At least once per year I chance upon some ultra squishy treasure trove of bulky or super bulky weight yarn on clearance – usually in the summer. The super soft and extra thicc strands entice me as I run my fingers through the inviting tangle of coziness and I inevitably end up buying a huge pile of it! That was the story again this past summer when I came home from the craft store and had to find extra storage space under the coffee table to hide my winter-appropriate yarn until the weather turned icy enough to tempt me toward them again.
These yarns aren’t just sensorily seductive – a good pile of #6 super bulky weight yarn can allow you to bang out a larger crochet piece in no time at all! I love my old 11.5 mm crochet hook, a big awkward plastic thing I picked up at a garage sale eons ago. Me and that baby have made some pretty good projects, including the quick and super satisfying winter wearable pattern I have in store for you all today!
You can get the crochet pattern instructions right here on this blog post for FREE, or you can purchase the portable, ad-free PDF from my pattern stores to help support my art more directly <3 Find it in my Ravelry Store, Ko-Fi Shop, or Etsy Shop now – or keep scrolling for the free instructions!
Something like this piece has been in my ideas folder for a while, because I wanted to combine the bulky weight yarn with some beautiful knit-like surface texture to add to the visual appeal of what is otherwise a straightforward garment – the camel stitch is the perfect candidate for this in-the-round cowl that can be modified for a bunch of different but equally practical styles!
I named it the “Babushka Cowl” because I love the word, the style, and the meaning. Babushka is an endearing term for grandmother, but also a fabric headscarf often worn by said grandmothers. While the Babushka Cowl isn’t a headscarf, it IS a warming mantle appropriate for layering with winter outerwear in the coldest of climates – I pictured this cowl being thrown on to go feed the chickens or gather kindling, or simply to keep the chilly cabin air off of your neck and shoulders.
Babushka Cowl Pattern
11.5 mm hook
Recommended Yarn: Buttercream Luxe Craft Cozy (#6 Super Bulky, 87 yds / 200 g, 50% Superwash 50% Acrylic), 2-6 skeins
I used a few different #6 yarns for accents and trims, but the main yarn is the Buttercream Cozy.
Cowl: 2 skeins (174 yds)
Pointed Cowl: 3 skeins (261 yds)
Poncho + Hood: 6 skeins (522 yds)
Hood Only: 1 skein (87 yds)
Gauge: 3 sts & 2 rows = 2” in camel half double crochet
Sizes: Cowl (neck coverage only), Pointed Cowl (neck and chest only), Full Poncho (neck, chest, back)
Finished Measurements (Approximate, taken while lying flat):
Chest Circumference (all but Cowl): 54″ maximum
Cowl: 24” neck circumference, 10” length
Pointed Cowl: 24” neck, 24” max length in front
Poncho: 24” neck, 24” max length in front and back
Hood: 12” length, 10” depth
Above (left to right): Pointed Cowl w/ Hood, Full Poncho with Hood, Pointed Cowl w/ Hood.
Below (left to right): Cowl w/o Hood, Pointed Cowl w/o Hood
Stitches & Abbreviations
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)
Camel Half-double crochet (chdc):
Chdc is a regular hdc stitch worked into the middle strand of the back of the stitch below, instead of into the top two loops. This creates a surface texture that features the free top loops of the stitch on the right side (Example Image 1). To work this stitch, YO as for normal hdc, insert hook into the middle back loop of the stitch below. You can see which loop this is by referencing Example Images 2 & 3, in which the loops are highlighted blue. Draw up a loop, YO and draw through all loops on the hook. 1 chdc complete.
Example 2: loops to be worked for camel stitch (top view)
Example 3: Loops to be worked (back view)
Camel Double crochet (cdc):
Cdc is a regular double crochet stitch worked into the middle strand of the back of the stitch below, instead of into the top two loops. This creates a surface texture that features the free top loops of the stitch on the right side (Ex. 4). To work this stitch, YO as for a normal dc, insert hook into the middle back loop of the stitch below (see Examples 5-6, loop is highlighted in purple). Draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 loops twice to complete the dc in the camel style.
Example 4: Camel double crochet, front view
Ex. 5: back view, loops to be worked highlighted in purple
Ex. 6: Top view, back
Chain 2 Picot (ch-2 pic):
A picot is a little bump created at the top of stitch by chaining and then slip stitching back into the top of the last stitch. Work the ch-2 picot in this pattern as follows: Chain 2 (Example Image 7). Insert hook diagonally into the top two loops at the front of the stitch (Ex. 8). YO and make a slip stitch (Ex. 9). Picot made! (Ex. 10)
Worked in continuous rounds. Move marker for each round to mark round end.
Chains and picots do not count toward the stitch total at the end of each round.
Just a friendly reminder that I have a TIP JAR if you want to contribute a little somethin’ somethin’ to my artistic efforts – your support helps me keep providing quality free content!
Instructions (All Styles)
Ch. 40, sl st into the first ch to form a ring, making sure chain is not twisted – fig 1.
Rnd 1: 1 sc in the same st as the join – fig 2. 1 hdc in ea of the next 40 sts – figs 3-4, placing last hdc in the first sc of the round – fig 5. Place stitch marker in last stitch made to mark the end of the round. – 40 hdc
Rnd 2: Camel hdc (chdc – see Special Stitches) in ea stitch around – figs 6-7. – 40 sts
Rnd 3: Repeat round 2 – fig 8.
From here the instructions diverge based on which version you are making. For a short cowl with no pointed sides and neck coverage only, follow Cowl instructions. For a cowl with one point in the front for chest coverage, follow Pointed Cowl instructions. For a full coverage piece pointed on the front and back, follow Poncho instructions.
Rnd 4: Camel double crochet (cdc – see Special Stitches) in ea st around. – 40 dc
Rnds 5-8: Rpt Rnd 4
Rnds 9-10: Camel hdc in ea st around.
Rnd 11: (Chdc in the next st, chdc with a ch-2 pic in the next st) rpt around until reaching 4 sts away from the end of the round. *1 sc in the next st, 1 sc with a ch-2 pic in the next st. Rpt from *. Sl st in the next st.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving enough yarn to weave in the end.
Rnd 4: Camel hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. In the top two loops of the next st work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc – inc made – fig 9). Camel hdc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 41 sts
Fig. 9: Place marker in the ch-1 space of the increase.
Rnd 5: Camel double crochet (cdc) in ea of the next 20 sts – fig 11, until reaching the ch-1 space of the increase on the previous round – fig 12. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) into the chain space – figs 13-14. Cdc into ea of the next 21 sts – 45 sts
Fig. 13 – be careful not to miss the first dc back loop after the increase, it may be tight and/or hard to see! Shown here highlighted in purple.
Rnd 6: Chdc in ea of the next 22 sts, until reaching the ch-1 sp of the inc on previous rnd. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the ch sp – fig 15. Chdc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 47 sts
Rnd 7: Cdc in ea of the next 23 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. Cdc in ea of the next 24 sts, fig 16. – 51 sts
Rnd 8: Cdc in ea st until reaching the ch-1 space of the inc on the previous rnd. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. Cdc in ea st until reaching the end of the rnd. – 55 sts
Rnd 9: Rpt Rnd 8 – fig 17. – 59 sts
Rnd 10: Chdc in ea of the next 10 sts. Cdc in ea of the next 19 sts – fig 18. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. Cdc in ea of the next 20 sts. Chdc in ea of the next 10 sts. – fig 19 – 63 sts
Fig. 18 – when switching colors, try to do so at the beginning of a round!
Fig. 19 – switching from chdc in the back to cdc in the front shortens the length on the back to make it easier to fit under & around coats!
Rnd 11: Chdc in ea of the next 10 sts. Cdc in ea of the next 21 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. Cdc in ea of the next 22 sts. Chdc in ea of the next 9 sts. – fig 20 – 67 sts
Rnd 12: Cdc in ea st until reaching the ch-1 sp of the inc on the previous rnd. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. Cdc in ea st until reaching the end of the rnd. – 71 sts
Rnd 13: Rpt Rnd 12. – 75 sts
Rnd 14: (Cdc in the next st, Cdc with ch-2 picot in the next st) repeat until reaching the ch-1 space of the increase in the round below – fig 21. Dc into the ch sp, ch-2 picot – fig 22. (Cdc in the next st, cdc with ch-2 picot in the next st) rpt until 5 sts away from the end of round. Chdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Sc in ea of the next 2 sts. Sl st in the next st. – fig 23
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing on the hood (optional).
Rnd 4: Camel hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. In the top two loops of the next st work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc – inc made). Camel hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. In the top two loops of the next st work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc). – 42 sts.
Place a marker in ea of the ch-1 spaces of the increases and in the first stitch of the round. Move these markers with each new round made to keep track of where the rounds begin and end and where to place the increases.
Rnd 5: Cdc in ea of the next 20 sts, until reaching the ch-1 space of the inc on the previous rnd. (2 dc, ch-1, 2 dc) into the ch space. Cdc into ea of the next 21 sts. – fig 24. (2 dc, ch-1, 2 dc) into the ch sp. 1 Cdc in the last st – fig 25 – 50 sts
Fig. 24 – don’t forget to mark both increases AND the beginning of the round
Rnd 6: 1 Chdc in ea stitch around until reaching the first marked ch-1 sp. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the marked space. 1 chdc in ea st around until reaching the 2nd marked ch-1 sp. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the marked space. Chdc until reaching the end of the round – fig 26. – 54 sts
Rnd 7: 1 Cdc in ea st around, until reaching the first ch-1 sp. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. 1 cdc in ea st around until reaching the 2nd ch-1 sp. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the ch sp. 1 cdc in ea of the remaining sts of the round. – 62 sts
Rnds 8-14: Rpt Rnd 7 – 82 sts
Rnd 15: (Cdc in the next st, Cdc with ch-2 picot in the next st) repeat until reaching the ch-1 space of the increase in the round below. *Dc into the ch sp, ch-2 picot, ch 1, dc in the same space, ch-2 picot.* (Cdc in the next st, cdc with ch-2 picot in the next st) rpt until reaching the next ch-1 increase. Rpt from * to *. (Cdc in the next st, cdc with ch-2 picot in the next st) rpt until 5 sts away from the end of round. Chdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Sc in ea of the next 2 sts. Sl st in the next st. – 84 sts
Cut yarn and tie off.
For the hood pictured above, I used Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick & Quick for the final row of the hood and skipped the cords & trim.
Ch 12 – fig 28.
Row 1: 1 hdc in the 3rd ch from the hook (first 2 ch sts count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea of the next 8 ch sts. Hdc 5 times in the next st – fig 29 – rotate the piece, beginning down the opposite side of the ch work: 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts. 1 hdc in the last st which is the last 2 ch sts of beg ch. – fig 30 – 25 hdc
Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), turn. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts – fig 31. (2 hdc in the next st) 5 times – fig 32. 1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts, working final st in the top of the turning ch of row below. – 30 hdc
Row 3: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), turn. 1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts – fig 33. (2 hdc in the next st, 1 hdc in the next st) 5 times – fig 34. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts, working the final st in the top of the turning ch of the row below. – 35 hdc
Hood should be about 10 inches tall from base to top of the curved end – fig 35.
Rows 4 – 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 hdc in ea st. – 35 hdc
Figs 36-37 show hood beginning to take shape after Row 7.
After completing Row 12, cut yarn leaving a long tail for seaming the hood to the cowl, and fasten off.
Attaching the Hood & Adding Trim
To attach your hood to the cowl, find the center beginning chain of the hood and mark it with a stitch marker at the bottom edge – fig 38. Locate the beginning stitch on your original chain loop of the cowl. The middle of the hood should align with the middle back of the cowl.
Count 17 stitches away from the center back of the cowl on either side. This is where the edges of the hood should land when you are finished sewing it on. I recommend using stitch markers to pin the hood down on these edges.
Using a length of yarn and a tapestry needle, sew down the hood into the loops from the beginning chain – fig 39. This will be done by sewing a hdc stitch on the row end to 1 chain loop on the cowl edge, then sewing the next hdc stitch on the row end to 2 chain loops on the cowl edge, repeating this pattern of 2 hdc stitches per 3 chain loops until it is all sewn down – fig 40. Check to make sure the hood is even, then weave in the ends.
To add decorative ties and trim to your hood, chain 30-35 stitches (or about 20 inches in length). Slip stitch back down the stitches of your chain – fig 41. At the edge of the hood, slip stitch to attach your cord – fig 42.
Begin to slip stitch around the top row of the hood, keeping your stitches fairly loose – fig 43. Once the other edge of the hood is reached, chain the same length as the first cord, then slip stitch back down this chain length to complete the second cord – fig 44.
Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in any remaining ends.
Thankfully, this photoshoot didn’t involve single digit temperatures like some of my other bulky winter projects have! If you’re interested in more thick and quick crochet project patterns, check out some of my other offerings:
From Left to Right: Ushanka and Muff Set (Free), Winter Poncho (Free or Paid), Rambler’s Mitts (Free or Paid), Woodsman’s Wife Ruana (Paid)
I’m really feeling accomplished as I close off the year with this new and fun little design, not the least because I made a lot of room on my yarn shelves by using up all that thick yarn!
I’ll be using the down time now to relax, reflect, and recharge for the new year – I hope you have a chance to do the same, and many blessings to you all <3 <3 <3 Thank you as always for your continued support!
Looks lovely and warm. I could be very tempted by it but it looks like the yarn you used has been discontinued.
Should work with any #6 yarn! 🙂
I am trying it with some repurposed yarn but although my yarn is about the same size and fibre mix it is much lighter having less than half the weight per yard of yours. So I am trying to adapt with more stitches or I think it would be too insubstantial.
Yes, you’ll need to achieve the same gauge as well as the same weight I imagine! I would look for a #6 substitute that is actually a roving-style one ply yarn, like the original! 🙂
It is one ply and looks the same. It is no longer made but it is Sirdar Big Softie. It is on Ravelry and it is 49 yds for 50g. I haven’t got enough unfortunately and am not sure how I will find something similar to finish but it is worth a try.