some more. When you’re happy with the look, just make sure you have enough chains on your hook to reach back to the starting end. If you need to, add a few more chains or pull a few out so they’ll reach nicely.
To connect the ends, you’ll use a slip stitch. With your hook still in the ending chain’s loop, just insert your hook through one of the loops of the first chain:
Then grab a loop of yarn, just like you’ve been doing all along:
And pull that loop straight through both of the loops on your hook.
That’s a slip stitch!
To finish it off, make one last chain:
Then snip the yarn a few inches out and pull the chain all the way through.
You’ve got your cowl all finished! Now, if this marks the far reaches of your crochet experience, you can just wrap some of your extra yarn around a side of the cowl to hold it all together and secure it while you wear it. But if you know how to make single crochets (or are willing to try it out), then let’s make the button cuff.
Start by making a slip knot and 6 chains.
Now just work 5 single crochets back across the row, starting in the second chain away from the hook. If you need more details on this, you can visit this tutorial of mine, or this great one from One Dog Woof.
When you reach the end of the row, chain 1, turn your work, and single crochet back across. Repeat.
Keep going until your rectangle is long enough for the ends to meet when wrapped around your cowl.
Then just slip stitch the ends of the rectangle together—insert your hook through a loop on each end of the rectangle, grab a loop of yarn, and pull it straight through. Slip stitch down the ends until your rectangle is fully closed, then fasten off just as you did when finishing the chain cowl.
Once again, you’re at a good stopping point! If you like the look of just that little cuff, leave it as is and proudly wear your cute new springy cowl!
I thought some little buttons would be the perfect way to finish it off. You can of course sew these buttons on—I was in no mood to search through my mess of a craft room for a needle and thread, and my hot glue gun just happened to be left out on the counter from an earlier project, sooooo . . . I just hot glued them on. As long as you keep the glue along the outer edges of the button so it doesn’t squelch up through the buttonholes, no one’s the wiser.
There you have it! A quick, easy, comfortable and lightweight spring cowl. I love the cheerful red color, I think the little button cuff is a fun finish, and I love the feel of the jersey-like yarn.
(With most crochet projects, you’ll want to weave in the ends of your yarn to hide and secure them. I didn’t have a needle large enough, so I just made sure all the ends were pulled as tight as I could make them, then cut the yarn off about 1/2 inch away from the knot, and hot glued the ends down.)
Yarn provided by Lion Brand Yarn.