Tāniko Colorwork Cowl PDF Knitting Pattern


One pattern. Five different choices. Infinite Creativity.


One pattern. Five different choices. Infinite Creativity.

The Tāniko Colorwork cowls is a pattern where YOU get to chose which stitch pattern you wish to use for your special cowl. There are five different stitch motifs in this pattern, each featuring my interpretation of traditional Māori weaving motifs, called tāniko.

Each motif has it’s own meaning, which is covered in the pattern. Accessible to first time colorwork knitters, and fun for stranded knitting fans, there’s something for all knitters here.

As these cowls are pretty quick knits and hard to put down, they make great gifts for the winter season or a handy emergency knit when the weather turns cold all of a sudden.

Can you knit all five versions?

Click here to view the round-up blog post, featuring all the test knitters’ versions!


  • DK/8-ply
  • Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok (100% Fine Highland Wool ; 150g / 370yds / 338m).
  • MC yarn: 50g (125 yds./115 m) of No. 1303 Highland Fleece.
  • BC yarn: 6g of No. 1305: October Sky, No. 1320: Spring Ice, No. 1318: Thermal Spring, No. 1308: Golden Meadow, No. 1309: Earth Ivy, No. 1306: Wild Thyme. 36g (90 yds./80 m) total used.
  • Substitution Info: a wool base is best for this type of project. I highly encourage you to get creative with the colorway combinations! In my sample I used six different colorways for the motif using mini hanks which may not be accessible – so use a variegated or gradient yarn to have some fun.


  • US 8 / 5 mm size or size needed to obtain gauge on a 24 in./60 cm circular needle.


  • 20 sts x 26 rows per 4 in./10 cm in St. st with suggested needle size and after blocking.


  • Darning/tapestry needle.
  • Stitch marker


  • This pattern includes both written and charted instructions.
  • This pattern has been test knit for clarity and corrections. If you require pattern support, email us at fdanoy@arohaknits.com and we will respond to your request within 24-48 hours. We respond to pattern support questions by email ONLY.
  • You can sell FOs made from this design to friends and family, as well as in your online or offline shop.


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Kia ora, I’m Francoise, aka Frenchie. I’m a Franco-Maori, American-Australian living in Osaka, Japan, working as a knitwear designer and design coach.