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. Linda Cutler March 9, 2013

    This is so easy and beautiful! Thank you so much. I used a color similar to yours and it goes with everything. Great job!!

  2. Carolyn January 25, 2013

    I like the pattern. How do you remove the provisional stitches?

  3. Camille Duridas January 24, 2013

    I just finished a knitted cowl for my Grandaughter but when my neighbor showed me your pattern I just loved the cable and am going to start it right away. Also, is there any reason it could not be knitted on a circular needle?


  4. Maya December 18, 2012

    This is such an easy-to-do cowl, and looks fabulous! I finished my first one yesterday, now my daughter wants one, too! Thank you for the pattern!

  5. Krysten Aquino December 16, 2012

    I absolutely LOVE this pattern. It’s such a gorgeous cowl and is so quick and easy to knit. I have made it twice for friends and people just go crazy over it!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. admin December 6, 2012

    Thanks for your kind comment! I’m so glad you like the pattern.

  7. Ilse Heine December 5, 2012

    Love this look, thank you garter girl.has anyone done this on circulars? Would this eliminate the provisional cast on…please post if you can help,aim ready to get started

  8. p December 4, 2012

    Just so you know, you cannot control the finished item made by another person. It isn’t “taking advantage”. You didn’t buy the yarn for the maker, nor put time in to make the item.

    It is not a copyright violation!! The only thing that another individual CANNOT do is distribute your pattern. They can make 10 opies of it if that is what they need to do to knit it. Distribution is the ONLY protection offered by copyright.

    They can also sell their finished cowl, where ever they want. You have zero say in the matter.

    Maybe you should consider NOT putting patterns up because it seems to cause a big problem for you with control issues. You have no control over another person’s property!

  9. Katherine November 29, 2012

    I have made a beautiful cowl out of some Malabrigo multi-fall colored yarn. Thanks so much for posting your pattern. I plan to make many for christmas gifts.

  10. Myrna McNaughtan November 25, 2012

    Great pattern, thanks for letting me use it. it knits up fast – made two in two weeks, one with a beautiful angora from Nova Scotia, the other with washable wool painted yarn. Both turned out really well. Your pattern is easy to follow and remember, and the finished cowl drapes just the way I want it to. So pleased with the results.

  11. Annette Franklin November 16, 2012

    U r a very talented lady
    Thank my for sharing this pattern

  12. Ann Rich October 29, 2012

    Would like to knit using circular needles. Would you suggest any modifications? Have seen this up close and it it beautiful!

  13. Becki October 23, 2012

    HI there,

    Just started knitting this cowl which I love but it’s the first time I’ve done one like these – is it normal to have a hole where the twist is (where you cable the stitches)? It looks fine but if you wiggle it about you can see a bit of a hole.
    Fingers crossed it’s going to look a bit like your one!

  14. Monica October 22, 2012

    Is this supposed to be knit on circulars or straight needles?

  15. Monica McArthur October 20, 2012

    Is this pattern meant to be knitted on straight or circular needles?

  16. Catie September 26, 2012

    This is beautiful! Thanks so much!! :)

  17. Pam June 30, 2012

    Thanks so much – I’ve linked to your pattern on my blog!

  18. Pam March 1, 2012

    I am very sorry that your wonderful pattern was misused in the past. I’m glad I got my hands on it to make myself one! Thank you for sharing it.

  19. BonnieB February 24, 2012

    I knitted this in Simply Soft light gray with a little sheen, and it’s lovely and soft and inexpensive! LOVE this pattern.

  20. Kelly January 28, 2012

    Very cute! I actually made up my own cowl pattern this year too after seeing so many in the Gap that were cute (and ALOT less expensive than the one you saw!). If you’re interested, the link to my post and pattern is
    I will definitely be knitting this pattern and adding a link to it on my upcoming “favorite free knitting patterns” page.

  21. Delores January 27, 2012


  22. Susanna January 8, 2012

    Thank you for the pattern! This cowl turned out great: my daughter wears it all the time :)

  23. Judi January 6, 2012

    After I knit rows 26-30you say to repeat Pattern rows 1-10. If I start at row 1again that means that I would hAve knitted 15 rows before working
    The cable row. Is this correct? This doesn’t seem right to me

  24. ann December 3, 2011

    Love the pattern and have made several. Now would like to make some for 10yr old grandchild. Can you tell me how to alter the pattern to fit a child. I see someone else (Ann) had a similar question but I don’t see any responses to her posting.
    Thanks, A.

  25. rebecca November 26, 2011

    I see that you used size 10 needles but when I ordered the same yarn Cascade yarns venezia merino silk, it calls for size 7 needles. Did you use larger needles to get a certain look?
    Thanks so much!

  26. joan tallett November 23, 2011

    where did you find the wool?

  27. Margaret Jackson November 14, 2011

    Hi Julianne,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful pattern. I’ve made about 6 up to now for Xmas here in Cheshire England and the one I’m making now is in dark brown and I’ve doubled the length so that my daughter can wrap it around to guard against the Yorkshire winter. I’m forever in your debt. Have a wonderful Xmas.
    Margaret Jackson

  28. Gabriele Blum November 2, 2011

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful pattern, that I found last week. And now I’m proud to present my own NORO colorful version that I can just turn around to get a completely different look. Greetings from Germany

  29. Carina June 2, 2011

    Thank you for the pattern – I started last night, my 2 toddlers would not go to bed until 23hh20!!! So I managed to get to row 17, my first time ever to do cables. Can’t wait to see the end result. Greetings from a cold Polokwane, South Africa.

  30. Ann May 22, 2011

    I love this pattern and would like to make cowls for my granddaughters (3yrs & 10yrs). How can I moditfy the pattern so that the cowl will fit them? I have had so many compliments whenever I wear my cowl (and so many requests for a cowl as a birthday, xmas, etc. present). I am so grateful to you for so generously sharing the pattern. Thanks, Ann

  31. Janice April 20, 2011

    Just finished mine. LOVE IT and it was so easy to make!! Kitchener stitch was no problem once I watched a video and I love that it makes it look seamless. THANKS!! I’m sure I’ll have to make several of these for family members.

  32. Elena March 30, 2011

    I made one of these after spotting it on a mannequin at a yarn shop (in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Amparo). It’s gotten a lot of compliments. It’s the first time I’ve ever done cables and I couldn’t believe how easy it was!
    I’m thinking of turning this pattern into a lightweight wrap.

  33. emily March 9, 2011

    LOVE IT! easily my favorite scarf. i furiously knitted for 3 days to make sure i would have a wonderful scarf to wear before spring weather hits!

  34. Lisa March 4, 2011

    thank you so much for sharing your wonderful pattern! I adore cowls, they’ve become one of my favorite items to knit.

  35. admin February 22, 2011

    They should straighten out when you seam it together.

  36. hilary February 20, 2011

    how do you keep the initial stockinette stitches from rolling, at top and bottom?

  37. admin February 16, 2011


  38. sandra dennison February 16, 2011

    When you say to repeat the pattern on the cowl, do you mean the entire thirty rows?

  39. Marla Rachlin February 9, 2011

    Thank you so much for the pattern. I just love it. I had been walking around with the same magazine photo from In Style magazine in my knitting bag for over a year. I finally gave up finding a similar pattern and just threw it out. Then someone found your pattern. I made one from Zara Plus and will make a few more as gifts. Thanks again!

  40. ginny macdonald February 8, 2011

    I have a question: I am making this for a friend.she bought a merino blend that calls for 4-4.5 sts per inch w/ size 8 needle. should I adjust # of stitches? thank you so much for the pattern: I live in NH and is perfect for our weather-have made 5 so far,2 for me,the rest gifts.
    thank you for your help

  41. Mary Jane January 19, 2011

    I am in the process of making the cowl. When i get to row 30 it says to repeat pattern to desired length. Does that mean I begin with row 1 to start pattern again?


  42. Ann January 16, 2011

    Thank you soooo much for making up this pattern. I love the cowl and people are constantly complimenting “my” cowl and asking for the pattern!

  43. admin January 14, 2011

    When you cable, there will be holes. It is just how cabling is. Once you are all done and lay it out, it will look better. Just keep going – good luck!

  44. admin January 14, 2011

    Yes, that is how the cables come out looking. Once you finish and lay it out, it will be fine. It is b/c the needles are large and the yarn chunky, but all cables have holes.

  45. Alice January 12, 2011

    Julianne, I found your cowl pattern on line and made it for a friend. The kitchener finish was a challenge but was worth it. It came out so beautiful that I made one for myself and 2 more gifts. My friend now wants me to teach her to knit the cowl. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern with everyone! Alice

  46. karen January 12, 2011

    I made the scarf and have holes too. Is that the way it is suppose to be?

  47. Helene January 11, 2011

    My sister and I are knitting your Burbury cowl scarf. I have one question, when you do row 11 and go on to 12 to 24, I have a hole in the work. Is that the way the pattern is, or am I doing something wrong with the cable needle? Can you solve the mystery. We love the pattern.

    posted by Helene Jan 11, 2011

  48. Cheryl Houston January 8, 2011

    Just finished the Burberry Cowl and love it love it! Haven’t knitted in a long time, and saw this on Ravelry and had to make it. I emailed it to my friend who is a Knit-A-Holic and she knit it right up and is making another one. She used kind of itchy yarn for the 1st one, so doesn’t know what to do now. Any suggestions? Can you line it? The one I made is in kind of a merino grey with some alpaca. Soft, not itchy. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern! xo

  49. karen January 3, 2011

    Erica. I don’t understand how to get the provisional cast off stitches back to live stitches. Help!!!!

  50. karen January 3, 2011

    Thank you for the pattern. I have the cowel done except for the kitchener stitch. I have done the kitchener stitch on socks but am confused. I only have one needle and a bound off edge. How do you get the bound off edge back on the needles to do the kitchener stitch. Hope that makes sense. Thank you. Karen

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