TARDIS Cowl

We’ve had a bit of an odd summer so far here in Eastern Washington. So far, we’ve had only a couple of hot days and a handful of pleasant ones, but it’s mostly been cool or cloudy. I’m usually always cold anyway, so I moved up one of my fall projects and started early!

I’m so excited to share this project with all of you, so let’s get started!

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The TARDIS Cowl uses a technique called tapestry crochet. Basically, this means that you carry multiple strands of different-colored yarns across your entire project. As you change colors, you trap the yarn in the color you’re not using (hereafter known as the inactive yarn) within the stitches of the color you are using (the active yarn). Trust me, it sounds more complicated than it actually is.

There are four important things to keep in mind when using this technique:

  • Make your color changes on the final step of the stitch right before the first stitch of the new color yarn. It’s the same idea as when you make a color change using most any other type of crochet stitch.
  • To trap the inactive color, try to hold the inactive strand of yarn towards the back of your work. Conversely, hold the active strand of yarn towards the front of your work. This will help keep your color changes neat and tidy. It will also help better hide the inactive color from the front side of your work. (Note that the back side of your work won’t be quite as pretty as the front, but that’s okay!)
  • After each color change, gently tug on the strand of inactive yarn–but don’t pull too tight! This also helps keep your inactive color hidden from the front of your work. If you look closely at my TARDIS Cowl, you can see some of the blue yarn peeping through the front. If I had remembered to give a tug on the inactive yarn more regularly, that could have been avoided. But oh well!
  • This pattern has a ribbed band along the top and bottom, but the middle is worked in the round from a chart. The chart below shows half of the colorwork, so work across each row on the chart twice to make a single row of the cowl.

Please note that I am using US terms for this pattern. See our US-to-UK Term Converision Chart for assistance!

Pro tip: try crocheting over your ends as you go. This will make it so you have fewer ends to weave in at the end.

This pattern ranks as Intermediate on our difficulty chart.


Materials Used

  • 1 skein of Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Black
  • 1 skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn in Matisse Blue.
  • Your favorite size D/3.25mm crochet hook
  • Stitch marker
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Bottom Ribbed Band

Row 1) In black, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Turn and ch 1.

Row 2) In BACK LOOPS ONLY, work 10 sc. Turn and ch 1.

Repeat row 2 until you have a total of 160 ribbed rows for the band. Then, fold the band so that the two ends meet (make sure there are no twists in the band!). Slip stitch along the meeting edges to join them together. Ch 1.

Beginning the Cowl

Round 1) In black, work 160 sc into the band. Make sure you place your stitch marker in the first stitch of this round. More the marker up every round as you go.

For the remainder of the rounds of the main part of the cowl, follow along on the chart below. Remember to complete each row of the chart twice for each round of the cowl to reach 160 stitches per round.

Round 50) 160 sc. At the end of the round, join with a slip stitch.

Top Ribbed Band

Row 1) In black, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Turn and ch 1.

Row 2) In BACK LOOPS ONLY, work 10 sc. Join to the final round of the cowl with a slip stitch. Work another slip stitch into the next stitch in the final round of the cowl and turn.

Row 3) In BACK LOOPS ONLY, work 10 sc. Ch 1 and turn.

Row 4) In BACK LOOPS ONLY, work 10 sc. Join to the final round of the cowl with a slip stitch. Work another slip stitch into the next stitch in the final round of the cowl and turn.

Repeat rows 3-4 until you have a total of 160 ribbed rows for the band. Then, fold the band so that the two ends meet. Slip stitch along the meeting edges to join them together. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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You can download the TARDIS Cowl chart here.

And there you have it! Now you’ve got a lovely “geek chic” cowl that is cozy and brilliant. It’s subtle enough when you have it on that only a true Whovian would notice your fantastic geekery. I think even the Doctor would approve!

I’ve also created a Dalek Cowl pattern that matches the instructions of the TARDIS Cowl pattern, but I haven’t worked it up yet. You can download the PDF Dalek Cowl chart here.



DISCLAIMER: THIS IS SOLELY A NOT-FOR-PROFIT FAN ACTIVITY, AND IN NO WAY INTENDS TO INFRINGE ON COPYRIGHTS HELD BY THE BBC, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR WHO-RELATED AGENCIES.

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