Knitting Pattern: The Barista Cowl

In addition to his duties as chief cat wrangler and household chef, Mr Elyse works a day job as a barista. With winter imminent he asked me if I would make him a cowl or scarf to keep him warm when he worked the drive through window. As this presented an opportunity to buy new yarn, I of course said yes.

(Side note: yes, this means my husband makes one badass caramel latte, ladies and gentlemen. There’s always one waiting for me when I get up–be jealous, be very, very jealous).

Anyway, I decided to go with a cowl as since a scarf has the potential to get in the way during coffee prep. My finished product was The Barista Cowl–a super bulky wool cowl that knits up quickly and is quite warm.

Rich is standing in front of a tree, wearing his cowl unbuttoned

Things you will need:

2 skeins of bulky weight yarn–45 yds each. I used Blue Sky Fibers Bulky in Grey Wolf and Black Bear. If you’re allergic to wool you might try this.

Size 15 circular knitting needles with a 16″ cord

A yarn needle for weaving in ends

1 large stitch marker

2 large buttons (I dug mine out of my button jar.) (Yes I have a button jar, don’t judge me).

A needle and thread for sewing on buttons

Recommended but not required: Wool Wash. I’m a huge fan of wool wash as it pulls the excess dye out of the yarn and also softens scratchy fibers prior to wearing.  I use Soak (I like the Yuzu scent) but if you don’t want to try a big bottle, it’s also available in mini packets.

Rich is standing in front of a tree, wearing his cowl buttoned up


Look at this picture of Tom Hiddleston  holding a baby leopard. Doesn’t that make everything better?

Tom Hiddleston is on a night-time talk show, cuddling a leopard cub. He looks super delighted and the cub is so fuzzy, you guys. SO FUZZY.

Not your cup of tea?

Here’s Rosario Dawson holding an albino alligator and being super happy about. Hope she washed her hands after.

Rosario Dawson is also on a late night talk show, laughing and holding a baby albino alligator.


Okay, knitting stuff: I’m giving instructions for the cowl in 2 sizes, small and large. I made my husband a large cowl, but I would be swimming in it. Both are the same height but the small is a little tighter.

  1. With main color CO 48 (56) stitches– DO NOT JOIN IN THE ROUND YET (we’re gonna do some stuff first).
  2. Follow pattern below:

Rows 1 & 2: *K1, P1* rep  to end

Row 3: K1, P1 until 3 stitches remain. YO, P1, K1, P1

Row 4: K1, P1, K2tog, P1, *K1, P1* to end

Rows 5 & 6: Repeat Rows 3 and 4 again. Hey we just made some button holes!

Rows 7 & 8: * K1, P1* rep to end

Row 9: Okay, now we join in the round. Use a stitch marker to mark where your round starts. K1, P1 around.

Rows 10-13: K1, P1 around.

Row 14: Switch to contrasting color. K1, P1 around.

Rows 15-19: K1, P1 around. (You can work fewer rounds if you want a shorter cowl).

6. Loosely bind off.

7. I really recommend soaking your project in wool wash or hair conditioner to get the excess dye out and soften the fibers. Then rinse, gently roll in a towel, and lay flat to dry.

8. Sew on buttons and weave in ends.

You’re all done!  Hopefully this cowl keeps you warm whether you’re slinging espresso or waiting in line for it. Happy knitting!


Comments are Closed

  1. Suze in CO says:

    Lovely cowl, well done! And about that button jar…anyone who judges you harshly for having such a useful item around the house is just wrong.

  2. Patricia says:

    I love this. It almost makes me want to try to learn how to knit. And there should be no judgments about button jars — I inherited my grandma’s. Not only are button jars super useful some of my best childhood memories were finding pretty buttons (my kids have done the same thing).

  3. DonnaMarie says:

    I myself have two button tins, one was my grandmother’s the other my mother’s, which I have used, added to and compulsively sorted by size, color, age, material hundreds of times. So no judgement here. Jealous of daily caramel lattes? Yes, yes I am.

    And thanks for the pattern. I’ve been a little stumped for gift ideas when it comes to the goddaughter’s fiance. This looks like a winner.

  4. LML says:

    Elyse, you may be surprised at how many of us have button jars. My button “jar” is an old and dear Christmas tin because that’s what Grandma used for her buttons.

  5. I don’t knit (or sew, really), but I have a button box. No judgment here. Love the cowl–what a great idea. Also, all instruction lists should include celebrities holding baby animals.

  6. Jazzlet says:

    “A” button jar? *looks at assortment of button boxes and tins* Lightweight! 😉

    Lovely cowl.

  7. kkw says:

    I have my grandmother’s button box, which had belonged to her mother in law, so I guess it’s my great grandmother’s button box. Reorganizing it is the best time suck outside the Internet.

  8. Cas says:

    I found this so cheering today — thank you! And I can’t even knit!

  9. michelle says:

    simple, elegant, squishy soft, and uses up my vintage buttons!! LOVE IT!! and thank you for the pattern!

  10. Jen says:

    What a delicious pattern! I, too, have a button jar. Several, in fact. My sons will love this cowl. I think I’ll make one for each of them and one for my son-in-law, as well. I hope you had a wonderful Hanukkah & here’s to a joyful new year. Thank you.

Comments are closed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.

↑ Back to Top