Free Pattern: Chinese Lantern Cowl

Folded Chinese Lantern Cowl

When you fold the cowl, it looks like a Chinese Lantern

During my exploration of big hooks and loose stitches, the Chinese Lantern Cowl was created. It uses a smaller hook for the edge rows and very long stitches made with a larger hook for the center rows.

Chinese Lantern Cowl


2 skeins Loops and Threads’ Charisma (215 yards bulky yarn)

6.5mm crochet hook (K hook)

10mm crochet hook (N hook)

Yarn needle

Abbreviations (US terms used):

Ch: Chain

SS: Slip Stitch

SC: Single Crochet

FSC: Foundation Single Crochet

TTR: Triple Treble Crochet (Yo 4x, insert hook in next stitch, Yo, pull up a loop, *Yo, pull through 2 loops on hook* 5x)

dSC: Dropped Single Crochet (Insert hook below 3 loops instead of 2 when you are making your Single Crochet. For this pattern, you will put your hook under the top of the TTR instead of into it.)

Chinese Lantern Cowl Pattern:

You will work in the round for the entire pattern, do not turn.

Row 1: With the 6.5mm/K hook, Ch 2, 100 FSC, join with the last stitch so that you join at the chain, then SS to join the top of the stitch. When you start the last stitch, insert the hook under the chain as usual, but also under the chain of the first stitch, then make your FSC stitch. If you have a problem joining the chain of the FSC, you can join them together when you weave in your ends. (100)

(The easier alternative for Row 1 if you are afraid of FSC: Ch 101, join with SS, Ch 1, SC 100, join with SS)

Row 2: Ch 1, 100 SC, join with SS (100)

Row 3-4: Repeat Row 2

Row 5: Switch to 10mm/N hook. Ch 6 (counts as first TTR), 99TTR, join with SS (100)

Row 6: Ch 1, 100 dSC, join with SS (100)

Row 7: Ch 1, 100 SC, join with SS (100)

Row 8: Ch 6 (counts as first TTR), 99TTR, join with SS (100)

Row 9: Switch to 6.5mm/K hook. Ch 1, 100 dSC, join with SS (100)

Row 10: Ch 1, 100 SC, join with SS (100)

Row 11-12: Repeat Row 10

Finish off and weave in ends.

Full Chinese Lantern CowlChinese Lantern Cowl 2Cowl Closeup


A Chainless Beginning: Thoughts on Foundation Single Crochet

It took me a while to figure it out, as in several months from when I first tried it on the Starling Handbag, but I am now a convert and a believer. The foundation crochet stitches are the way to go when starting a crochet piece. It beats a starting chain handsdown. It’s the only way to get stretch in your entire piece (super important in clothing) and helps prevent curling (after blocking).

I finally figured out what the foundation stitch actually is. It’s just the regular crochet stitch… Single Crochet, Half Double, Double, Triple… with one extra step. It’s just like you’re working upside down and adding the chain as you go.

  • For the very beginning you Chain 2 for SC, 2 or 3 for HDC, 3 for DC, 4 for TC
  • You start off like a regular stitch, yarn over if it’s anything other than single crochet and don’t yarn over for single crochet, then insert your hook through two loops (like a regular stitch) *for the first stitch, insert your hook in the first chain furthest from your hook.
  • pull up a loop (like a regular stitch)
  • then yarn over and pull through one loop (this is the ONLY change from a regular stitch)
  • then finish your stitch like you normally would: for SC and HDC  yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook, for DC, yarn over and pull through two loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook, for TC, yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops, and yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook
  • You are now an expert in foundation crochet stitches.

There’s a great photo tutorial and video by futuregirl on Foundation Single Crochet that you can view on her blog. I think I watched the video 50 times while I was trying to start the Starling Handbag (which happens to be a great simple bag project and the purse I use everyday). In retrospect, starting that bag with a chain and regular single crochet stitches would have been fine.

Abbreviations for the foundation stitches:
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
FHDC: Foudnation Half Double Crochet
FDC: Foundation Double Crochet
FTC: Foundation Triple Crochet