Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot



Respect the ‘stache! Hide your face from the cold, and from the world, with these cozy cowls with built-in disguises.

Whether you’re feeling like an ornery Buckaroo, the distinguished Poirot, or the dastardly Snidely, wear your ersatz facial hair with flair!

The knit-in top hem, and grafted bottom hem of the Tangy version provide a smooth, stretchy fit, but do involve a bit more finishing work.

For an easier, beginner-friendly method, a Mellow version is provided.


top: Poirot
middle: Snidely
bottom: Buckaroo

spacer models: Zoe, Benjamin, Joshua spacer photos: Chris Clark

Child’s [Adult Medium, Adult Large]
Child’s sizes shown in Poirot and Buckaroo, Adult Large shown in Snidely


Circumference: 16[17, 18] inches, will stretch to fit up to 20[22, 24] inches
Length: 7 [8, 9] inches


Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes [50% alpaca/50% merino; 100yd/91m per 100g skein]; 1 skein of each color [3 skeins in total] is required for all sizes.

Note: 2 skeins of the MC [plus 1 skein of CC1 and 1 skein of CC2] will provide enough yarn for 3 childrens'-sized cowls.

Child’s – Poirot version
spacer [MC] color: Aqua; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] color: Strawberry; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] color: Charcoal; 1 skein

Child’s – Buckaroo version
spacer [MC] color: Butterscotch; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] color: Dungaree Blue; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] color: Chocolate; 1 skein

Adult Large – Snidely version
spacer [MC] color: Olive; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] color: Rusty Orange; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] color: Black; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 16-inch US #8/4.5mm circular needle
spacer 16-inch US #9/5mm circular needle

spacer Yarn needle
spacer Worsted weight scrap yarn
spacer Stitch markers


14sts/22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

The chart for this pattern is very large and fits on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page



Mellow version:
With smaller circular and CC1, loosely cast on 56[60, 64] st.
Place marker and join, being careful not to twist.

Knit 9 rounds.

Switch to larger circular and MC, purl 1 round.

Knit rounds even until cowl measures 7[8, 9] inches from purl round.

Switch to smaller circular and CC1, purl 1 round.

Knit 7 rounds.

Cast off very loosely, using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Tangy version:
With smaller circular and CC1, cast on 56[60, 64] st using provisional cast on.

Place marker and join, being careful not to twist.

Knit 9 rounds.

Switch to larger circular and MC, purl 1 round.

Knit 7 rounds.

Carefully remove scrap yarn from cast on edge and place live stitches onto smaller circular. Fold work at purl ridge, holding the two circulars side by side.

Using MC, knit together one stitch from each needle to join the layers together all the way around. Continue, knitting all rounds on larger circular with MC until cowl measures 7[8, 9] inches from the purl ridge.

Switch to smaller circular and CC1, purl 1 round. Knit 7 rounds. Cut yarn, leaving a 2 yard tail. Place all stitches on scrap yarn.

Using tapestry needle and CC2, work your mustache chart of choice in duplicate stitch, centering the chart in the middle of the round three rows down from upper hem turn.

Weave in tails from color changes and embroidery.

Mellow Version Only: Fold in upper and lower hems at purl ridge, and loosely sew them down on the inside.

Tangy Version Only: Using long tail and tapestry needle, sew down the facing of the second hem to match the first


designernamespacer Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark spends her days dyeing a spectrum of yarns for her indie dye company, Kitchen Sink Dyeworks, and her evenings thinking up new projects to play with all of those colors.

She lives in the land of kudzu with her husband Chris, three dogs, two cats and a herd of wooly dust buffalo.