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. Terry December 28, 2010


    Your site was most helpful to me. I purchased a Maine Shepherdess Scarf w/pattern & yarn from Romney Ridge Farm Yarn Co. at the Common Ground Fair in Maine this fall. I’m planning on making a cowl neck scarf versus the scarf, but wasn’t sure of the length- 20″ seems good and will twist it once before I knit the ends together. I’ll have to check out this kitchener stitch, sounds challenging, but fun. Thanks for your site- Terry

  2. Beth December 26, 2010

    Hi! I posted a link to your pattern on my blog, The Crafting Compendium, on my post about cowls. If you would like me to remove any reference and link to this pattern, please let me know.

  3. Mizu December 21, 2010

    I love the scarf. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing it! But I had a question.

    For the first ten rows, do you mean “knit odd rows, purl even rows” as in starting stockinette stitch with knit/purl for that row or knit/purl the entire row?

    Thank you!

  4. admin December 19, 2010

    I’m sorry that you are having trouble. I don’t have the pattern for knitting in the round. You could try Ravelry. If you can’t do the kitchener stitch, just cast on and off as normal and just seam up the ends together. You can wear the seam in the back. Good luck!

  5. admin December 19, 2010

    Thank you so much for checking out this pattern and trying it. I’m sorry that you are having trouble with the kitchener stitch. It is a bit tricky and takes some practice. It is difficult to explain knitting directions in writing, which is why videos and in-person teachers can be more helpful. The best thing I can tell you to do is to 1) practice the kitchener on another project before trying on this one, or 2) cast on and off as normal and seam up the edges. I left a note in the pattern above so that it might help others too.

  6. Erica December 17, 2010

    LOVE this pattern – thanks so much for sharing it! I’m making this for a friend for Christmas.

    I’m coming to the end and would also appreciate some clarity on how to stitch the two ends together. I’ve looked at a great YouTube video ( on the kitchener stitch, but she starts out with each end as “live stitches” on a needle. How do you transition the “provisional stitches” in the first row to getting them to “live stitches” on a needle?

    Your instructions are to “remove the provisional cast on stitches. “kitchener stitch the last row together with the provisional cast on stitches.” I’m finding that slightly vague and would appreciate any additional guidance before I give it a go. I don’t want to end up frogging the whole thing like Kathy! Thanks so much in advance.

  7. Kathy Imhoff December 16, 2010

    had a terrible time trying to figure out how to do the kitchener stitch when the other end is not on needles!!! How do you knit this in the round please. i tore the whole thing out after i was done… :(

  8. admin December 9, 2010

    This pattern as written is knitted in one long piece, like a scarf, and then the ends are sewn together to make a tube. Many have modified the pattern to suite their preferences, like knitting in the round. Good luck!

  9. bays December 8, 2010

    Please Help. Is this knitted in the round, or turn and knit the other way. I have never done this, and since I read 1 comment mentioning that this is knitted in the round, I am confuse. Thanks

  10. Holly November 28, 2010

    Love this!! Am going to make one for myself today. Thanks so much for making it available…

  11. Michele Minkoff November 19, 2010

    Can you tell me what the gauge is for this yarn?
    I am trying to do it in another yarn and am not familiar with what you are using. Many thanks.
    Michele M

  12. Trina Bortko November 10, 2010

    I made this for myself and love it. It’s beautiful and so comfortable to wear. I used Etta Rae Latte (splitty and snags, but very soft). Can you modify your design for worsted weight yarn? I live in a temperate climate and would be able to wear it longer during the year.

  13. Beachkoz November 8, 2010

    Beautiful. Can this be modified to circular needles?

  14. Adrienne Moucheraud November 3, 2010

    i am working on the cowl, using your suggested yarn and it’s fabulous- but i have a really STUPID question (i’ve never made such an item before) when completed i get that you stitch together the two long sides – the co.and final row but what do you do with the two vertical rows that are open? the beginning and end stitches of each row and how does one put this on??????I love it on you, love working on it just can’t see how it ends up; many thanks, adrienne

  15. Naveed Ahmed November 3, 2010

    Hi Can anyone help me. I live in the uk and want to knit the Burberry inspired cowl scarf.
    my questions are:
    1. when you say size 10 knitting needles what size is that in uk (in mm. Is size 10 an american size or is it 10mm uk size)?

    2. What wool is merino silk (is it Chunky, Aran, Double knit or 4ply)?

    please email me on

    thanks i’d appreciate any help!

  16. ai October 26, 2010

    awesome piece!! Thanks for sharing the pattern… have been browsing for the cowl pattern and this is the best!

  17. Lizet October 25, 2010

    This is going to make a great Christmas gift! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Gem at Cashmere Scarf October 21, 2010

    Very thorough instructions. I just finished my other project and I think I’ll make one like this now.

  19. Anine October 11, 2010

    Love it! Am making my second now- will post on Rav later!

  20. Keegan October 9, 2010

    Hi Julianne! This pattern inspired me to pick up my needles again, AND join ravelry! Thanks for the inspiration, I love my nearly finished product. :)

  21. Sandy Caribou October 8, 2010

    I am mid-way through this scarf and am already in love with the pattern. You are my hero. I am blogging about this pattern, and have given you full credit for the pattern. You are an inspiration!

  22. admin September 19, 2010

    When you slip the first stitch it makes a clean edge without the bumps that come when you knit normally. To slip the first stitch, don’t knit the first stitch, just put it onto the needle purlwise. I’m sure there are videos and tutorials if you Google it. If this is complicated or confusing, you can skip it and just knit it normally. It is a cosmetic adjustment that isn’t critical to the pattern. Good luck!

  23. Eileen September 19, 2010

    Hi! Love this scarf and getting ready to begin knitting, however I am a novice and need some help getting started. What does it mean to “slip first stitch on each row”?

  24. jannelea September 3, 2010

    I love it!
    On my to do list!

  25. admin June 14, 2010

    I’m sorry I not know if anyone has translated it. Check Ravelry and see if someone there has done it or can help you. Good luck!

  26. camila June 14, 2010

    It~s wonderful … But I can~t ubderstand in english … do you know if someone translated this one to portuguese?tks so much

  27. joyce May 31, 2010

    I ripped out this scarf from my InStyle magazine too and tried to give it to my co-worker who is an avid knitter and can usually create patterns just by looking at them but was able to this time. I plan to make this come winter!

  28. admin May 21, 2010

    Hello! I’m sorry that I don’t have it in Portuguese. You could try Ravelry, I know that a few people have translated it into other languages, but I’m not sure which ones. Good luck!

  29. Marly May 20, 2010

    Hi, I live in Brazil and I want to know if you have that recipe(burberry inspired cowl neck scarf) in Portuguese, because I don’t understand in English
    Please,if you have,send to my email

  30. Gayle April 17, 2010

    Okay. I’ll wear and enjoy! I do love the scarf but would never have spent $750 so thank you again for the pattern. Think of it as advertisement for Burberry!

  31. admin April 15, 2010

    Hello! Thanks for your comment and thanks for making the pattern! The gaps or holes happen when you cable. There really isn’t a way around it. And, because the yarn is thick and the needles are larger it makes the holes look bigger than normal. But, you are right, when you wear it and/or lay it flat, the holes aren’t able to be seen and it adds to the design.

  32. Gayle Miyasaki April 8, 2010

    Thank you so much for working out this pattern and sharing it with us! I just finished it and absolutely love it. I do have one question, though. I have gaps where each cable begins. I’ve looked everywhere for a tips on avoiding the cable gaps, but did not find much info. I tried both tips I found (one said to pull tighter in certain places on the row before the cable, another said to knit looser) but neither one prevented the holes. Thought I’d come to the source! How can I avoid those gaps? I thought maybe the gaps would become smaller when I “blocked” it, but they didn’t. They don’t really show when the scarf is worn, but if there’s a way to minimize the gaps, I’d love to learn how. Thank you so much again for the lovely pattern!

  33. juliannesmith March 15, 2010

    Thank you so much for the nice comment! I’m glad that the pattern has gotten you back into knitting. The kitchener stitch is confusing, I admit. The way that I do it is to cast onto my knitting needle using the crochet method. So, for the that first provisional cast on row, I’m using a knitting needle and a crochet hook with the scrap yarn. There are many tutorial videos on the internet, if one doesn’t help you, try another. Good luck!

  34. juliannesmith March 15, 2010

    Thank you so much for kind words about the pattern. Are you a memeber of Ravelry? If so, check on there for others who have made this pattern not using the yarn that I used. There are many people who have done it and left their alterations and tips for using different yarns. Also, you could get the specs for the yarn that I used and try to find something similar. Good luck!

  35. Jessica March 9, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous pattern with us! It has inspired some of us to get out the knitting needles but having trouble finding the yarn. Doesn’t appear to be any available in Australia, and not having much luck in the UK either (where my daughter lives). If anyone has bought in the UK please share the name of the store. Thanks!

  36. Deborah March 3, 2010

    Dear Julianne,
    Thanks so much for giving us all this pattern. It inspired me to start knitting again, and I’m almost finished with it (gift for a friend). I’ve never done Kitchner stitch and have been watching video tutorials for an hour. Silly question: do you put the crocheted cast-on stitches onto a needle? How did you do it? Or do you graft directly from the scrap yarn? I don’t want to ruin your beautiful creation!
    I enjoy your blog and your work so much.
    Sorry for such a long post.
    All the best.

  37. Karen February 28, 2010

    I love this pattern. And when I finished I have decided to make one for each of my daughter-in-laws and my daughter. I am going to use a different yarn this time and see how it works out. Thank you so much for the pattern.

  38. L February 26, 2010

    This pattern is gorgeous and I was in inspired to download it when I saw it FOR SALE at A Good Yarn in Brookline, MA. They directed me to ravelry for the pattern but I couldn’t help but notice you expressly say not to offer the piece for sale using your pattern. You may want to contact them. Or not, up to you.
    Thanks for sharing your creativity for FREE!

  39. angeeza February 26, 2010

    Thank you for this beautiful pattern!

  40. Missy February 26, 2010

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  41. Colleen February 25, 2010

    I made this with Cascade Yarns Venezia in “Girly Life” — absolutely yummy! I’ve received many compliments already. Thanks so much for the beautiful pattern and the introduction to this wonderful yarn!

  42. Ally February 18, 2010

    I love this pattern and I love how the scarf turned out! Thanks for the free pattern. Check out the scarf here if you like…

  43. heather February 15, 2010

    love this pattern!! i blogged about my progress here if you’re interested :)

  44. Leslie February 13, 2010

    I’ve been admiring the many renditions of this pattern on Ravelry. Thanks for providing the pattern to fellow-knitters!

  45. Vivian February 12, 2010

    I love this pattern and the yarn! I only wish I could knit it in the round.

  46. susanne February 10, 2010

    thanks for researching and posting this pattern. absolutely delightful.

  47. christmasbaby February 4, 2010

    I love this. It may e a challenge for me, but well worth it. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

  48. juliannesmith January 26, 2010

    hello! thanks for the kind words about the cowl. i don’t know if i know what you mean, so i’ll email you directly and we can chat off the blog about this. if anyone else is having this problem she describes, please let me know.

  49. Julia January 26, 2010

    Hi Julianne,
    I love the idea of the cowl and have just started making one for myself.But comparing the two cable-rows I got a bit confused – I think in the first row are missing 20 st (or 21) – and I wonder where you put it (beginning or end)? As I am using a very chunky yarn I had to change the number of stitches anyway – but I would be very happy if you would help me unravel my confusion.
    thank you very much

  50. Marge January 26, 2010

    Thank you, thank you for responding. I have been knitting away tonight and see what you mean. I love this pattern and love knitting it. I bought enough yarn to make 3…… happy you took the time to encourage me on. Thank you for designing and sharing this pattern.

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