Riverbend Drawstring Cowl

Free Knit Pattern

The pattern and photographs in this document are property of Yarn It! I Dropped a Stitch.
You may use it for your personal use but please do not distribute this pattern in whole or in part. You may share direct links only to this pattern and sell your finished work.
I would love to see photos of your finished Riverbend Drawstring Cowl on social media. So please don’t forget to tag me and use hashtag #yarnitidroppedastitch.
ps: I always try my best to ensure that my patterns are error free. However, if you find any mistakes or have any questions on any of my patterns, please send me an email .

Pattern is in US Terminology

Skill Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Experience in knitting in the round and simple cables is recommended.

This cowl complements my other pattern, the Riverbend Beanie. They may be worn together for a matching look. The cowl is worn close to the neck and sits just on top of your chest. At the top of the cowl, there is a drawstring closure, to cinch the top loosely around the neck. This also serves as the main feature of the cowl.

If you prefer yours longer just add more rows from the Cable Repeats.

This pattern involves knitting simple cables, in the round, and is worked in 2 sections.

  • Cable Repeats
  • Drawstring Closure

Red Heart Unforgettable yarn was used for this pattern. It is roving, single ply, worsted/medium (4) weight. This yarn makes a soft and very stretchy Riverbend Drawstring Cowl.

Size: Fits most Teens and Adults.

Finished Sizing:

  • 5” – 6”  [ 12.5cm – 15cm ] tall; unstretched
  • 12” [ 30.5cm ] in diameter; unstretched

Gauge: 4” (10cm) square with 6 cable repeats by 24 sts


  • 1 ball of Red Heart Unforgettable ( 3.5oz [ 100g ], 279yd [ 256m] ). I used the colorway, Sugarcane.
  • Pattern needs at least 115yd [ 105m ]
Suggestions on yarn substitutions:
  • Katia Polaris 100g/236m per ball
  • Loops and Threads Colors 200g/464m per ball
  • Scheepjes Wanderlust 100g/232m per ball
  • US 9 [ 5.5mm ] Circular Knitting needles on a 28”cord or size needed to obtain gauge
  • A cable needle [ Optional if you usually use one ]
  • US 10 [ 6.0mm ] Crochet hook for the drawstring cord. You may choose to knit an i-Cord


  • k : knit stitch
  • p : purl stitch
  • st(s): stitch(es)
  • c4b: slip next 2 stitches onto cable needle and move to the back of work. Knit next 2 stitches from left needle. Knit the stitches from cable needle.
  • ch(s): crochet chain(s)

Cast on 150 stitches using a Stretchy Cast-On method and join in the round. Click here to view a video tutorial on Stretchy Cast-On.

Place stitch marker to mark the beginning of a row. ( or cast on 151 stitches for seamless joining in the round, also known as the invisible joining, by passing the extra stitch over the first stitch. Click here to view a video tutorial on how to do this )

Cable Repeats
Rows 1 -3: ( k4, p2 ) around 25 times until the end of row. Slip marker. ( 150 sts )

Row 4 (cable row): ( c4b, p2 ) around 25 times until the end of row. Slip marker. ( 150 sts )

Repeat Rows 1 through 4 until cowl is approximately 5” to 6” [ 12.5cm – 15cm ] tall, measured from the bottom edge. Add more Cable Repeats as necessary but be sure to stop after Row 4, i.e. a cable row.

Bind off using a Stretchy Bind-Off method. Click here to view a video tutorial on this method. I used method #1.

Leaving a tail of about 7” [ 18cm ], cut yarn and weave in ends.

Drawstring Closure:
For the drawstring cord, crochet 105 ch(s) with 3 strands of the yarn held together. To achieve this with just 1 skein of yarn, click here to view a video tutorial.

Leave about 4” [ 10cm ] of tail on each end to leave on as tassels. Your cord should be about 40” [ 101.5cm ] long including the tails.

** Be sure to watch your tension and don’t crochet the chains too tightly or loosely.

Using a large crochet hook or a yarn needle, weave the cord in and out between the cables, about 1” [ 2.5cm ] down from the top of the cowl, to form the drawstring closure.

Congratulations! You are done. I would love to see your cowls on Social Media, so please don’t forget to tag me. Thank you.