Fast, easy and warm: Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection

cascade yarns magnum mediterranean
Photo © Karen Templer

There’s a lot to love about super bulky yarns. I ran into Cascade Yarns’ Magnum when I went to knit the Big Lace Scarf from the aforementioned Hoverson book. The huge hanks hanging on the shop wall were to die for, but then when they’re wound! I died. So delicious I had to buy 6 or 7 colors. Out of curiosity, I went looking to see what others had used Magnum for and found myself at the blog of some lovely French lady who’d made a very simple garter stitch cowl in the round, out of the Mediterranean, the electric blue pictured above. So I made that one. And then I made more. And more, changing the stitch pattern each time.

Trudging around the city, I like a really thick scarf or cowl that I can bury the lower half of my face in and not feel the cold wind at all, and that’s these in a nutshell. I call this Kindergarten Knitting — the big needles and giant yarn remind me of those oversized pencils and wide-ruled paper. But these patterns are of use to more than just beginners and those with cold necks. They knit up amazingly quickly, making them great for last-minute gifts. (For the full set, see my Ravelry page.)

jumbo stitch cowls collection free knitting patterns


These are so simple they hardly qualify as patterns, and you can adapt them however you like. Like a larger circumference? Increase the cast-on count by 150% or 200%. Like a narrower or deeper cowl? Knit fewer or more rows accordingly. Want something drapier? Use a finer yarn and increase the cast-on count to compensate. All that really matters is the stitch multiple for the repeat, which is noted for each below.

You could use anywhere from a size 15 needle up, depending how jumbo you want your stitches to be. Gauge isn’t terribly important here. These three were all done on 15s, but I’ve done others as big as 19s.


  • #15 (or larger) x 26″ circular needle
  • 1 skein Cascade Yarns Magnum or any super bulky option (approx 200 yards needed)
  • stitch marker

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ombre garter stitch detailJumbo Ombré Garter Cowl
(any number of stitches you like is fine, to obtain the circumference you desire)

Great for solids or stripes. For this one, I used the leftovers of all the skeins I’d used for other cowls, dropping one color and picking up a new one at random spots, for a gradual, casual transition. For clean stripes, you’d want to divide your color changes evenly among the ridges and always start a new color at the beginning of a purl row.

CO 46 stitches
place marker and join for knitting in the round

Row 1: Knit all stitches, slip marker
Row 2: Purl all stitches, slip marker
Repeat until cowl measures approximately 10 inches (about 20 ridges, or to your liking), ending with a knit row.

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seed stitch knitting detailJumbo Seed Stitch Cowl
(seed stitch requires an odd number of stitches)

For seed stitch in the round, you simply alternate knit and purl stitches, starting with an odd number of stitches, so that by the second round you’re knitting into each purl stitch and purling into each knit stitch. That way you get staggered knits and purls rather than ribbing, wherein the knits and purls line up.

CO 45 stitches
place marker and join for knitting in the round

Row 1: *K1, P1; repeat to end of row; remove marker
Continue working around and around, alternating knit and purl stitches, until cowl measures approximately 10 inches (or to your liking)

– – – – – – –

basketweave knitting stitch detailJumbo Basketweave Cowl
(this pattern requires a multiple of six stitches for the K2/P4 repeat)

UPDATE Jan 2018: Please see the corrected version here.

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Please favorite this pattern on Ravelry, if you’re so inclined.




18 thoughts on “Fast, easy and warm: Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection

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  9. How long do you make the Jumbo Basketweave Cowl or how many repeats of the 20 rows?

  10. i did a scarf starting with a smaller amount of sts and increasing and ending with a larger amount
    and join at the end do u have such a pattern

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  12. what is the total circumference of these patterns? Are the cowls wrapped around twice in these pictures?

    • I don’t have one handy to measure (this was a long time ago, sorry!) but I’d say they’re probably roughtly 24″-26″ around. They are not doubled — they’re basically just a big neck cuff.

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