Hot Tea

I love cowls but hate how most of them either choke me or gape open and let in the cold air! This cowl uses the stretchiness of garter stitch in two layers to make a cozy, squishy neck warmer that can be worn scrunched up, folded over like a turtleneck, or even pulled up over your mouth and nose. It is easily stretched to go over your head without messing up your hair or makeup and then springs back into shape to keep the cold out.

Make it striped if you like! The stripes will be vertical on the finished object. It’s a great way to use up your leftovers and any ends can just be hidden inside the tube.

Instructions are given for both fingering- and worsted-weight versions.

Finished measurements: approximately 25.5 cm tall and 48 cm around, and very stretchy

Gauge: for worsted version, 18 stitches and 34 rounds to 10 cm in unstretched garter stitch; for fingering version, 24 stitches and 44 rounds to 10 cm in unstretched garter stitch

Note: Though conversions to the metric system have been made on this page for your convenience, the pattern itself uses American measurements.


  • Knitting pattern for a warm, stretchy cowl in garter stitch
  • Seaming tutorial photos included
  • Suitable for advanced beginners

Materials you need at home:

  • Approximately 350 m of worsted-weight or 420 m of fingering-weight yarn. Samples were knit in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
  • 5.0 mm/US 8 circular needles for worsted version or 4.0 mm/US 6 circular needles for fingering version, or size needed to obtain gauge. The circulars must be 60 cm or smaller
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle
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Laura Aylor

If ‘knitting designer’ had been one of the job choices for those aptitude tests they give you in high school, I wouldn’t have spent so many years trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. My best subject in high school was math; my best classes in college were logic, drawing, and a commercial art class. After careers in computer programming/analysis and child-rearing, knit design snuck up on me, but I think it’s the perfect use of my odd skill set! I love every step of the process, from figuring out how to actually make what I’ve envisioned to putting the finishing touches on a pattern, not to mention all the knitting that comes in between!

I also love reading and hiking and spending time on Brier Island in Nova Scotia every summer.

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