Meet the Esker Cowl, Your New Favorite Crochet Cowl

The Esker Cowl is one of the most popular quick projects in the Interweave Crochet Winter 2020 issue, and it’s easy to see why! This quick crochet cowl is a simple way to dress up an outfit, a stylish way to keep warm, and the perfect project to work on while traveling or visiting with family. I started my first Esker Cowl while in an airport, and after a few minutes of quiet to count the foundation stitch base, it was easy to visit with family while keeping my hands busy. This will not be my last Esker Cowl. It will make a great gift, and I want one for myself!

The Esker Cowl uses variegated yarn, foundation single crochet, front loop and back loop only stitches, and reverse single crochet to create a unique but easy to make crochet cowl.

The Esker Cowl uses variegated yarn, foundation single crochet, front loop and back loop only stitches, and reverse single crochet to create a unique but easy to make crochet cowl.

3 Tips for Crocheting the Esker Cowl

Before you get started on your own first Esker Cowl, here are a few tips I picked up crocheting my Esker Cowl in an airport.

1. Stitch markers are your friend.

This crochet cowl begins with over a hundred foundation single crochet stitches. If you are anything like me, you will lose track of your counting at least twice, especially if you are visiting or traveling while crocheting. That’s why I always use stitch markers to count my stitches. Place a marker every 20 or 25 stitches. That way if you forget how many foundation single crochet stitches you have made, you can start counting from 25 or 50.

2. Make two balls.

In order to get the great color definition between the half double crochet stitches and the reverse single crochet round, the Esker Cowl uses two balls of variegated yarn. You will want to start crocheting your first round with each ball at a different place in the color repeat for the most striking color contrast. Don’t worry if you only brought one ball on your trip. Yes, I somehow managed to only grab one of my balls of yarn as I rushed out the door. But not a big deal! You can simply wind your single ball into two balls.

3. Review the stitches.

The Esker Cowl is a great project for any level of crocheter, but it uses a few crochet stitches you may or may not have used before. The crochet cowl begins with a round of foundation single crochet. Rounds worked in the back loop only or front loop only give additional texture and interest to the color changing rounds, and designer Jennifer Olivarez has made brilliant use of the reverse single crochet. This stitch is usually used as an edging stitch, but I love how Jennifer has used it to create this textured pattern.

foundation single crochet stitch

To work a foundation single crochet, begin with a slipknot on hook, chain 2 (Figure 1), insert hook in 2nd chain from the hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 1 loop (this loop is the next “chain,” Figure 2), yarn over and draw through 2 loops (this is the single crochet)—you now have 1 sc with its own ch st (shaded) at the bottom (Figure 3)—, *insert hook under the 2 loops of the “ch” stitch (shaded) of the last st and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through 1 loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops; repeat from * for as many foundation single crochets as you need (Figure 5).

reverse single crochet stitch

Working from left to right, insert crochet hook in an edge stitch and pull up loop, yarn over and draw this loop through the first one to join, *insert hook in next stitch to right (Figure 1), pull up a loop, yarn over (Figure 2), and draw through both loops on hook (Figure 3); repeat from *.

Try the Esker Crochet Cowl

So how many Esker Cowls will you be making? Download your copy of Interweave Crochet Winter 2020 today and get started on your first Esker Cowl–it won’t be your last!

Happy crocheting,

Try crochet cowl projects!

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