Hi maker friends! I'm Hailey Bailey and I design crochet patterns for those who love nature, color, a bit of texture, and a modern but classic style. I have been crocheting for just under 3 years, but I’ve been a maker all my life. I was the weird kid you would find in the back of the room crumpling construction paper into balls and shaping them into birds (true story).
At first, making was simply a natural way for me to express myself or to pass the time... until my life was turned completely upside down. When I was a teenager, I experienced the death of both of my parents in the span of three years. After that, making became more. It became, quite literally, my survival. I made things because it was the only way I could process what I had been through. Creating things helped me to make sense of it all. Having been through so much indescribable pain, I could still have the power to create something beautiful. I could take something ordinary -- yarn, paint, or paper -- and I could change it. I could make it something new. In a life that felt so completely out of my control, creativity was the birthplace of hope. Making helped me through my darkest moments, and to this day it continues to remind me that no matter how difficult life becomes, I can always create.
Needless to say, making is so much more than manipulating materials to me. Yes, I design sweaters and scarves and hats and home decor, but everything about each creation I make - the name, the colors, the shapes, the inspiration behind it - means so much more. My Bee Beanie, for example, represents my personal symbol for my late great-grandmother, who was tiny but feisty and once gave me a tiny gold and pearl bee pin, which I wear to this day for good luck. As much as I love making, I also love telling my story through the things I make -- and even more, encouraging others to share their stories through their craft. Whether you knit, crochet, weave, paint, write, or play music, I hope that I can remind just a single person of the healing power of creativity. Let your craft tell your story. Let it remind you of how powerful you are even when you feel powerless.
As far as craft media, I have dabbled in a bit of everything: painting, ceramics, glass art, sewing, printmaking, macrame, punch needle, all the things! Something about crochet, however, worked its way into my heart more than any other craft I’d tried before. It was meditative, relaxing, yet challenging. Not long after I picked up my first crochet hook, I designed and shared my first patterns. I felt so much self-doubt and worry when I published those first designs. Despite these fears, I was shocked by the positive support I have received and fell in love with this incredible maker community. I’ve never looked back since. March 2019 marks my two year designer anniversary! I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone by bringing you the Mockingbird Cowl pattern.
If you’re familiar with my patterns, you know I name most of my designs after birds. For this pattern, “the Mockingbird” felt like a perfect fit. Mockingbirds are playful, social songbirds. While their soft gray coloring doesn't particularly attract attention, their voice certainly does. The mockingbird, as its name suggests, has the ability to mimic the songs of other birds or even sounds from its environment, and can imitate 20 or more distinct songs in 10 minutes. Mockingbirds symbolize learning through experience, overcoming fear, and singing to whatever tune you desire.
This cowl pays homage to the mockingbird not only in its soft gray hue but in its versatility. While only using a single stitch, this cowl is reversible and each side has its own distinct texture: one with soft, faux-knit rows and the other with a lovely pebbled effect. This pattern can also be adapted to create a long, wrap-able infinity scarf so you can wear both textures at once.
I used Lion Brand Rewind yarn, which is a tape-style yarn. That means it’s completely flat! This yarn has such a cool and unusual texture and this simple cowl design really allows the yarn itself to take center stage. This pattern would be perfect for that gorgeous, unique yarn you have stashed away waiting for the perfect project.
I created a longer infinity scarf using Lion Brand Vel-luxe velvet yarn in Marigold, a sunny mustard yellow, to show the versatility of this pattern. The longer version is a great way to show off both textured sides of the design at once!
You will need:
- Approx. 400-600 yards of chunky (size 5) yarn.
- 2 skeins of Lion Brand Rewind tape yarn in Greige
- Size M/9mm crochet hook
- Yarn needle
- Stitch marker
*Feel free to experiment using different yarn weights! Just be sure to adjust your hook size to fit the yarn. For example, if you want to use worsted weight (size 4) yarn you may want to use a size L/8mm hook, and with super bulky (size 6) yarn you may want to use a size N/10mm hook.
Stitches to know:
- Chain (ch)
- Slip stitch (sl st)
- Half double crochet (hdc)
- Special stitch: Half double crochet Ridge (hdc ridge)
The hdc ridge stitch is worked exactly like a normal hdc except for where you insert your hook. Rather than inserting your hook through the stitch below as usual, you will insert your hook into the loop directly behind the back loop of the stitch, or “the third loop” as it is commonly called. This pushes both the front and back loops forward to create a ridge that mimics the look of a sideways knit stitch.
Here, the work has been turned so you can see the top of the stitch (the front and back loops.) Usually a hdc would go under these two loops.
Here, the work has been turned even further so you can see the “third loop” directly behind the back loop.
Insert your hook through this loop and complete the hdc as you normally would.
Note: this pattern can be easily adjusted to create a longer infinity scarf, a smaller cowl for children, and anything in between. There is no stitch multiple for this pattern, so your foundation chain can have any number of stitches. Depending on yarn used, you may need between 60-80 chains for the cowl version or 120-140 chains for a longer infinity scarf. Since I used tape yarn for my sample, which is a flat yarn unique in size and shape to most other yarns, you may end up with a different stitch count and number of finished rounds than shown here -- and that’s perfectly okay! This pattern is super simple and easy to customize. Try on the cowl before you get too far into your project to ensure it drapes comfortably around your neck.
- Ch 60. Sl st to the first ch to create a large loop.
- Ch 1 (ch does not count as a stitch.) Hdc in first ch. Hdc around to end.
Note: Some patterns worked in the round end with a slip st to the first st of the round, then a ch 1 to begin the next round. To ensure a seamless texture, we will work in continuous rounds where we just keep crocheting in a spiral until your cowl is finished. Stitch markers will be essential so you can keep track of the beginning of each round.
- Hdc ridge into the first st of your previous round. Mark the st just made.
From now on, you will simply hdc ridge into each stitch around and around, replacing your stitch marker each time you come to it.
Hdc ridge around until your cowl reaches your desired height. Finish off and weave in your ends. My finished cowl was 15” long and 15” wide when laid flat (30” in circumference) with a total of 35 rounds.
Optional Fringe Detail
To add fringe to your cowl, cut 3 lengths of yarn, each 8” long.
Fold your bundle of 3 in half and insert it partially through your foundation chain as shown, creating a loop.
Insert the ends of the fringe through the loop.
Pull the ends tightly to secure the fringe. Repeat along the bottom of your cowl, spacing your fringe as desired. (I chose to place fringe on every other foundation chain)
And you’re finished! Admire your beautiful work!
If you make this cowl, please share your photos by tagging me on Instagram (@madebyhaileybailey) or using the hashtag #themockingbirdcowl. I would love to see what you create! You can check out the rest of my patterns in my Ravelry and Etsy shops. To keep up with new designs and other shenanigans, be sure to follow me on Instagram @madebyhaileybailey.