free knitting pattern…burberry inspired cowl neck scarf

a slight twist on garter girl style today…this summer i was looking through instyle magazine and saw an awesome cowl neck scarf from burberry, but was in sticker shock over the price…$750.

knitted cowl - julianne smith - view 10

before i even get into this post, i need to be upfront with a major disclaimer. in general, i’m not a fan of ripping off designs. while i’m aware that my cowl neck scarf is inspired by burberry, there are two issues at play…1.) the price tag is a little hefty even for me, and 2.) i haven’t actually been able to find the scarf itself in any burberry store. i’ve looked endlessly online and been to four different burberry stores with no luck. every sales people i spoke with had no idea what i was talking about. i still loved the cowl and wanted to try my hand at creating a knitted pattern.

knitted cowl - julianne smith - view 2

i’m by no means a knitting expert, i just love to do it. i had lots of help and support from my knitting group. i first looked through vogue knitting stitchionary vol. two: cables, which i checked out from the library. i found an allover cable idea (#157, reversible ribbed cable). i used this cable pattern as a base, but then katie from my knitting group helped me to modify it quite a bit to get it to look exactly how i wanted.

knitted cowl - julianne smith - view 3

thankfully, the instyle blurb listed that the cowl was made of wool and silk. so, i headed up to a tangled skein (thank you, allison) and picked out a really soft merino silk with a slight shine. i used two balls exactly. the cowl in these particular pictures is color “mousse #132.” it is for a friend who totally deserves it! i also picked up “charcoal #131” for myself, except that on the plane to engage i left an entire ball of yarn…whoops! i just ordered another one, so hopefully i’ll get mine done soon. i can’t wait to wear it and love it all winter!

knitted cowl - julianne smith - view 9

without further ado, here is the free burberry inspired cowl neck scarf pattern.

burberry inspired cowl neck scarf

size 10 knitting needles
2 balls cascade yarns venezia merino silk
cable needle
blunt point eyelet needle for stitching ends together
crochet hook for weaving in ends

provisional cast on 58 stitches
rows 1 – 10: slip first stitch on each row and stockinette stitch remaining stitches (knit odd rows, purl even rows)
row 11: slip first stitch, k 2, slip 8 onto cable needle (hold to front), k 8, k cable needle, k 20, slip 8 onto cable needle (hold to front), k 8, k cable needle, k 3
row 12 – 24: slip first stitch on each row and stockinette stitch remaining stitches (same as rows 1 – 10)
row 25: slip first stitch, k 20, slip 8 onto cable needle (hold to back), k 8, k cable needle, k 21
row 26 – 30: slip first stitch on each row and stockinette stitch remaining stitches (same as rows 1-10)

repeat pattern to desired length. (note: my cowl in the above pictures is 20 inches long, which was 4 pattern repeats.) remove the provisional cast on stitches. kitchener stitch the last row together with the provisional cast on stitches. weave in all ends.

important notice…this is a FREE pattern. this pattern is for personal use only. it may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or altered in way. do not reproduce this pattern to sell and/or sell any garment that you make using this pattern. anyone may use this pattern for charity, there is no need to ask for permission.

knitted cowl - julianne smith - view 5

NOTE: due to the volume of emails that i receive about this pattern, i will not be able to respond to requests for knitting help. i’ve gotten quite a bit of email, comments and ravelry messages about the kitchener stitch and how to finish the project. it is difficult to answer them all and try to explain the kitchener stitch in writing. the kitchener stitch is a tricky technique if you’ve never done it before. if you are having trouble, there are lots of helpful tutorials online. practice and become familiar with the kitchener stitch before you start this pattern. if you are still having trouble, just skip it. cast on and off as normal and seam up the ends in your preferred method. this will leave a visible seam (unlike with the kitchener stitch), but you can wear it in the back and no one will notice.


  1. Sara January 25, 2010

    OMgoodness, I love that idea, unfortunatley I need to work on my cables before I can do something like this!! Also, a little of the topic, I absolutley love your blog!! At first I thought, oh how neat garter girl, for garter stitch since I did find you an Ravelry! Then I went to your blog and I love what you do, custom made garters, and they’re so pretty!! Definately going to keep you in mind for the future!!
    Take care,

  2. Sandra January 25, 2010

    Bless you for figuring out that pattern. My VP was drooling over it as well, so I’ll show this to her. BTW, that cowl is part of Burbery’s MEN’s collection. I had to dig for it too, and found that In Style, the mag you saw it in, didn’t bother to mention that little detail.

  3. Naomi Paz Greenberg January 25, 2010

    Thanks for your beautiful cowl pattern. – Naomi.

  4. maureenreads January 25, 2010

    I don’t know how to upload a picture, but my finished cowl is beautiful. A fast easy knit, which is good, because both daughters want one!!!

  5. Rene January 25, 2010

    I’m almost finished! It got much easier that’s for sure. I saw that ur in Washington DC.. I live in DC too :)

  6. juliannesmith January 24, 2010

    slip all the stitches purl-wise, even if you are on a knit row. good luck!

  7. juliannesmith January 24, 2010

    sometimes with cables, you get holes. cabling looks messing while you are doing it. but, it will all work out in the end, just keep going. when it is done, and you lay it flat, you won’t see the holes. that is just what happens with cables and b/c the yarn is thick and the needles are big in this pattern it makes the hole look bigger than usual. good luck! keep going, you are on the right path.

  8. Marge January 24, 2010

    Love the pattern. Bought Venezia wool silk and love it. Learned the provisional cast on. Ready to go…….. All was well until I came to the row 11 for the cable stitch. I keep getting holes. The hole is between the 3rd and 4th stitches—caused by the 8 cable stitches scrunched in there. What could I be doing wrong? I’ve seen no similar complaints. It must be me! Help!

  9. Rene January 23, 2010

    I casted on and making it now.. quick question, the slip stitches am I supposed to slip knit wise each row or do I slip according to which row I’m on? Thank you so very much for this lovely pattern!

  10. juliannesmith January 23, 2010

    skip the provisional cast on and the kitchener stitches and just sew a seam to put it together. the only reason to do both of those stitches is to make it look seamless, but you don’t have to do them. just put the seam in the back when you wear it and you’ll be all set! go for it!

  11. Rene January 23, 2010

    I want to make this so badly I can taste it!! But the Kitchener stitch terrifies me! lol It just seems a bit complicated :(

  12. Lauren January 22, 2010

    I knit this using Rowan’s Cocoon yarn and it was wonderful! The Cocoon was a little bulkier, but I’ll probably make another in a lighter weight. Great pattern, love the name (of course). Thank you!

  13. Kristen January 22, 2010

    So nice! Thank you for the pattern, it looks so cozy.

  14. Pat January 20, 2010

    Love this pattern! Thanks so much for sharing it. I hear some yarn from my stash calling it’s name! Happy stitching! Pat

  15. Jutta Graf January 14, 2010

    Hi Julianne,

    Well, as I was cleaning up my stack of papers I came across a page I tore out of inStyle/August 2009……… 104 with the picture of the TUBE SCARF I had been wanting to replicate. Guess what a little search on Ravelry unearthed!!!!!!

    Thank you, thank you Julianne for all that work and your generosity to share the result. I will send you a picture when I’m done.


  16. Emily January 14, 2010

    So pretty!!!

    I just started this pattern the other night with cascade 220 wool which makes it a smidge smaller but it’s something I had stashed.

    Can’t wait to have this finished! Thanks so much!

  17. Grace January 14, 2010

    OMG – I can’t believe it, I had the same piece of cut out from the magazine that my daughter had given me to knit her a cowl that “looked” like that – well, I had found one that had vertical cables on a free site, and she just loves it – since then, I’ve made about 10 of them for both daughter’s friends – now I will show her how I found a closer match to the burberry one she was looking for – I love the color used, very close to the real thing – and my daughters are as cute as a button as you are. Thank you for figuring this out for us and most of all, for sharing it.

  18. AnitaK January 11, 2010

    Awesome!!! I am going to do this cowl for sure. Thanks for a wonderful pattern… Just going to get some projects off my needles, and then your cowl is next in line..Maybe I’ll try some Malabrigo for this one…

  19. juliannesmith January 10, 2010

    hi toni! glad that you were able to do the provisional cast on and get it started! after the first 30 rows, just start back again at row 1. this will give you enough space between the cables to make it look even. thanks for commenting! hope this helps!

  20. Toni Zolig January 9, 2010

    Love the cowl. As far as the provisional cast on I used the crochet hook method and it was great. Got it on a web-site. My silly question is: After the first 30 rows, do you start from row 1 or do the next cable row?

    Using Lorna’s worsted and will probably use the two skeins I have. My niece is going to love it!

  21. Irene January 9, 2010

    Thank you for sharing. These days, it’s really cold in Norway, so I’ll knit this one for my sister-in-law. I just have to do a visit to my local yarn lady. Thanks again, and happy new year :)))

    Irene :)

  22. juliannesmith January 8, 2010

    Hello Lisle! Thanks for your kind comments and helpful tips. I appreciate it. My gauge, and I’m a fairly standard knitter (not too tight, not too loose), was 4 stitches per inch. Good luck!

  23. Diane Voripaieff January 7, 2010

    Absolutely beautiful cowl. What an artist you are for knitting it and in such a gorgeous colour! I am going to try to knit it but ask me next year if I finsihed it…I am older and not a very skilled knitter but this is irresistible. Congratulations and Happy New Year from Chester, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  24. Lisle January 7, 2010

    If you cast on normally with some scrap yarn and then continue the pattern in your chosen material, you can just (carefully!) remove the scrap yarn and then kitchener-stitch the ends together. You could also (extra-carefully) undo your cast-on and then join the two ends.

  25. Lisle January 7, 2010

    Hey, could you tell me your (approximate) gauge for this?
    P.S. This looks lovely and I am definitely going to make one for myself :)

  26. Amanda January 5, 2010

    Awesome, good to know. Thanks again for the pattern, and for your quick reply!!

  27. juliannesmith January 5, 2010

    hi there! thanks the comment and for checking out my pattern. i hope that it works out for you and challenges you in 2010!! for the provisional cast on, i prefer to use scrap yarn. it is easier for me and i don’t have a cable needle large enough to hold all the stitches. good luck!

  28. juliannesmith January 4, 2010

    it not a dumb question at all! i used the chunky. the worsted is the same texture yarn, but it is just a bit thinner. you could certainly use the worsted, but you’d need to change the gauge and probably cast on double the amount of stitches.

    happy knitting!!


  29. Hanne January 3, 2010

    I did exactly the same when I tried to find this Burberry cowl. Sales people at Burberry never heard of it. Thanks, for sharing your pattern. Great job!

  30. mila January 2, 2010

    A silly question, but did you use the chunky yarn or the worsted?

  31. June January 2, 2010

    Thank you for your generosity.

  32. Sarah December 30, 2009

    I think the pattern is wonderful and the venezia I got in slate blue (130) will be great. But sadly I cannot get the hang of this cast on… looks like I’ll have to deal with the seam.

  33. Jennifer December 29, 2009

    I just wanted you to know that I think this is far more beautiful than the Burberry version and can’t wait to get a couple of balls of Cascade to knit one for myself. Beautiful work!

  34. Nicole December 21, 2009

    This is gorgeous! I am absolutely knitting this for myself as soon as I finish my holiday knitting. Was originally going to stash shop, but I think a pattern this beautiful deserves the right yarn. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  35. Linda Thompson December 19, 2009

    I made this and it came out so nice! I didn’t have enough of silk yarn so I used and alpaca/silk blend in a cranberry color. I really like it–thanks for the pattern. I will make it again when I get more silk.

  36. juliannesmith December 17, 2009

    i originally thought of doing that, but then in the end i wanted the seamless look and it was just easier. good luck!

  37. cindy December 16, 2009

    I am loving this pattern! I am making it with Malabrigo chunky. It is working out great! I wonder if a 3 needle bind off would work instead of kitchner?

  38. Leisa December 16, 2009

    Thanks for the pattern! I can’t wait to get my yarn and make one of these!!! It’s beautiful. :-)

  39. juliannesmith December 16, 2009

    you’d have to knit it in the round and get yourself lots of cable needles to do the pattern lengthwise.

  40. Joan December 16, 2009

    So how does one knit to make the cables vertical?

  41. juliannesmith December 15, 2009

    I do love knitting in the round too, makes everything nice and smooth! As it is written, you probably won’t be able to knit it in the round. But, you might be able to rework the pattern a bit and do it so that the cables are going vertical. So, cast on the lengthwise number that you need/want (do it in multiples of 58, if you can) and then work the pattern down. Good luck!

  42. Alyssa December 15, 2009

    Hi this is beautiful! I love the pattern! Do you think it could be knit with circular needles in the round? Its my favorite way to knit. Thanks!

  43. Kat December 9, 2009

    Il est superbe !
    I love this cowl ! Many thanks for the pattern :-)

  44. Stephanie December 7, 2009

    definitely going to try this!!

  45. untxin December 6, 2009

    I love this pattern, i did one cowl in a few hours this week end, is really a good pattern !! Thanks you a lot !!

  46. foxywedding December 5, 2009

    This is so awesome I am speechless. So impressed!

  47. madmad December 4, 2009

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  48. Linda Thompson December 4, 2009

    This is so pretty. I’m going to give it a try as soon as I find my purple silk yarn….it’s packed away somewhere!

  49. Kari December 4, 2009

    Oh my! I LOVE this!!!!

  50. Cori Jessy- August and After December 4, 2009

    I love this! This may be my reason to learn how to knit, North Carolina is so much colder than Tucson!

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