True Luxury! The extra soft pink and light powder blue chunky “Alpacowl” is lined in luxury light gray gingham fleece and it’s an original pattern by yours truly, Beccie B!
This adventure started as a real need – I received a Juicy Couture knit cowl lined with fleece as a Christmas gift several years back and I wore the heck out of it! I love it, it keeps my neck and ears warm when dashing from car to store, on my long walk in from parking lot to office, I can pull it up to cozy my ears and save my face from the wintry winds without messing up my hair too terribly. That cowl was something I never knew I needed in my life, a really great gift!! BUT now it’s seen better days, the white fleece inside is worn and turning gray from all the washes and wear and the yarn looks grumpier than the Grinch — I needed a new cozy cowl so I was determined to try and copy the look and feel and make my own version. This one manages to top the original, this is one that I can once again love to its death!
I searched and scoured the interwebs from Pinterest to Instagram, links and blogs, Google, Bing (it was worth a try) with as many variations of maker terms as I could possibly think of to try and find anyone with a pattern or good tutorial on how to line a crochet or knit cowl with fleece. I found bits and pieces, a couple yarny cowl patterns, some notes on lining hats with fleece but honestly nothing that gave me what I needed. So I finally decided: I’ll create a pattern then make and post my own! I went through various versions, tore them apart, tried lots of different chunky yarns with various hooks to get the stretch and looser weave I liked from that original cowl, it needed to be squishy, slightly stretchy with a bit of excess fleece for the cozy I became accustomed to with the original JC cowl gifted to me.
I’ve got it! It’s here! And I’m saving these details for myself because I’m sure even this one will need a replacement eventually. Plus, if you were searching for the details, I hope this helps you, too.
You can source both yarn and fleece from JoAnn Stores
•Yarn: 1 skein (130 yards) Buttercream Luxe Alpaca Solid (Pale Pink and Light Blue are used in this blog post), 80% acrylic, 20% Alpaca (so soft!)
•Lining: 12” x 36” gray gingham luxury fleece, the 12″ needs to be cut from the the stretchy direction.
•Gray or white thread to hand stitch the lining in place, I used Coats & Clark button and craft type because it’s a bit stronger, my cowl will get a LOT of use
Hook: Susan Bates Size Q, 16mm
This crochet cowl is worked flat to allow for adding the lining then joined by whipstitch after sewing the lining for the interior.
Note: Crochet fairly loosely, the key to this cowl is that it is loose, soft, and stretchy enough to pull up over ears and face.
Ch = chain
Sts = stitches
Sl St = slip stitch
HDC = Half double crochet
Round 1: Sl St in back bump of each chain, turn
For back bump, after chaining, flip it over and only go through the loop underneath like this:
Sl Sts in the the chain’s back bump, I typically like the double-thick chain that results from this method. This gives a nice “cord” to attach the fleece later.
Round 2: Sl St (BLO) of each stitch from prior row, turn (55 sts)
For BLO: You only use the back loop of the previous row like this:
Round 3: Sl St (FLO) of each stitch from prior row, ch. 1, turn (55 sts)
Round 4: HDC (FLO) across (55 sts), turn
Round 5: Sl St (BLO) across
Round 6: Sl St (FLO) across, ch. 1, turn
Looks like this now:
Rows (7,8,9) (10,11,12) (13,14,15): Repeat Rows 4,5,6
Row 16: Sl St (BLO) across, leave a long 13-16″ tail for seaming together after lining is in place.
There should be stretch vertically in the 12″ chest to chin direction.
16 rows complete:
Lay your cowl flat on the fleece. It should be about 32-34″ long. Stretch the chin to chest direction to ensure it stretches to about 12″.
Cut the 12″ width straight along the gingham lines and make sure that is the stretchy direction of the fleece fabric.
Don’t worry about trimming the 36″ length to the length of your cowl at this time; after sewing to the cowl, I trim those ends when sewing them together as the inside seam. You just want to be sure you have two neat straight lines to sew to your crochet edges.
One side of this fleece is darker gingham than the other, I used the darker check for the pink and the lighter side for the blue cowl.
Whichever side you choose as your “right side”, pin the right sides of the fleece and cowl together before stitching.
Your cowl should be stretched a bit to ensure it lays out to 32-34″. Ease, stretch and pin the fleece and cowl together along all edges. If you have foam to block them together, that can help assure you’re happy with the positioning. If you don’t have foam, you could just ease, stretch, and pin to your carpet floor or a rug with T-pins.
In this picture, you can see I must lightly stretch this cowl, I simply laid the 12″ fleece flat on the foam then start by pinning the 4 corners to get the 32″ length I want. Then pin the middle and keep pinning the opposite sides as I go the make sure the entire cowl gets stretched evenly. Here is the finished pin picture.
When you’re happy with the size and positioning, pin along all 4 sides then remove the pins from the blocking and you’re ready to start hand stitching the two long sides together. And you’ll still have a rough 36″ length of fleece hanging out, that gets trimmed later.
Crochet pinned to fleece:
Next, start hand stitching by placing your stitches 1/4″-1/3″ apart. Stitch about 1/4″ inside the edge of the fleece and through the yarn in the edge crochet rows on each side.
The fleece should be a bit loose, it’s meant to be baggy and “extra” because that’s what you’ll bury your face in when you go outside in the blustery winter wind, it doesn’t have to be perfect either because it’ll be all cowl-ly around your neck anyway!
Once you’re done hand stitching the long sides, turn the cowl to the right side out, this is what flips the hand-stitched edges to the inside where they won’t be seen anymore.
Seam the 12″ fleece opening:
Now you should have a couple long ends of fleece that need to be pinned, sewn together and trimmed.
I did this on the sewing machine (although it could also be hand stitched if you don’t have a machine). Starting at the point where your hand-stitching joins the yarn to fleece on both sides, pin the ends together and sew a straight line to make a seam, trim the excess so there’s no excess bulk inside the cowl. This seam finishes the inside fleece, the raw fleece edges are facing the crochet.
Join the crochet seam:
Using the long yarn tail you left hanging at the end and a darning needle, sew the yarn seam together, joining your rows so they look continuous, it looks better if there’s not a super visible seam although I always put that side to the back of my head to wear it anyway.
I hope you’re as happy with your crochet and fleece cowl as I am! Leave me a message to let me know, I’d love to hear how your project turned out.