Quick Knit - Bandana Cowl

By Lauren Guthrie

Now that it's getting a bit chillier, I'm feeling more and more reluctant to take off my coat and scarf when I get home. I can usually manage the coat but I love having something cosy around my neck in the winter. The problem I find a scarf just ends up getting in the way and tends to dangle into everything. 

So, when I spotted this bandana cowl pattern on The Purl Bee Blog I cast on almost right away. I knew it would be perfect for keeping my neck cosy in the house and for some reason I don't feel as bad wearing it inside than I do wearing a scarf. It only took a couple of evening to make as well, so its perfect for a Christmas pressie idea too!

The pattern is pretty straight forward and if your confident knitting and purling then you'll be able to figure it out. My Mum once said to me once you can knit and purl you can do anything as knitting is just different combinations of these two stitches. Whenever I'm not sure whether to start something new, I always just think of that and have a go anyway. 

It is knitted in the round on circular needles so you'll need some stitch markers to identify where your start point is. Knitting in the round is actually pretty easy once you get started....just make sure that you don't twist your work during the first few rows. Have a look at this great video for how to join your work in the round

I used these bamboo circular needles (size 6mm) and Rowan Felted Tweed yarn in shade 'Rage' which a a gorgeous rich textured red colour. And the great thing is you'll have plenty left over from a 50g ball! 

The pattern explains all abbreviations apart from 'ssk' which means slip slip knit. It makes a decrease that slants to the left. It is done opposite k2tog (knit two stitches together) which gives a right slanting decrease. 

To execute 'ssk' slip the first stitch as if to knit, slip the second stitch as if to knit, then slide the left-hand needle into the front part of both stitches and knit them together.

The other technique used in this pattern is 'short rows'. Short rows are used to create shaping in your work like wedges, triangles, bust darts or ear flaps. To create a short row you don't knit all the stitches that are on your needles. The pattern will tell you how many to do, once your done them you 'wrap and turn' and then knit back again. 

It's surprisingly easy once you get started. Have a look as this video for how to 'turn and wrap' to work your short rows. 

I've already finished two and got another one on the go! I'm wearing it so much I decided I needed a bit of variety! 
Happy knitting!