Learn a Stitch, Make a Twisted Cowl

Welcome to the first entry in our ongoing series Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl! Each month in 2015 we will teach you a new crochet or knit stitch. You can then use the stitch when you make the featured cowl. This month our stitch is working into the back bars of a crocheted chain, and the cowl is the Twisted Cowl in Medley. Keep reading to learn the stitch and enter to win! Use the hashtag #learnstitches to talk about the series.

Download the Twisted Cowl Free Pattern!

LW3861 Twisted Cowl


For the cowl you’ll use Medley, but I used Soft Yarn in 9528 Lilac to make it easier to see the stitches. The cowl is done in a circle so I went ahead and made the sample chain in a circle by doing a slip stitch in the first chain.

In this photo you can see the top of the chain is facing us, so it looks like a braid. In a normal stitch, you’ll put the the hook into each of the “V”s in the chain to do the row of single crochet.

SOTM Jan 1

In this picture you can see the backside of the chain, with the bumps that you will be working into. In the stitch we’ll be doing, you will be working into these bumps instead of the “Vs” on the top of the chain.

SOTM Jan 2


On the left you can see the hook positioned as in a normal single crochet. On the right you can see the hook positioned to work into the back bump of the chain to do a single crochet. You’ll want to do the back bump version. While you are going under two strands of yarn for a regular single crochet into a chain, when you work into the back bump of a chain you are going under only one strand.

SOTM Jan 3SOTM Jan 4












When you work into the back bumps around, the beginning edge of the crocheted piece retains a smooth even edge that matches the top of the last row of crochet. Here is the beginning chain after I did a few rounds. You can see how the chain looks just like any crochet row or round after you complete the stitches.

SOTM Jan 7

This very even, nice edge is useful for projects like this cowl, which will have all of the edges exposed.

Have you ever used an edge like this before or worked into the back bumps or a chain? For which projects?

To see the other stitches and cowls in this series, visit the Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl page.


Put your name and email in the Rafflecoppter below for a chance to be one of 5 lucky winners! Each winner will win the yarn to make this cowl. Winners will be announced at the start of February.

This giveaway has been completed.

Official Rules

106 thoughts on “Learn a Stitch, Make a Twisted Cowl

    • Anonymous

      I am anxious to start this cowl. It is beautiful and I always use Red Heart!

    • Anonymous

      I found the free pattern at A.C. Moore but couldn’t afford the yarn. The pattern is not complicated. I’ll start this pretty cowl in the near future.

  1. kimari wright

    This looks very neat and functional, my resolution is to learn new stich ed answer how to make socks. Love you yarn, I use mostly red heart in my projects

  2. Kathryn DesRoches

    I’ll have to see if I can do this stitch because I have some spare yarn to practice with.

  3. Theresa Seger

    Love using Red Heart yarn. Been knitting about 47 yrs and crocheting about 35 yrs. Would love to keep on learning :-)

  4. Deborah

    As a new crocheter I am totally in love with crochet and am looking so forward to this. Red Heart bring it on, I’m ready! Love all your yarn:):)

  5. Renee T.

    Love red heart yarn and all the interesting stuff you do. Like mystery crochet alongs, teach us new stitches, all the FREE patterns, etc.

  6. Vickie

    I shared the post, but it isn’t giving me an entry for it. :( Oh well, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to win with my 1 entry.

  7. Joan Patton

    Wow! This is going to be so fun. I make different cowls for my son’s girlfriend. She is a teacher in Utah and gets so cold when she is ouside with the kids. Now I will not only learn new stitches but have tons of cowls for her. Joan

  8. Joan Patton

    Wow, I am so excited. Not only will I learn a new stitch I will have another cowl to give to my son’s girlfriend which teaches school in Utah and it is freezing when she is with the kiddie’s outside, Starting this today. Joan

  9. Lee Ann Ferguson

    Is anyone else on a mobile device? If so are you havinh trouble with entire page showing up? Also, I’m fairly new to crocheting, is this a beginner project jn your opinion?

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Lee Ann, What trouble are you having with your mobile device?

      This pattern is classified as “easy”, not “beginner”, but it is a fairly simple pattern. Try it!

      • Diana Harmon

        Yes, I too am trouble seeing the entire page, only about a quarter inch is visible! Help!

    • drgnldy

      I’m looking forward to learning the new stitches. Is there a name for this first one? To Lee Ann Ferguson – I’m a beginner too and I do think this is a stitch that beginner’s can easily learn. What fun!

      • redheart Post author

        Hi, This technique doesn’t have a short name. It’s just called working into the back bumps of a chain. Enjoy!

  10. Lori Kalmeyer

    I love all the patterns and yarns from Red Heart! Thank you all so much. I use lots of Red Heart yarns for Project Linus blankets – so easy to work with and doesn’t split which I love.

  11. CJ

    I crochet in the foundation chain back loop for the majority of my afghans. Makes a wonderful finished edge and a strong foundation! Love your patterns!

  12. Yvette

    Love thus cowl! Gonna start on one for a friend tonight!

  13. Shirley Vialpando

    Looking forward to learning new stitches.

  14. Denise

    I love to knit and am looking forward to making a knit cowl. Just finished an infinity scarf, which I had fun making.

  15. Deb Dotson

    This will be a very good year! Learning new stitches and creating new wearing apparel.

  16. Kim Barlow

    Interesting – I’ve seen this technique used for edging, but not for an entire piece. Can’t wait to try it!

  17. Janet

    Lee Ann, I’m using mt Samsung tablet. Did you tap the photo of the woman weaing the cowl? That got me to the demonstration photos. If all else fails, either refresh the page or close the website, then start over. Sometimes that works.

  18. Marianne

    I do love and use Red Heart yarns for a lot of my pieces.. I just wonder why most of the patterns offered on the emails are for crochet??? With my arthritic hands I can knit but holding a hook and trying to do the motions, well, it doesn’t work well for me. I am just disappointed that a lot of the companies are now shifting to mainly crochet patterns. Just my 2 cents worth.. I have enough dog sweaters, I was hoping for a new cowl pattern.. oh well, I still love Red Heart!!

    • Patricia

      At the Red Heart site you can put in the boxes on the right that you would like to see knitting patterns and what skill level. Also type of project you want and type of yarn. Not all of this info is needed but thought you might like to know there is a place to go for knitted projects.

  19. Anonymous

    Looks nice and would be good to try something different than just regular crochet.

  20. Dennese

    Just tried this stitch, I am going to make a flat scarf utilizing this stitch with some double crochet mixed in, I will see what happens!

  21. Margie Young

    Thank you so much for doing this. I am rather new to crochet but am really enjoying it. I was looking over the pattern and wondered where to ask questions concerning it. In row 3, at the end it says 3 spaces…what is that referring to ? I’d love to be able to make this and learn more. Thank you for encouraging myself and others to learn more,

  22. Mary Gaudet

    This response is not to the cowl but to Harper the Hedgehog for which the back-loop technique is used. I have made five of hedgehogs already and I am a knitter. I found him very easy to make and so adorable. He turns out exactly as the picture portrays. Thank you so much for your patterns.

  23. Janet

    LOVE using Red Heart yarn. Can’t wait to start on this one.

  24. Kris

    I don’t know how to crochet. I’d like to see more knitting patterns.

  25. Jane Reynolds


  26. Patricia

    I have used this process many times especially when working an afghan with the Tunisian stitch. It is quite easy to do once you get used to looking for the bumps. Your project tends not to roll as much when you start out with the stitch.

  27. debbie1164

    I am so excited! I can’t wait to make this cowl. Do I have to use the recommended yarn or may I use what I have on hand? Thank you so much for the pattern. I hope I am one of the lucky winners of the yarn! If so, I’ll make another cowl using it!! Good luck to everyone who entered

  28. Joyce Konopik

    I have crocheted into the bump many times, but it is not my favorite stitch!!!

  29. Tammy Klatt

    This is so pretty. My daughter makes cowls all the time. This will be my first.

  30. Ingrid

    I have used Red Heart from the very beginning of learning to crochet which is about 40 yrs. Love all your yarns and patterns, keep on stitching !

  31. Barb

    I’ve been crocheting since 1961 – long time, huh! I am kind of confused about this “twisted stitch” though. Is the work twisted only on the beginning chain or on each row? You’re never too old to learn, right!!!

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Barb, Thanks for your question! You only twist the chain as you join it. Since you work into the chain on the rest of the rows, this builds a twist into the cowl itself. For additional questions, please contact Customer Service at http://www.redheart.com/ContactUs.

  32. Kimberly

    Love red heart can’t wait to start this cowl it is very beautiful =)

  33. donna harper

    I have been crocheting for fifty years and I would enjoy learning new stitches.

  34. Billie Conrad

    Since I learned about the back bump crocheting into a chain I use it on most any project that I cannot use foundation crochet stitches for.

  35. Kelly Harder

    Just stumbled onto to this test, and absolutely lov3e Red Heart. Can’t wait to start, have the yarn at home already. If I have to much, will keep and knit something for my grand babies.

  36. Kim

    Looking forward to building my techniques and would love to win the yarn to make this cowl. It’s cold out there!!

  37. Liz

    I have always worked the back bumps of the starting chain! It’s how the book I learned from said to do it, and I never questioned that.

  38. Jo Ann L

    Can’t wait to start this. I hope I can do more than one for each of my girls. Time … there just never seems to be enough of it.

  39. Melissa Bushley

    What a cool technique and project!!! I hope I win!!!

  40. Cindy Love

    I just finished making The Twisted Cowl. The pattern and the new stitch are very easy. The Medley yarn is soft.

  41. Ginnie Lowe

    A little tricky stitch but I think I’ve got it, I’ll work on it a bit. I have adult grand daughters that work and think they will enjoy this cowl.

  42. Fran Lehmann

    I can’t wait to shop for and start this cowl love the colors. Thank you for your beautiful patterns. They are very inspiring. Keep up the fantastic projects you bring us.

  43. Edith

    lovely cowl. ready to try this. thanks for the pattern.

  44. Belinda Germain

    Love Red Heart yarn, have used it fir more than 45 years. Baby afghans are fun and very welcomed by new moms!

  45. Lorraine Nessman

    What a great project for practicing this stitch! Thanks!

  46. Fransien Garrett

    Winning yarn would be a great birthday gift (mine’s at the end of the month).

  47. heidi

    the only complaint I have is that I wish you would have continued the pictorial for the “twist” I followed the ballband pattern and couldn’t figure out how to twist it and didn’t know if I was supposed to continue twisting every row..I know the directions may seem fairly straightforward, but when I am doing something for the first time I am unsure…it would have been great to continue the tutorial or demo in a video!

  48. Cathy Long

    Would love to win this giveaway. Lovely cowl. I started crocheting 40 years ago as a young teenager. I love to make things with my hands. Thanks for the chance to win.

  49. Louise

    Looking forward to learning new stitches both in knit and crochet.

  50. Vivian Miller

    Thank you for a chance to win yarn to make this cowl.

  51. Ruby Norman

    I use “RED HEART” yarn most of the time. The textures, colors and prices are great. It is also easy on the fingers. I hope I win this prize.

  52. Tasneem G

    NO I haven’t used this before. Cant wait to get started.

  53. janet

    Re: LW3709 – Keepsake Christmas Stocking

    I am a beginner to intermediate knitter and this is this the first Christmas stocking I have ever made. With the help of a few friends, the stocking came out nice – but I do have a question. The top half of the stocking presents with a knitted side as the right side out while the bottom half (foot) presents with a purl side as the right side out. How would I adjust the pattern so that the entire stocking presents the knitted side as the right side out?

    Has anyone done this before?

    Thank you!

    • redheart Post author

      Hi Janet, We’re sorry to hear the pattern is confusing! If you have not already, please contact Customer Service at http://www.redheart.com/ContactUs for pattern assistance. Using the Contact Us form ensures that your question is sent to the correct team and your question is answered.

  54. Wota

    I’ll try for free yarn anytime. No such thing as having too much.

  55. G. Tong

    Red Heart is my fave, was my mom’s fave and my grandmother’s favorite. I always look fwd to the new types of yarn that are available at WalMart. We make and donate yarn leis for birthday/anniversary announcements in church. The colors are always vibrant and the yarn maintains it’s integrity. Thank you RED HEART!

  56. Pat Norris

    I am learning to crochet after 40+ years of being a die-hard knitter. Crocheting is so much faster and I love Red Heart yarn and have used many of your free patterns. This one looks delicious!

  57. barbara mccarthy

    New to the hobby , would love to win. Need yarn badly. So addicting

Comments are closed.