Polar Purlin’ Cowl Pattern (Bulky Version)

This pattern is suited for any knitter with advanced beginner skills or above. It’s a relaxing knit due to the repetition of rounds, but the result is an intricate design that looks much more complicated than it actually is! This pattern made me really fall in love with the purl stitch – the ripple of the stitch goes particularly well with hand-dyed yarns, and look exquisite when knitted with neutral or bright colors.

An ad-free, printable version of this pattern is available in my Ravelry shop. The super bulky version of this cowl will be available on the blog soon!


This pattern assumes the reader has knowledge of the long-tail cast on, knitting in the round, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and binding off in the round. 

The standard cowl, and the one I created as the prototype for this design, is made up of 28 rounds of the main stitch pattern, with an Irish Moss (also known as American Moss) stitch border consisting of four rounds on the top and the bottom of the cowl. If you would like a taller cowl, simply repeat the main pattern as many times as necessary to achieve the desired height. However, make sure to end on a repeat of Round 8 before moving on the the final Moss stitch border. This rule also applies in the event that you must knit more or fewer rows to account for a difference in gauge. Please keep in mind you may need more yarn to account for any modifications made to the pattern.

I absolutely recommend that you make a gauge swatch with your chosen yarn before staring this project – in my experience, Bulky weight, or Weight Category 5, yarn, is not always consistent in its categorization. Some yarns labeled as Bulky might be much thinner or thicker than others with the same label. And, unfortunately, not every yarn can be used for every pattern. 

If you’d like a cowl with a smaller circumference, simply calculate the number of cast-on stitches needed to get your circumference using the stitch gauge. The cast- on number must be a multiple of 4.

For example, if you want a cowl that measures 27″ around, multiply the stitch gauge (1.5) by 27.

1.5 x 27 = 40.5 — you should cast on 40 or 44 stitches.

Please keep in mind you may need more or less yarn  to account for any modifications likes these.

Because the cowl needs to be blocked when finished, I would recommend you use a yarn with natural fiber content – the yarn called for in the pattern is a superwash merino. Any yarn with wool or alpaca content should work beautifully with this pattern. If you need a recommendation for yarn for this pattern, or are having trouble finding a yarn that works, please feel free to contact me!

Finished Dimensions (standard cowl):

9.5″ tall, 34″ circumference, blocked
Layed flat: 17″ across

Gauge: 2.5 stitches and 4 rows = 1″ in stockinette

Materials and Notions: 

  • 2 skeins of Wonderland Yarns “TweedleDeeDum” in desired colors, or appx. 131 yds. of another bulky weight (Category 5) yarn
  • US 13 (9 mm) circular knitting needles, 24″ cable
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch marker


CO = cast on
p = purl*
*any number following “p” in this pattern indicates how many stitches you must purl in that sequence
k1 = knit one stitch
sts = stitches


With US 13 circular knitting needles, CO 76 stitches using the long-tail cast on method.
Join to work in the round, and place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

Rounds 1-2: *k1, p1 repeat from * around
Rounds 3-4: *p1, k1, repeat from * around
Round 5: *k1, p3, repeat from * around
Round 6: Repeat Round 5 Rounds 7-8: p all sts

Repeat Rounds 5-8 until piece measures approximately 9″ tall (for standard size cowl), or until piece measures about 1.5″ shy of designed full height. End on a repeat of Round 8.

Once your cowl is 1.5″ shy of the height you want, repeat Rounds 1-4.
Bind off using your preferred method, leaving a long tail.


Lay the piece on a flat surface. With a tapestry needle, weave in ends used for bind off, and any remaining ends on the piece.

Block your cowl using steam or wet blocking. I found steam blocking to work very well for this piece, but please block per your own preference.

A fun tip: spritz a diluted mixture of essential oils and water onto your piece as it dries for a fragrant blocking experience! 🙂

Congrats! You just finished your cowl! Please feel free to share photos of your progress, or your finished cowl, by tagging me and using the hashtags #polarpurlincowl and #polarpurlspatterns.

© 2019 Stephanie Andrews.

You are free to sell finished items made using this pattern. However, reproduction, distribution or resale of this pattern is expressly prohibited. Also prohibited is the printing of this webpage, or content included in this webpage, as this is considered unauthorized reproduction of this pattern. Photos featured in this blog are not to be used for sale of products or finished items. Those who violate this copyright will be prosecuted.

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