FREE Katniss Cowl-Shawl-Shoulder-Thing Pattern

UPDATE 2/1/23: I skimmed this during my great blog housekeeping mission of 2023 and it looks good! It is at least a good starting point for anyone trying to make this thing! If you want to drop me a few dollars on Ko-Fi then it's appreciated so I can keep doing free stuff!

Here's the complete pattern from start to finish of that mysterious article of clothing Katniss is wearing at the beginning of Catching Fire. Is it s half-vest? Is it a weird stole? Is it a cowl? Is it a strange scarf with an arm-hole? Whatever it is, people seem to like it. I made one as a commission for a friend's cosplay and I documented the adventure.

There are definitely lots of ways to tweak this pattern that I, of course, thought of after I'd finished. Feel free to use this however you would like and make modifications as you see fit. I'd appreciate a link back either to this post or to my Etsy shop! I hope you can also understand what I'm attempting to communicate as well.

My favorite version that I found online while researching for this was the Katniss Cowl by Engineered Creations. I made the neck of my version the same way that she did for the most part, but then I went my own direction. It was a lot of fun and everyone involved is pleased with the final product.

What You Need:

  • 5/16" polypropylene utility line - this is very lightweight and flexible, but you may want to consider a larger diameter...maybe upwards of 1" because my neck part didn't end up as large as it should have been
  • a lot of skeins of your favorite super bulky yarn in gray (or try to find a nice gray flecked yarn/tweed) - I personally used 5 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA because it was super bulky as well as super soft
  • a skein of matching worsted weight yarn - I used some gray scrap yarn I had in my scrap bin
  • packing tape or duct tape - I used packing tape because in my head it was lighter weight and I didn't want the neck too stiff
  • size J crochet hook
  • size 11 knitting needles
  • yarn needle
  • something to measure
The Neck
Start with the neck for sure. It gives you something to work from and is the most tedious part. Once it's out of the way the rest is really a breeze.

Cut 3 pieces of your utility line or rope. You want them roughly 33", 45" and 47" but you can vary this if you need to resize the cowl-thing. These will be the three rope-looking pieces that make the head-hole.

Begin with the 33" piece and join the ends. Melt them together if you want, but for stability you will need to cover the entire thing with your chosen tape. Once you've done this you can begin the very time-consuming process of covering it with your yarn. Accomplish this by wrapping it around and then joining it with a slip stitch using your size J hook. It'll create a seam where your sl are. Periodically you'll want to compress what you've done together to make sure you're covering the rope completely. Cover the entire rope then take care of your ends. 

You will also cover your two other pieces of rope, but first you should make the 4 end caps that go over the ends of the rope that will be exposed. Crocheting these is quick and easy.

End Pieces (make 4)
Ch 4, join with sl to make loop
Ch 1, 5 sc in loop
work even until the piece is about 2" or more (when in doubt go longer)

Leave your loose ends dangling because they help for securing them onto the rope pieces. Slip each of the caps snugly onto the ends of your rope and then begin the same wrap around and sl technique to cover the rope. You want it to overlap with your end caps and be really tight. Use the loose ends also to wrap and tie as you go then cover up any ugly pieces with the wrapping and sl.

Once all of your rope pieces are covered then you want to take your longer straight piece (47") and attach it to the ring piece with about 4" hanging down - this will be the back. Use your size J hook and sl to attach the seams of the pieces and work around counter-clockwise. As you go you want to position the long piece underneath the ring. Attach the last piece of rope (45") starting at the 4" piece that was dangling on the previous rope. Again use sl to work around. The 45" piece of rope should be attached to the 47" piece all the way around.

Right Shoulder
For the right shoulder and part of the back, 2 bulk cable stitches side-by-side do the trick. Get out your size 11 knitting needles for this.

Row 1: CO 15
Row 2: * P1, K6, P1, K6, P1 (front)
Row 3: P15
Row 4: P1, C6F, P1, C6B, P1
Row 5: P15
repeat from * until the strip is about 24"

Now grab your worsted weight yarn and yarn needle. Stitch it into place up against the rope piece. It should go a little way around to the front.

Next make another strip that goes next to the previous one. It will stop at the top of the right shoulder and then there will be a seam there. It is very simple ribbing.

Row 1: CO 12
Row 2: P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2*
Row 3: P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P1, K1
repeat from * until 16" and stitch it right next to the cable piece

This is basically the same as the previous piece, but longer.

Row 1: CO 11
Row 2: K2, P1, K2, P1, K2, P1, K2*
Row 3: P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2
repeat from * until about 38"

Sew the short side to the short side of the previous piece to make the seam at the top of the right shoulder then stitch the rest of the piece around the front and then down the back against the bottom rope section.

Front Panel
There's a small panel of work that is running in the opposite direction than the rest on the front. It's on the right side of the chest area. I chose to do some more cabling instead of ribbing.

Row 1: CO 20
Row 2: K20 (front) this just gives you more room to stitch it on later
Row 3: P20
Row 4: K1, C4F, K1, C4B, K1, C4F, K1, C4B*
Row 5: P20
repeat from * until you have a 5" piece

Stitch this to the ribbing around the front, leaving space for the arm-hole. It roughly lines up with there the very first cable strip ends on the front.
More Front
Row 1: CO 5 
Row 2: K2, P1, K2*
Row 3: P1, K1, P2
repeat from * until 15" and then this part wraps around the previous panel then attaches to the back to actually make the arm-hole. Stitch it to the back part about 1" from the bottom.

Now for another front piece that attaches to the previous. You could maybe actually make these two pieces as one larger piece. 

Row 1: CO 9
Row 2: K2, P1, K2*
Row 3: P2, K1, P2
repeat from * until about 17" and attach

The next front piece begins at the top then wraps down around the previous piece and stops under the arm instead of continuing to the back.

Row 1: CO 5
Row 2: K2, P1, K2*
Row 3: P2, K1, P2
repeat from * until about 14" and attach

Now the following strip lines up against the last one and does go all the way to the back. In fact, it goes to the middle rope segment and attaches.

Row 1: CO 8
Row 2: K3, P2, K3*
Row 3: P3, K2, P3
repeat from * until 22"

Back Left
This piece goes from the middle of the back, attaches to the ribbing that wrapped around from the front and then it stops at the left shoulder area. This ribbing is a little different from the other ribbing used. It creates a mild texture change.

Row 1: CO 9
Row 2: K2, P1, K2, P2, K2*
Row 3: P2, K2, P2, K1, P2
repeat from * until 11"

Last Piece
The final strip begins at the left shoulder where the previous strip stopped and then it wraps all the way around the front, under the right arm and ends at the back. It creates a finished looking edge. I decided it should be cabled in order to tie the whole thing together with the other cabled pieces.

Row 1: CO 11
Row 2: P11 (back)
Row 3: P1, C4F, P1, C4B, P1*
Row 4: P11
repeated from * until 28" and attach

You're done. Weave in your ends and enjoy! if you're not a knitter and you'd like one of these I will totally make you one, just contact me through Etsy and we can discuss the size, material, price, etc. Also give me a like on Facebook since you've been here! ;)


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