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Dragon Skin Cowl

Everyone should have a "go to" cowl in their wardrobe. They are easy to wear, look great over most styles of tops, are unbelievably comfortable, and keep you nice and toasty during the cooler months.

Confession time: I am a huge fantasy nerd. There has always been something about escaping to a world filled with magic and adventure that fills me with joy. And dragons? Yes please! I’m the girl that always picked Charmander as my starting Pokémon, farmed old WoW dungeons for hours to collect all the dragon mounts, and picked an iOS game because the entire premise was about flying dragons (hit me up if you play War Dragons). So it should come as no surprise that my first reaction upon seeing this dragon scale pattern in a stitch dictionary was, “I NEED to wear this!”

Everyone should have a “go-to” cowl in their wardrobe. They are easy to wear, look great over most styles of tops, are unbelievably comfortable, and keep you nice and toasty during the cooler months. I decided to use this stitch for a cowl because the lack of lace in the pattern gives the cowl structure. I want my cowls nice and thick to keep my entire neck warm, not falling down and draping around my shoulders. If I want drape, I’ll wear a shawl.

The second reason I decided to use this stitch pattern for a cowl was because I know not everyone is as willing to fly their nerd flags high, or are not actually into dragons at all. That’s totally fine and I’m not judging (except I totally am, you are missing out). In cowl form, especially knit in one of the sizes that allows for a second wrap, dragon scale pattern is less obvious and instead creates an interesting textured fabric.

The Dragon Skin Cowl pattern has instructions to make three different sizes;  Small, Medium and Large. I am wearing a size Medium in all of these photos. All three sizes block up to a height of  9.5″ (24.13 cm). Blocked circumferences for each size are:

  • Small: 30″ (75.2 cm)
  • Medium: 60″ (152.4 cm)
  • Large: 75″ (190.5 cm)

The great thing about the stitch pattern in this cowl is how forgiving it is with how much it is stretched during blocking. You can really give it a tug to get it to the blocking dimensions, which will result in a looser fitting, less dense fabric, similar to this photo of me wearing it with the gray shirt. If you prefer a thicker fabric for a really cozy, tighter fitting cowl, similar to the featured photo of me in the white shirt, you can block the cowl to smaller dimensions by stretching it less and not pinning it, allowing it to just dry flat.

All three sizes of this cowl can be knit with one skein of Fierce Fiber’s Buxom, a beautiful blend of Superwash Merino, Cashmere, and Nylon in a soft and squishy Aran weight yarn. Each hefty 250g (8.82 oz) skein of Buxom has a whopping 400 yards (366 meters), so be sure to check the yardage of any yarn substitutions in case you need extra skeins to have enough yarn for your desired size.

This pattern calls for US 8 (5.0mm) circular needles, 24″ (61 cm) circulars for size Small OR 32″ (81 cm) circulars for sizes Medium and Large. Gauge for the project is 17 stitches & 27 rows per 4″ (10.12 cm) square. Gauge for this project is not critical, although the amount of yarn and blocking dimensions will vary for differing gauges.

While the Dragon Skin Cowl pattern may be a little challenging for the novice knitter, the techniques used are not difficult to learn. The pattern includes detailed written instructions on how to perform each type of stitch. Purl Soho made a good video on how to perform the m1l and m1r stitches, which can be found here. Techniques used include:

  • knit
  • purl
  • m1l (make one left; creates a left-leaning stitch)
  • m1r (make one right; creates a right-leaning stitch)
  • ssk (slip, slip, knit; creates a left-leaning decrease)
  • k2tog (knit two together; creates a right-leaning decrease)

This pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and I would love to see your project page if you decide to knit this cowl! You can also tag me on Instagram at @craftslayerpdx and use the hashtags #craftslayerpdx or #dragonskincowl on your photos. Let me know if you have any questions or comments at