Maybe Matilda: Quick + Easy Spring Chain Cowl

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quick + Easy Spring Chain Cowl

Is the weather getting a little more bearable in your neck of the woods? It’s getting better here . . . we even ventured outdoors for a walk yesterday afternoon! Sure, we only made it a block and a half, and okay, we required warm cookies and many episodes of Dora while wrapped in blankets to warm back up afterwards, but still. The end of winter is in sight!

So when I got my hands on some of Lion Brand Yarn’s new Zpagetti yarn, I knew just what to do with it. Turn it into an easy-to-make, easy-to-wear, lightweight spring cowl that will keep me warm until we can make park visits for longer than 20 minutes, but won’t make me sweaty once the weather gets warmer. Perfect!

Quick and Easy Lightweight Spring Cowl tutorial

The Zpagetti yarn is way cool—it’s made from garment manufacturing remnants, so each colorway is limited edition and unique. And since it’s a super bulky elastic and cotton blend, it’s very sturdy and great for dozens of home d├ęcor projects. It has the feel of a smooth, comfortable jersey or knit fabric, and I thought it would make for a great, stylish transition piece to wear into warmer spring weather. I love how soft and comfortable and wearable it is, I was really impressed with the feel and stretch of it, and it was seriously fun to crochet with.

Zpagetti Yarn review by Maybe Matilda

You could of course make this cowl with any bulky yarn, although that might make it better suited to chillier winter weather, depending on the fiber content. If the Zpagetti isn’t an option for you, perhaps you could even try your hand at making a similar version yourself with knit or jersey fabric. But I’m loving the Zpagetti. Fun stuff.

Although portions of this cowl use crochet stitches, you certainly don’t need to know how to crochet! All you really need to be able to do is make a chain and a slip stitch. The absolute most basic basics of crochet. So don’t worry if this is new to you—there’s nothing to be scared of here.

Start by making a slip knot around your crochet hook. I used an N hook because that’s the biggest size I own—the yarn actually recommends a Q hook (mega!). The N worked fine for me.

(If you need help making a slip knot, visit this link for a how-to.)

How to slip knot around hook

Now, you’re just going to start making chains. This is pretty simple stuff, and you’ll be flying once you get the hang of it. Just wrap a loop of yarn around your hook, like so:

How to chain in crochet

(Make sure you’re grabbing the yarn that leads to the ball, not the tail dangling from your slip knot!)

Then just pull that loop straight down and through the loop that’s already on your hook.

How to make a chain in crochet

That’s it! You’ve made a chain. Now just keep chaining.

How to make a chain cowl for spring!

Chain chain chain. (Bet you’ll never guess what song was stuck on repeat in my head while I worked on this.)

chain chain chain for a springy chain cowl!

You’ll go on and on and on. When you’ve got a big ol’ pile of chained-up yarn, start testing the length by draping it around your neck. Make sure you’re keeping it loose enough that you can pull it straight on and off—the little button cuff on the finished product is purely for show, so you’ll need to keep it loose enough to just slip on and off.

Make an easy DIY spring cowl

(Butterfly removable hand tattoo courtesy of my sister and the Valentines she gave us last week. Think I should make it permanent?)

If it isn’t big enough, chain some more. When you’re happy with the look, just make sure you have enough chains on your hook to reach back to the starting end. If you need to, add a few more chains or pull a few out so they’ll reach nicely.

To connect the ends, you’ll use a slip stitch. With your hook still in the ending chain’s loop, just insert your hook through one of the loops of the first chain:

How to slip stitch in crochet

Then grab a loop of yarn, just like you’ve been doing all along:

Crochet Slip Stitch

And pull that loop straight through both of the loops on your hook.

Slip stitch in crochet how to

That’s a slip stitch!

To finish it off, make one last chain:

DIY spring chain cowl

Then snip the yarn a few inches out and pull the chain all the way through.

Finishing off springy crochet cowl

You’ve got your cowl all finished! Now, if this marks the far reaches of your crochet experience, you can just wrap some of your extra yarn around a side of the cowl to hold it all together and secure it while you wear it. But if you know how to make single crochets (or are willing to try it out), then let’s make the button cuff.

Start by making a slip knot and 6 chains.

How to chain/single crochet

Now just work 5 single crochets back across the row, starting in the second chain away from the hook. If you need more details on this, you can visit this tutorial of mine, or this great one from One Dog Woof.

Single crochet

When you reach the end of the row, chain 1, turn your work, and single crochet back across. Repeat.

Single crochets for springy cowl

Keep going until your rectangle is long enough for the ends to meet when wrapped around your cowl.

How to attach button cuff to spring chain cowl

Then just slip stitch the ends of the rectangle together—insert your hook through a loop on each end of the rectangle, grab a loop of yarn, and pull it straight through. Slip stitch down the ends until your rectangle is fully closed, then fasten off just as you did when finishing the chain cowl.

Tutorial to make springy chain cowl

Once again, you’re at a good stopping point! If you like the look of just that little cuff, leave it as is and proudly wear your cute new springy cowl!

DIY lightweight spring cowl

I thought some little buttons would be the perfect way to finish it off. You can of course sew these buttons on—I was in no mood to search through my mess of a craft room for a needle and thread, and my hot glue gun just happened to be left out on the counter from an earlier project, sooooo . . . I just hot glued them on. As long as you keep the glue along the outer edges of the button so it doesn’t squelch up through the buttonholes, no one’s the wiser.

DIY this lightweight, quick and easy cowl for spring!

There you have it! A quick, easy, comfortable and lightweight spring cowl. I love the cheerful red color, I think the little button cuff is a fun finish, and I love the feel of the jersey-like yarn.

(With most crochet projects, you’ll want to weave in the ends of your yarn to hide and secure them. I didn’t have a needle large enough, so I just made sure all the ends were pulled as tight as I could make them, then cut the yarn off about 1/2 inch away from the knot, and hot glued the ends down.)

Yarn provided by Lion Brand Yarn.


  1. Ooo, I like this a lot. That yarn is very interesting. I don't think I would have ever picked it but it looks great with that pattern!

  2. That is so cute! I have not seen that yarn before, but I will definitely check it out now :)

  3. what a brilliant idea. I've got loads of that stuff hanging around. Now i know what to do with it.

  4. Oh I love this!! I'm so looking for some of this yarn at the craft store today when I go!! Thank you for all the inspiration and great tutorial! I love following your sweet blog!! :) Happy Monday! xo Holly

  5. Very nice! I need to get some of that "yarn"! Haven't seen it in any stores yet, so maybe I will have to order it online.. Thanks for the tutorial! Blessings..

  6. Yay! I found a scarf that I think I can make!!:) one question: how many skeins of this yarn did it take?

    1. I'm glad you like it!

      It didn't even use up one full skein of the Zpagetti (and it wasn't a huge skein to start with), so I don't think you'll need much!

  7. I love me an easy crochet project....mostly cause that's all I can do.

  8. Cute! And fun yarn! I especially like the name.

  9. Super-cute! I'm so into cowl scarves right now, and this seems like a fun one to play with!

    Also, your hair looks so pretty in the pictures. :)

  10. I saw similar yarn the other day and was tempted but wasn't sure what to make with it, I now wish I had bought it :)


  11. That is so cute! Also, LOVE your living room. It is so fun!

  12. sp pretty! i which i could have the patience to learn how to crochet!

    come say hello MOCCASIN RUN
    stop by the shop MOCCASIN RUN

  13. this yarn looks AMAZING!! I haven't heard of it before - do you know if it's being sold in the typical craft stores?

    Great pattern too - thanks for sharing, will have to try to make one (with or without the Zpagetti LOL) for the spring :-)

  14. Your scarf looks great! I made a a similar scarf, which you can see here, but I made a bunch of chains, and then tied yarn around them to hold them together, rather than making one long chain. I think I like how yours turned out more, so I might have to try again(maybe using old shirts as yarn).

  15. That yarn is awesome! I absolutely love the striped one they show on the LB page! Too bad it's out of stock til May :/

  16. Jiangsu yaxing chain co., LTD. (AsAc) is a professional engaged in Marine cable and Marine kenter shackle production enterprise, and it is China's Marine cable and Marine mooring chain production and export base, is the world's one of the largest in the industry, the most has the comprehensive strength of the modern enterprise.

  17. Your scarf came out beautiful! For anyone looking I have a very limited supply left. This yarn is very hard to get and once this is out I have been told there will be no more until March or April. I have a large amount backordered and should know when it is coming soon. Until then you can find some limited colors in my shop

  18. So, so, so excited to try this! Super pretty and fun! You are so sweet and generous to share your patterns with the world.

  19. What a great scarf!!! Thank you very much for posting!!!
    Lee Ann H
    Posted with Blackberry Z10!
    Crochet...Gotta Love It! Blog

  20. What a great scarf!!! Thank you very much for posting!!!
    Lee Ann H
    Posted with Blackberry Z10!
    Crochet...Gotta Love It! Blog


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