Knit Pattern: Garter Stitch Mobius Cowl for Babies and Toddlers

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This cowl was the result of my needing something to keep from fidgeting during a language course last year. As was usual in the autumn, I started carrying yarn and needles around in my bag to keep my hands occupied. This led to my friend wanting to pick up knitting again and asking for a simple but practical beginner pattern. Scarves, I told her. Great, my girls need scarves, she said. But not the dangly ones — an infinity sort that will sit neatly because we have to put so many layers on them during the winter, she added. So we started knitting and this is what happened. It’s almost too simple to be called a pattern, but there are recipes for boiling water these days, so here you go!

Special features:

* Thick, fluffy garter stitch keeps little necks warm without having to double it up.

* Mobius twist in the cowl lets it lie flat in front, so it’s not all bulky and getting in the way of zippers and other closures.

* Vertical knit gives enough structure so that the cowl stands up at the back of the neck, protecting it from the elements.

* A cowl is stretchy and small — much easier to pull onto a struggling toddler than a turtleneck or balaclava.

Sizing:

This was originally made to fit a 1.5 year old toddler, then subsequent versions were made for babies (a 4 month old) and an older toddler (3 years). You can adjust the beginning stitches as you see fit based on the numbers provided here — the final product is stretchy enough that each size will probably fit fine into the next winter as well.

Cast on 12 stitches for babies 3-6 months, 15 stitches for toddlers aged 1-2, and 20 stitches for ages 3-4.

Materials:

* around 91 yards (83 meters) of Aran-weight yarn (10 ply/8wpi). I used various colors from the Red Heart Soft Solids range for this batch — it’s a very soft and forgiving 100% acrylic yarn that’s great for the amount of washing that kids’ clothes need. This yarn is sold in 100g skeins here in Finland, which works out well because there was just enough in each ball to make both a cowl and matching hat!

* US 8 – 5.0 mm — straight needles are easier for me with this sort of project

* size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook for seaming

* yarn needle for finishing

Gauge:

Eh, for something this simple, don’t bother. No, really. Unless you have serious tension issues, it won’t matter much because the length will be determined by a ruler (not by rows) and the width will almost certainly be suitable for a very tiny person. So take a load off.

Abbreviations:

Standard stuff. k = knit, p = purl. All instructions are in US terms.

Cast on 12/15/20 stitches using a loose cable cast.

Knit in garter stitch (knit every stitch in every row, both sides, on straight needles) until 19 inches (48cm) in length.

Cast off.

Give flat piece of knitting half a twist and then connect ends with slip stitch crochet seam. Just like a Mobius strip! If you need a visual for this step , take a look at that Mobius link — the twist shows up better on camera using paper than knitting.

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Here you see Blob and his baby bestie modeling the finished products last winter. I paired the cowl with Annis Jones’ adorable garter ribbed Luuk hat. That bobble on top just kills me!

They were so warm and cute that I ended up making sets for all of his friends that winter!

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