Is It Knit? Waistcoat Stitch Cowl Pattern

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This post includes the free crochet pattern: Is it Knit? Waistcoat Stitch Cowl Pattern. This basic crochet cowl pattern is crocheted in the waistcoat stitch and the post includes the video tutorial and photo tutorial. The beauty of this pattern is you can use any weight yarn and a hook size (or 2) larger than the yarn recommends on the label. Popular cowl size measurements have been provided so you can pick which one to crochet! Have fun and let me know if you have any questions.

Is It Knit Basic Crochet Cowl Waistcoat Stitch Free Pattern Oombawka Design Crochet sq

I have included popular sizes for cowls from small to extra large and in various heights – using the instructions provided you can create your own preferred size, or you can follow the specific crochet instructions to duplicate my cowl pattern – right down to the drawstring closure.

Update December 2, 2013 – here is a diagram to assist with the first rows of the cowl – I hope it helps clear up the instructions 🙂

Waistcoat Stitch Diagram Oombawka Design Crochet Waistcoat Stitch Diagram Oombawka Design Crochet KEY

Is it Knit? Waistcoat Stitch Cowl Pattern

I made a second smaller cowl – using the instructions and Bernat Handicrafter Cotton – here is a photo my second cowl:

The Is it Knit? Crochet patterns use the Waistcoat Stitch.

You can view the Photo & Video Tutorials below:

Photo Tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch

Video Tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch

Special Stitch: Waistcoat Stitch (WST)
Yarn/Hook: Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, Medium Weight Yarn [4] and L/11 – 8.00mm hook was used in the photos – this pattern is customizable to any yarn/hook combination
Stitch markers
Pattern is worked in continuous spirals. Do not join rounds or chain 1 unless indicated.
U.S. Crochet Terms

sc: single crochet, st: stitch, sts: stitches, ch: chain, , ss: slip stitch, FO: finish off, WST: waist-coat stitch
This is a very simple pattern; however, the stitch can be difficult to master. Try to keep your stitch tension relaxed.
I love this stitch and the look it gives my projects; my desire to have a hat look ‘knit’ but be cro-chet was all the incentive I re-quired to keep at it to make the stitch work for me. It took a few attempts for me to get it right. Don’t give up – it really is worth the effort!

Basic Cowl Circumferences

Extra Small
Extra Large

Basic Cowl Heights

Basic (single wrap)
Long (double wrap)
Snood (hooded)

Step 1.
Pick the circumference for your cowl – if you want a cowl that will go nicely around your neck you will be looking at the extra small to medium sizes in the chart above. If you want a cowl that can be wrapped around the neck twice, see the large & extra large measurements. For my cowl in the photos I used 32”.
Step 2.
Decide how tall you want your cowl to be – standard cowls usually range between 12” and 14” inches; if you want to be able to pull the cowl up over the back of the head like a hood (snood) you need to have a height of at least 18”-24” (although some patterns go as wide as 32” when chunky yarn is used). For my snood in the photos I used 18”.

Work your stitches loosely – if you tend to have a tight stitch you may wish to move up an additional crochet hook size for the starting chain. If you are substituting yarn please see the note below for the hook size!!
*Hook Size – Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable recommends a 6.00 mm hook – I used an 8.00 mm hook to reach my desired gauge – this stitch is a tight stitch so you will need to increase your hook size accordingly – until you find a gauge that is comfortable and easy to work!*
R1: Chain the number of stitches required to reach your starting circumference. For my snood I chose a circumference of 32” and I chained 100. Continue back along the top of the starting chain and 1sc in each st across until you reach the 1st chain st of the round. Crochet 3sc in the 1st chain st and ro-tate your work to continue crocheting along the bottom of the starting chain; 1sc in each st across. Bring the two ends together (without letting your work twist) and ss the ends together to form a loop. You will now work in continuous spirals for the remainder of the pattern.
R2: Ch1 and 1WST in each st around.
R3-height obtained (*my snood was 18”): (do not ss to join, or chain 1) 1 WST in each st around. Once you reach your desired height go to the finishing instructions below.

To finish, 1sc in each st around for one round; followed by 1ss in each st around. F/O and sew in any loose ends.
For my cowl I added a drawstring and I weaved it through the gaps between R1 stitches. To make the drawstring, I chained 240 stitches using a 4.00mm hook, weaved the finished chain through the post stitches in the first round of the cowl and then added one wood bead to each end of the chain. I then sewed the ends of the drawstring chain into the first few chain stitches (in the drawstring chain) to create secure ‘knots’ to hold the beads in place and to stop the drawstring from slipping back through the cowl. The starting chain end becomes the top of the cowl.

Waistcoat Stitch (WST) aka New Chain Stitch (circa 1915, Sunlight Yarns)
Insert your hook from front to back, below the top chain, having one thread on either side of the hook , (*between the 2-threads that make up the “V”*) on both sides of the work; pull up one loop. Yarn over hook and pull through both loops on the hook. Repeat.

waistcoat stitch 1

waistcoat 2

Here are the lovely cowls that my pattern testers created using the pattern/instructions:

I would like to thank each of them for their fabulous attention to detail and assistance with this new pattern.

Thank you Ladies!!

I hope you enjoy the new pattern 🙂

Is It Knit Basic Crochet Cowl Waistcoat Stitch Free Pattern Oombawka Design Crochet


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  1. I love all your fee patterns, but this stitch is slowly getting in my head… I think it’s saying: “Try me, try me…”
    Thank you for all the patterns, searches and shares. 😉