In December of 2011, when I’d known how to knit for 2 months, I published my first “pattern” here on the blog: a trio of superbulky cowls I called the Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection. “Trudging around [San Francisco],” I wrote at the time, “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 no longer live in SF, or suffer that brutal wind on a regular basis, but when the temperatures drop below freezing here in Nashville, and I’m headed outdoors, it’s this ol’ bombproof neckwarmer I still reach for. With having gotten a lot of comments from people over the years chastising me for not publishing them as separate patterns, this being my favorite of them, and there being some rookie dumbness in the original post (See: “Gauge isn’t terribly important here …”), I thought I’d republish this one with a few tweaks. When I went to update it, I realized not only was it unnecessarily long and wordy and lacking gauge and measurements, it’s been wrong this whole time! So here it is anew, below: the Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, on its own and fully corrected. I even took a new one-arm selfie in honor of the update! ;)
With winter storms all around us, if you find yourself in need of serious neck protection that you can also pull up over your chin or nose as needed, here’s a fun knit that can be whipped up during the course of a single movie.
(If you prefer a lighter, drapier, longer cowl for wearing loose or double-wrapping as needed, I also adapted this for the Double Basketweave Cowl a few years back, still an extremely popular pattern and also available in kit form in the shop.)
Happy basketweaving! And my sincerest apologies to anyone who might have tried to knit this from the flubbed original …
. . .
Jumbo Basketweave Cowl pattern
This pattern requires a multiple of six stitches for the K2/P4 repeat; modify according to that and your own gauge/dimensions as desired.
- 1 skein Cascade Yarns Magnum or other superbulky yarn (approx 200 yards needed)
- 24″ circular needle in size to match pattern gauge (suggested size US15 / 10mm)
- stitch marker
- tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Measurements: (after blocking)
- Gauge: 9 sts and 15 rounds = 4″ in basketweave pattern (1 “strip” of basket = 1.25″ tall)
- Size: 21.5″ circumference, 8.75″ tall
CO 48 stitches
Place marker and join for knitting in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around needle.
Round 1: Knit
Rounds 2-5: [k2, p4] to end
Round 6: Knit
Rounds 7-10: p3, k2, [p4, k2] to last st, p1
Round 11: Knit
Repeat rounds 2-11 two more times (total of 6 “strips” of basketweave)
BO loosely and weave in ends
. . .
CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
BO = bind off
Please favorite this pattern on Ravelry, if you’re so inclined.
PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Sloper (Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater)
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What a timely post, just as I am working on two cowls of my own. I think you neatly capture the different needs that cowls fulfill. As you point out, there is a time for the loose, stylish cowl. Purl Soho’s Bandanna Cowl comes to mind. I have one that I made from my very first spindle-spun yarn, and it remains a favourite for indoor wear, or outdoor wear in the spring and fall. But, when the weather gets into the sub-zero zone (I speak Celsius), or as you point out, the wind blows hard (which it does here on the north shore of Lake Ontario), you need something thicker that hugs the skin to keep out chilly drafts. Your Jumbo Basketweave Cowl is perfect for such weather. My less fashionable but very functional Neck Thingum is meant to do the same job. Everyone in my family has one and we’ve really needed them this winter, even for taking out the garbage.
And well done with the pattern writing update. It’s the boring part of making patterns, but everyone who knits appreciates the effort.
Boy I could have used this a few weeks back. I think I need to start one now, because I don’t think Old Man Winter is behind us here in GA just yet! Thank you so much.
Thank you! That is awesome to publish a pattern after 2 months! I’ve been actively knitting for 4 years now-saying in 2014 “I am going to learn to use circular needles”. Well 25+ sweaters later I have yet to write a pattern.
Thanks for the updated pattern! It will be on my needles soon.
I am a skiier and could totally use one. Also, I desperately need a quick gratification item, as my current project -Brooklyn Tweed’s Equus- is taking me for-ever to complete. So, thank you for the timeliness!
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My gauge is just not right on this. I went up to a US19, but it still wasn’t right. And the US25 is too loose. I guess my yarn is destined for recycling. I wasted about half of it in making swatches anyway.
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