Thaxton Hooded Cowl by Vashti Braha

Thaxton Hooded Cowl

December 2011
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
Crochet slip stitches worked into the back loop.
6.0 mm (J)
440 - 550 yards (402 - 503 m)
21" long, 22" circumference at neck widening to 43" circumference at shoulder {53 cm X 56 cm & 112 cm}. Extra length is for doubling or tripling as a cowl when not worn over the head as a hood. The shorter cowl option can be easily be folded over once a
both US and UK
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $6.99 USD
buy it now or visit pattern website

This pattern has a stitch diagram, offers two lengths, and two seaming schematics for the cowl and for creating a true hooded version. Also a photo sequence for creating the notch.

Luxuriously roomy, stretchy, warm and squishy, I designed the Thaxton Cowl to keep one’s upper back and chest toasty whether it’s worn like a collar or unfurled into a hood. I can’t imagine a better stitch for it.

This close-knit yet 100% crocheted cowl features my all-time favorite type of ribbing: crochet slip stitches worked into the back loop. It’s crocheted side to side, meaning that the rows run from top to bottom of the cowl opening. The lovely short row wedges allow it to flare at the shoulders yet cozy up to the neck.

When not worn as a hood, the full-length version is long enough to be triple-folded. Even without a seamed hood, it’s long and stretchy enough to cover the head in the style of a wimple or “snood.” The shorter, yarn-conserving option is still roomy.

Skill Level: Intermediate. If you haven’t tried slip stitch short rows yet, download my free pattern: Slip Slope Scarf.
The slip stitch is an elementary stitch, and I find that crocheting slip stitch short rows is a breeze. It adds just enough spice to a simple stitch to create that “Just one more row!” fun. Short rows are considered an Intermediate skill, and the stitch gauge is much looser than most crocheters are taught to use when crocheting slip stitches. I call this valuable skill a “hook-led” gauge.

After following this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • How to crochet stylish and stretchy slip stitch ribbing
  • How to shape a ribbed cowl with short rows
  • How to add decorative accents to short-rowed ribbing
  • How to seam a flared cowl into a hooded capelet
  • How to use a hook-led stitch gauge

Unstretched: 21” long (from neck opening to shoulder opening) X 22” circumference at neck, widening to 43” circumference at shoulder {53 cm X 56 cm & 110 cm}. Extra length is for doubling or tripling as a cowl when not worn over the head as a hood.
The shorter cowl option can be easily be folded over once and is 16” long {41 cm}, as shown in the smallest photo on page 1.
These roomy dimensions are a guideline. They allow for the slightly tighter slip stitch ribbing that many crocheters make. (If your stitches are tighter, the overall finished dimensions of the cowl and hood will be smaller.) Pattern includes customizing options if your stitches are coming out tighter or looser so that you can end up with the fit you prefer.

The best fibers for this project add bounce and plump stretchiness to the cowl because of their wool or acrylic content. A special upscale yarn with tonal hand dyeing adds to the experience. Choose a #4 medium-weight yarn that lists a crochet hook size range from US H/8/5mm-J/10/6mm on its label. These yarns may also be referred to as Heavy Worsted, Aran, Afghan, and occasionally “Light Chunky” Weight.

Recommended if you’re new to slip stitch crochet: 2 or more stitch markers (until you can recognize the last slip stitch of each row).

I’ve kept pattern abbreviations to a minimum. UK and Australian equivalents for American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms are in brackets { }.