Blocking a knitted garment is necessary for the fit, shaping, and overall look of the piece. Wet blocking will help to regularize uneven stitches and any gauge issues you may have encountered -- it may even help to hide minor mistakes. When blocking a cowl, work on a flat surface and use rust-proof pins to hold the piece.
Fill a sink with cold water and small amount of gentle wash soap.
Submerge the cowl in the water, gently pushing it below the surface until it is thoroughly saturated. Do not agitate the water, especially when working with wool, or the piece may felt.
Let the piece soak for 15 minutes.
Drain the water and fill the sink with clear, cold water. Dip the piece in the water to rinse the soap from the cowl. Gather the piece loosely in your hands as you dip it so that it does not stretch. Repeat as necessary with fresh water until the water is clear of soap.
Remove the cowl from the water and gently press the water from the piece. Do not wring or twist it.
Roll the cowl in a dry towel and squeeze the towel to absorb as much excess water as possible from the piece.
Lay the piece on the flat surface with the towel under it, or lay the piece directly on a blocking board, shaping the piece into the desired measurements as you go. Be careful when shaping the piece so as not to stretch the stitches.
Pin the piece to the towel or blocking board to hold the desired measurements.
Let the cowl dry completely. Remove the pins when the piece is dry and wear as desired.