Our Bandana Cowl is a true one-skein-wonder. Soft and stylish, cute and cozy… It’s been a customer favorite for over ten years!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

A clever little knit, you work it in the round with short rows for shaping. If you’ve never knit short rows, now is the perfect time to try them because we have tutorials that walk you through every step. Find out if you’re a wrap-and-turn kinda knitter or more of German-short-rows type… We explain both techniques!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

In our 100% extra fine merino Plenty, the Bandana Cowl is a quick knit that makes a fantastic gift (for a friend, loved one, or for yourself)!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

Soft and squishy, cozy and cushy, Plenty is as un-scratchy as wool gets! We found the softest merino on the market, making sure it’d be wonderful to knit and wear.

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

With its distinctive high twist, Plenty is not so prone to pilling and has a lively bounce to its step. We love its plump and lofty sense of generosity and its overall good feeling… It’s just amazing to knit with!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

To celebrate our five new colors of Plenty, we’ve knit up a band of Bandana Cowls that covers the full range of Plenty’s new twenty-three-color palette. You can spot our new Mint Blue, Golden Green, and Plumeria Pink in the photo below (from left to right). Gorgeous!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

So many beautiful colors, we decided to whip up four new colorplay versions: Breton Stripes, Transitional Stripes, Colorblock, and even a duplicate stitch Monogram, so you can bring your A game to this knit! (Or your B game!)

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

So, pick your pattern, pick your colors, and cast on to find out why the Bandana Cowl is still one of our most popular knits!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

Join Our Free Knit-Along!

Cast on for the Bandana Cowl KAL! Everyone who signs up is eligible to win a $1000 Purl Soho gift card at the end of the journey, as well as more amazing giveaways along the way. Join for free by clicking here and be sure to share your progress (and check out everyone else’s) at #PurlSohoKAL and #PurlSohoBandanaCowl. We can’t wait to knit with you!

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

Materials

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho

One-Color Version

  • Main Color (MC): 1 skein of Purl Soho’s Plenty, 100% extra fine merino wool. Each skein is 139 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 139 yards required. We used Mint Blue and Lilac Quartz.

Two-Color Version

  • Main Color (MC): 1 skein of Plenty
  • Contrast Color (CC): 1 skein of Plenty

For Colorblock Version, approximately 70 yards required of each MC and CC. We used Golden Green and Gray Pearl.

For Breton Stripe Version, approximately 115 yards required of MC and 35 yards of CC. We used Sapphire Blue and Pottery Pink.

For Transitional Stripe Version, approximately 80 yards required of MC and 65 yards of CC. We used Mint Blue and Plumeria Pink.

For Monogram Version, approximately 139 yards required of MC and a few yards of CC. We used Peony Pink and Red Pine.

You’ll also need…

  • US 10 (6.0 mm), 16-inch circular needles (Note: Always use the needles that you need to get the correct gauge. In this case, some of our sample makers found a US 10 worked better for them than what Plenty’s label recommends, which is a US 9 for 4 stitches to the inch. If you know you’re a bit of a tight knitter, US 10 needles are more likely to work for you, and if you’re on the loose side, you may prefer US 9s!)
  • Stitch markers, including one unique

GAUGE

16 stitches and 24 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

NOTE: We used almost a full skein to make this cowl. To avoid running short, please re-use your swatch yarn, double check your gauge, and be conservative with tails!

SIZE

Finished Neck Opening: 17¼ inches circumference, comfortably stretching an additional 5 inches

Finished Height from Point: 13½ inches

NOTE

We explain how to make this cowl with two different methods of short rows: Wrap + Turn or German. Most people would say German Short Rows are simpler, but lots of people feel more comfortable with Wrap + Turn ones. For our samples, we used Wrap + Turn Short Rows, but pick whichever method you prefer!

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

S2KP (SLIP, SLIP, KNIT, PASS)

NOTE Watch this decrease in action with our Slip Slip Knit Pass Tutorial.

Slip 2 stitches together knitwise, knit 1, pass 2 slipped stitches over knit stitch. [2 stitches decreased]

SHORT ROW SHAPING

WRAP + TURN (WRP-T)

NOTE For our step-by-step video tutorial of how to work this technique, including how to work wrapped stitches with their wraps, please visit our Short Rows: Wrap + Turn Tutorial.

On the right side: Keeping yarn in back, slip next stitch purlwise from left needle to right needle. Bring yarn to front. Return slipped stitch to left needle. Bring yarn to back. Turn work so wrong side is facing you.

On the wrong side: Keeping yarn in front, slip next stitch purlwise from left needle to right needle. Bring yarn to back. Return slipped stitch to left needle. Bring yarn to front. Turn work so right side is facing you.

GERMAN SHORT ROWS

NOTE: For more help with this technique, please visit our German Short Rows Tutorial.

Make Double Stitch

On the right side: Turn work so wrong side is facing you. Slip 1 to right needle with yarn in front, pull working yarn tightly over needle so it tugs up both legs of slipped stitch to look like two stitches, i.e. a “double stitch.” Bring yarn around back of needle, then forward, passing between needles so yarn is in front.

On the wrong side: Turn work so right side is facing you. Slip 1 to right needle with yarn in front, pull working yarn tightly over needle so it tugs up both legs of slipped stitch to look like two stitches, i.e. a “double stitch.” Bring yarn over needle and leave it so yarn is in back.

Work Double Stitch As Single Stitch

On the right side: When you reach the double stitch, work it as a single stitch by knitting both legs of double stitch together.

On the wrong side: When you reach the double stitch, work it as a single stitch by purling both legs of double stitch together.

CARRYING UP THE YARN

For the Breton Stripe and Transitional Stripe Versions, rather than cutting the yarn every couple of rows, carry the non-working yarn up the inside of the cowl. For tips on carrying the yarn, visit our Stripes In The Round Tutorial

PATTERN

BEGIN

With Main Color (MC), cast on 89 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Place a unique marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: Purl to end of round.

Round 2: K43, s2kp (see Special Instructions, above), knit to end of round. [87 stitches remain]

Round 3: P42, s2kp, purl to end of round. [85 stitches remain]

Round 4: K41, s2kp, knit to end of round. [83 stitches remain]

Round 5: P40, s2kp, purl to end of round. [81 stitches remain]

WORK BANDANA POINT

NOTE In this section you will be working back and forth in short rows, turning the work partway through each row. For extra help, see Special Instructions and pick the short row method you prefer. For German Short Row instructions, go on to next section.

IF USING WRAP + TURN SHORT ROWS

Short Row 1 (right side): K42, wrp-t (see Special Instructions). 

Short Row 2 (wrong side): P3, wrp-t.

Short Row 3: Knit to wrapped stitch, knit wrapped stitch with its wrap, k1, wrp-t.

Short Row 4: Purl to wrapped stitch, purl wrapped stitch with its wrap, p1, wrp-t.

Repeat Short Rows 3 and 4 eighteen more times. (Don’t worry if you lose count; you’ll know you’re done when you wrap and turn the stitches right next to the marker!)

Next Round (partial round): Knit to end of round, knitting wrapped stitch with its wrap.

Go on to Decrease To Top section, below.

IF USING GERMAN SHORT ROWS

Short Row 1 (right side): K43, make double stitch (see Special Instructions). 

Short Row 2 (wrong side): P4, make double stitch. 

Short Row 3: Knit to double stitch, knit double stitch as single stitch (see Special Instructions), k2, make double stitch. 

Short Row 4: Purl to double stitch, purl double stitch as single stitch, p2, make double stitch. 

Repeat Short Rows 3 and 4 eighteen more times. (Don’t worry if you lose count; you’ll know you’re done when you make a double stitch right next to the marker!)

Next Round (partial round): Knit to the end of the round, knitting last double stitch as a single stitch.

Go on to Decrease To Top section, right below.

DECREASE TO TOP

ONE-COLOR VERSION

Working in the round again, knit 2 rounds even, knitting remaining wrapped stitch with its wrap (or working double stitch as a single stitch, if using German Short Rows).

Set-Up Round: K18, place marker, k45, place marker, knit to end of round.

Decrease Round: Knit to 2 stitches before first marker, knit 2 together, slip marker (sm), knit to next marker, sm, slip slip knit, knit to end of round. [2 stitches decreased]

Continuing in stockinette stitch (knitting each round), repeat Decrease Round every 4th round 5 more times, then knit 3 rounds even. [69 stitches remain]

WORK GARTER STITCH EDGE

Round 1: Purl to end of round.

Round 2: Knit to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 one more time. 

Bind off very loosely, purlwise.

COLORBLOCK VERSION

Cut MC, and with Contrast Color (CC), follow Decrease To Top instructions for One-Color Version, above.

BRETON STRIPE VERSION

NOTE: Be sure to carry non-working yarn up inside of cowl. See Special Instructions for more info.

Do not cut MC (you will pick it back up shortly).

Working in the round again, with Contrast Color (CC), knit 2 rounds even, knitting remaining wrapped stitch with its wrap (or working double stitch as a single stitch, if using German Short Rows).

Set-Up Round: With MC, k18, pm, k45, pm, knit to end of round.

Round 1 (Decrease Round): With MC, knit to 2 stitches before first marker, knit 2 together, slip marker (sm), knit to next marker, sm, slip slip knit, knit to end of round. [2 stitches decreased]

Rounds 2 and 3: With CC, knit to end of round.

Round 4: With MC, knit to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 five more times. [69 stitches remain]

Cut CC.

With MC, follow Work Garter Stitch Edge instructions for One-Color Version, above.

TRANSITIONAL STRIPE VERSION

NOTE: Be sure to carry non-working yarn up inside of cowl. See Special Instructions for more info.

Do not cut MC (you will pick it back up shortly). Working in the round again…

Round 1: With Contrast Color (CC), knit to end of round, knitting remaining wrapped stitch with its wrap (or working double stitch as a single stitch, if using German Short Rows).

Round 2: With MC, knit to end of round.

Set-Up Round: With CC, k18, pm, k45, pm, knit to end of round.

Decrease Round: With MC, knit to 2 stitches before first marker, knit 2 together, slip marker (sm), knit to next marker, sm, slip slip knit, knit to end of round. [2 stitches decreased]

Next Round: With CC, knit to end of round.

Next Round: With MC, knit to end of round.

Cut MC.

Continuing with CC…

Next Round: Knit to end of round.

Next Round: Repeat Decrease Round.

Continuing in stockinette stitch (knitting each round), repeat Decrease Round every 4th round 4 more times, then knit 3 rounds even. [69 stitches remain]

Follow Work Garter Stitch Edge instructions for One-Color Version, above.

MONOGRAM VERSION

NOTE: For duplicate stitch pointers, please be sure to visit our Duplicate Stitch Tutorial.

Follow Decrease To Top instructions for One-Color Version, above.

With a length of Contrast Color yarn threaded onto a tapestry needle, follow our Monogram Chart to create a duplicate-stitch monogram. We centered ours in the bandana’s point.

FINISHING: ALL VERSIONS

Weave in ends and gently wet block.

Bandana Cowl In New Styles + Colors | Purl Soho