The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

The Occasional Cowl pattern is a guest post written by Abbey from The Firefly Hook. You can find her on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

I live in a lovely little lake town in rural Minnesota.

It’s cute.

Really, really cute. 

The downtown is cozied up to the lake shore and nestled between two major highways. (And by that I mean they’re “major” for the country roads west of the big cities!)

There are big box stores strung along the highway, but just a few blocks south of the bustle is where all the magic happens.

Coffee shops, local shopping, the library, the little theater and… my favorite… the neighborhood yarn shop.

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

I’m a yarn snob, okay?

Don’t judge me.

I love wool. Beautiful, soft wool. Blends of fibers and combos that make me swoon. And I know local yarn shops have the goods. I have to show restraint!

My little town is also full of occasional shops.

I had never heard of them before moving here so let me explain what they are. I’ll give you my definition, but know others may explain it differently.

I think of them as awesome garage sales: almost like a pop up-restaurant for sweet finds. No junk. No dirt. No strange smell. People pricing the items actually know their value.

Vintage finds are speckled throughout each store.

Do-it-yourself and Pinterest projects finished and ready for you to display proudly in your home (without the tears).

Feel what I’m feeling?


The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

So, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon locally handspun wool & silk yarn at one such shop.

Joy. Delight.

I wanted to buy it all.


But since my dear friend (who is also my photographer and business partner and one to whom I refer as the string to my kite since she is a bit more calculated and logical in her decisions) was with me, I couldn’t buy them all.

(Fine. I could have. I’m a grown woman. But it may have caused the friendship schism of 2016 had I filled my arms with yarn and marched to the check-out.)

I had to have a plan.

So I chose one skein for each of my kids. The string to my kite approved. Schism averted.

Enter these three lovely skeins:

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

Each skein perfectly reflects each of their personalities.

Benjamin is my eldest and “his color” has been orange since he was born. It’s bright and bold, just like his kind heart. If being a good friend could be a super-power, it would be his.

Naphtali is my pickle in the middle (and kindred spirit since I also grew up in the middle). He is serious and focused and seems to blend in until you get a little closer and then, like the yarn I chose for him, you can see the rich, regal colors of his heart.

While Benjamin is a lot like Daddy and Naphtali is a lot like Mommy, we call Iva our “Sparkle Fairy Princess” since everything she does is filled with glitter and performed in a sweet theatrical fashion. She is filled to the brim with pure joy, so soft pinks and pastels made the perfect yarn color choice.

When I got home with my treasures, the skeins practically jumped onto my crochet hook and begged to be turned into cowls. I wanted to design something flexible enough to work with any yarn and hook combo so you all can go find a yarn treasure and replicate the pattern.

So here’s a cowl in honor of the occasional shops and the joy of finding a perfect gift:

The Occasional Cowl

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

Materials: Bulky yarn (ounces needed per size indicated below)

Hook: 8 mm

Gauge: 11 sts and 12 rows = 4” in sc

Sizes, completed dimensions (lying flat, width x height) and ounces of yarn needed:

1 – 3 years                  9.5” x 8”                      3 oz    

4 – 6 years                  10” x 10”                     3.25 oz

7 – 12 years                10.5” x 11”                  4 oz

Teen/Adult                 11” x 13”                     5 oz

Skill level: Beginner

Necessary Skills: single crochet, working in a tube





sc—single crochet

sl st—slip stitch



Rnds worked in a spiral, do not connect rnds.

How to replicate with any yarn/hook combo: If your yarn doesn’t have a suggested hook size, you can find the right hook for your yarn by placing the yarn inside the crook of the hook and choose the hook that the yarn fills completely without popping out of the crook too much; chain the number of chains to get the desired width of the specific size you want and follow the rest of the pattern exactly from rnd 1.


Ch 52 (58, 62, 65) sl st in first ch to connect ch (careful not to twist ch).

Rnd 1: Sc in each ch around.

Rnd 2: Working in the back loop of the st, sc in each st around. (52, 58, 62, 65 sc)

Rnds 3 – end: Rep rnd 2 until cowl measures desired height/size, do not finish off.

To finish: Sl st in each st around, finish off.

To wear:

Iva (pink cowl) is wearing her cowl with the right side facing. This shows the loops left from the back loop single crochet stitches. (See photo below.)

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

Benjamin and Naphtali are wearing theirs with the wrong side facing. This shows off the little curly nubs from the other side of the back loop single crochet stitches. This is how I envisioned the cowl being worn. (See photo below.)

The Occasional Cowl by The Firefly Hook | DIY Crochet Cowl

Abbey Swanson is a crochet designer and teacher of The Firefly Hook.

You can see more of her work over on her website:
If you live near Minneapolis, MN you can find all the classes Abbey has to offer in your area on her facebook page!

Favorite or queue on Ravelry here.

Sign up for The Firefly Hook’s monthly newsletter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi, I know you posted this over a year ago, but I just came across it. I made a cowl last night, but I’m not sure what I did wrong, as it ended up with two twists (like a mobius thing). I’m not a very experienced crochet-er so is there something I should watch for? Luckily my daughter still liked it even with the twist, and is wearing it to school now!

      1. Ahh, okay, maybe that’s it. I will try to take a photo when my daughter goes to bed… despite the twist she has worn it all day at school and still has it on! :)

  2. Can you list some yarns that would be the equivalent of the ones you used for your boys’ cowls?
    I love the look of them both. Wish I could buy that yarn.
    I also wish you and your family well and hope your son is recovering nicely.
    Thank you.

  3. So sorry to hear you and your family are going through this but very glad your son is going to be okay. Big hugs to you all..

  4. The photos of your three kids are really something. Those smiles and isn’t little Iva a darling. I don’t see why you couldn’t have bought armfuls of yarn. Sounds sensible to me. Very enjoyable post and I love the texture back loop stitches give.