If you follow me, you’ll have read about my love of Banana yarn. It’s such a beautiful yarn, soft, silky, full of texture, ecofriendly and ethical too.
I’ve written a review about it so if you’re interested in learning more then pop there for a read and come back for the FREE pattern.
It can be a little tricky to work with this yarn as it has uneven in thickness throughout the skein, as is recycled silk yarn (an alternative choice). It is also a little difficult to pull back so when designing patterns I decided easy stitches are definitely best.
So I’ve made a very easy cowl pattern to help you get a feel for this amazing yarn. It works up super fast with stunningly gorgeous results, giving you a beautiful scarf that’s both lovely to wear and has a unique slubby texture that’s very eye catching too.
I’d love it if you could add it to your Ravelry favs and help others find it by sharing on social media, pinning etc.
If you just want to use a yarn from your stash, that’s no problem, you could substitute with a bulky (UK chunky) weight yarn and adjust the length by increasing the number of stitches as needed. The overall look will be a little different without the texture but it will also be a lovely, super quick and easy cowl.
This pattern has been written specifically for banana yarn but adapted instructions including gauge and stitch count is also included for bulky weight yarn in the inexpensive ad-free easy print PDF.
Pattern is written in US crochet terminology with UK shown in brackets in the list of abbreviations.
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My wonderful pattern testers both made absolutely gorgeous cowls. It’s wonderful how different they look in different colours, each one is so unique.
Advanced Beginner/Intermediate – only because this yarn is trickier to work with, the pattern is very easy.
You’ll need knowledge of how to do the basic stitches of chain, double crochet (UK treble) and foundation double crochet (UK foundation treble). If you don’t know how to do this, I’ve made a video to show you (scroll down to Special Stitches), I recommend you practise on a familiar yarn first.
Yarn: Banana Yarn #5 weight – 75g to 100g (approx. 30-50 yards)
Alternatively use recycled spun sari silk for a slightly fuzzier texture.
Or any #5 bulky (UK chunky) weight yarn (adapting the pattern as needed).
If you need to buy supplies, I’ve included an extensive list of worldwide suppliers in my Banana Yarn Review. But below is my own fav supplier on Amazon, who offers worldwide postage from India that’s normally free but currently necessary to cover higher courier costs due to current world situation.
If using Banana or silk, the dye is likely to run. I recommend washing and rinsing the hank in cold water until the water is less coloured before use to minimize this. Or gently handwash your finished cowl. You can also buy products to minimize further dye loss which I recommend if you have strong colour showing in the water. I used Simplicol Farb-Fixerier with good results on banana yarn.
Size N/P 15 (10.0mm) crochet Hook. I highly recommend Knitpro for the bigger hooks, they’re lovely to use with their ergonomic handle.
Big Eye Yarn needle, for sewing in ends:
1 x 1” button or 2 smaller buttons – Etsy has a great selection, I had great fun looking for the perfect button! I got my flowery one from Treacle Cottage Crafts on Etsy. I love rustic looking unpainted wood buttons too, like these on Amazon:
Sharp little Scissors – there are lots of very pretty scissors that I covet! Aren’t these just gorgeous?
Approx. 3” (7cm) wide by 25” (64cm) length. Measured after being gently stretched to shape.
Fdc (Foundation double crochet/chainless foundation). This technique creates your stitch and chain at the same time. It creates a much stretchier edge than doing them separately. Ch 3, yo, insert hook in 3rd ch from hook (through both loops), yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 1 loop (chain made). Yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through last 2 loops (1st Fdc made). *Yo, insert hook under bottom 2 loops of the stitch just made, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 1 loop, yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through last 2 loops. Repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches.
- The starting ch 3 of the foundation row counts as a stitch.
- Practice any unfamiliar stitches or techniques first on an easy to work with yarn such as cotton or acrylic.
- You may need to unspin or tighten the spin as you work with banana yarn to get more even results. You can do this as you wind your hank into a ball or as you work. Generally the tighter it is spun the thinner, shinier and harder it is.
- Work with a loose tension generally, and try to loosen up further when you have a very thin bit of yarn and tighter for a very thick bit, to try to keep the stitches closer in size to the others.
- There is no turning chain, just turn and dc in your 1st stitch. It gives a neater edge.
- Check your stitch count at the end of each row to ensure you don’t miss or add any stitches.
- Stitch count is shown at the end of each round in bold.
- The cowl (when made in banana yarn) will have a heavy drape and will stretch with wear. Bear this in mind for your measurements.
There is a lot of variance in this type of yarn per skein so it’s really important to check your gauge if you want to match the measurements. You may need to switch hook size up or down to suit.
Working with a loose tension you need to have 6-7 fdcs to 10cm to get the same measurements. Just measure (stretch it out a couple of times first) once you’ve done your first 10 stitches and you’ll know if you match the gauge or not. If not, change your hook to suit and redo, remember to use loose tension, otherwise you’ll need to work with quite a lot more stitches and will need to use more yarn as you’ll create a denser fabric. I recommend you measure the length once you’ve completed row 1, stretching it out a few times first.
If using bulky weight acrylic: You don’t need to use a loose tension as the thickness of the yarn should be uniform, but the gauge will be different and you need to increase the number of stitches to get the same measurements. Suggested gauge with stitch count is included in the PDF download.
Row 1: Chain 3, work 1 fdc into 1st chain (3rd ch from hook), make 2nd fdc in the base of the first fdc and repeat until you have a total of 37 plus your starting ch 3 (counts as 1st fdc) FO. 38
Check you’re happy with this length (remember it will stretch in use, so give it a few stretches now and see how it measures up). Add/reduce the number of fdcs to get your perfect length.
Row 2-3: Turn. Dc in each st around. 38
If you are happy with the width now FO. If you want it wider, and you have enough yarn, do one or two more repeats of row 2.
Weave in ends. Add a button or 2 to fasten it. The gaps between stitches are perfect button holes! Alternatively repurpose 1 or 2 basic buttons by attaching to the underside so they aren’t visible. This gives a slightly different look. In the photo below I had enough yarn for an extra row so made it a bit wider and buttons are going on the underside.
All done, how easy was that? Put it on and admire your gorgeous work.
Don’t forget to tag me in your social media posts @thecraftytherapist #easyecocowl and if you’ve enjoyed this pattern and want to hear about more patterns from me I’d love you to subscribe to my email list. You’ll get exclusive discounts on new patterns, blog news and offers too.
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Thanks so much.
love Jan x❤️x