Free Patterns, Knitting, Projects

Free Knit Cowl Pattern – Chunky

My love affair with cowls continue, and that’s good news for you.  Usually when I’m obsessed with things, I create patterns for those things so I can love them even more.  I just wrote a post about cowls that includes a great sampling of crocheted and knitted designs.  Of the bunch, one of my favorites is a thick, squishy, absolutely-chunky, knit cowl.

Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern
Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

It’s a simple pattern.  So simple you’ll hate yourself for not thinking it up first (although I’m sure this isn’t the first time this cowl’s been made).

Make one for yourself (I did) or make a couple for Christmas gifts for your friends (did this, too)


Size US 17 (12.75mm) Knitting Needles

1.5 skeins (160 yards) Lion Brand Thick & Quick – Wool Ease.  You can also use any extra-chunky yarn.

Chunky Knit Eternity Cowl Pattern

CO 15 stitches.

Work Moss Stitch until you run out of yarn.

Moss Stitch

Row 1 – *K1, P1* across an odd number of stitches

Repeat Row until you have about 3 feet of yarn left.

Bind off.

Fasten off yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail.  Using a large darning needle and yarn like thread, sew short sides together with a half-twist to give cowl an infinity loop.  (For details on infinity loop, see bottom of post here.)

Cowl will measure 8.5 inches wide; 70 inches long.  Voila!

free knit cowl pattern

Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern
Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Close up of knit moss stitch:

Moss Stitch Knit
Close up of knit “Moss Stitch” – See how the purls are worked on top of the knit stitches to give you little bumps?


  • Lisa

    December 16, 2011

    I love this pattern. I have one question. I have looked everywhere for size 12 knitting needles. The sizes go from 11 to 13, with no 12. It looks like the size would be 13?

  • JJCrochet

    December 16, 2011

    Hi Lisa – This pattern actually calls for a size 17 needle – not size 12! Woops, I think I typed that in by accident. Thank you for catching my mistake! For this cowl pattern, you use size 17 needles (12.75mm). Enjoy!

  • Lisa

    December 17, 2011

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to break out the 17s!

  • Mikale

    August 11, 2012

    What stitch should I use to sew up the two sides?

  • JJCrochet

    August 12, 2012

    Hi Mikale,

    I used a whip stitch to sew the cowl together – just weaving through one side, then the other side. Since the knit stitch is textured, you can pretty much do whatever and it’ll hide your work!

  • Vivian Rippy

    September 18, 2012

    Yay!!! Thanks so much for sharing this pattern!!
    I’ve been hunting for a pretty, chunky cowl pattern!
    I’ve got my size 17 needles out…going for yarn in several
    colors!!! I can’t wait to make this for Christmas gifts!!!

  • Jan Sterling

    October 12, 2012

    I love this pattern, but I have 100 yds of handspun wool from a sheep farm in Marin county CA. It calls for #13+ needle. It’s called Ba-Rage yarn, if that means anything–light cream color. I’d really appreciate sny help and will be happy to pay you. Jan(Scottsdale,AZ

  • Marlene

    October 21, 2012

    I am just wondering can the Cowl be made on a circular needle and would it still be a size 17 needle? Thanks for helping me

  • Luisa

    November 27, 2012

    I have made this same cowl with large circular needles. you need to play a little w how many stuicthes to cast on. I did 85 or so.

  • Nicole

    November 29, 2012

    I love this and can’t wait to make it! Where can I find the pattern for it?

  • JJCrochet

    November 29, 2012

    Hi Nicole, the free pattern for this cowl is written out in the post. If you’re having trouble viewing it, try switching your browser to Firefox or Chrome and that should resolve the problem. Let me know if that helps!

  • Jill

    December 11, 2012

    I am using Size 15 needles (that’s what I have around), and I’m about 20 rows in now, but my width is only a little less than 5 inches across. I cast on 15 stitches. Is the size really causing it to be 3.5 inches shorter?

  • Debbie

    December 14, 2012

    So, if I use circular needles, I should add about 85 stitches…and the moss stitch is actually k1, p1 and just keep on doing that. You said tht the Cowl will measure 8.5 inches wide; 70 inches long.
    If I add 85 stitches…and work it for 70 inches long will it be able to be doubled….I really like the way it looks in the photos….I have made two so far…and I have ripped them both out…I want to do a pattern that looks chunkey and doubles…similar to the photo…do I understand the directions correctly?


  • Patricia

    January 8, 2013

    I followed the partern above but did not get the desired… did it several times but go not the same pattern as yours.

    YOURS is Awesome!!

    The moss stich is as follows


    1.Cast on an uneven number of sts.

    An uneven number of sts makes this pattern symmetrical — either side can be the right side.

    2.Follow this stitch pattern:

    Rows 1 and 4: K1, * p1, k1; rep from * to end of row.

    Rows 2 and 3: P1,* k1, p1; rep from * to end of row.

    3.Repeat Rows 1–4 to create the pattern.

  • Taryn

    January 21, 2013

    Hi there,
    I’m a new knitter and found this pattern to be a cable knit not a moss stitch? Mines pretty condensed, nit spread out like the picture, did I misunderstand the pattern?

  • Connie B

    January 23, 2013

    Hi, I am trying out this pattern & Have a question. I am using size 17 needles, the thick & quick – wool ease. I casted on the 15. I have worked about 27 rows so far. When I measured the width I get 4.5. What am I doing wrong? I am puzzled.

  • JJCrochet

    January 24, 2013

    Hi Connie, you may be knitting tighter even though you’re using larger needles. If you’re finding the cowl isn’t as wide as you’d like, I’d cast on more stitches (around 25) or use bigger needles to get the right size. Hope that helps!

  • Janie

    January 28, 2013

    Would there be an alternate yarn I could use for this pattern. I am a bit naive about yarn, been a knitter since 10 but not up to date on new yarns out there. I want this cowl to be soft and organic to the skin for a young woman I am making it for. She is alergic to wool. Any ideas?

  • JJCrochet

    January 29, 2013

    Hi Janie,
    I’m sure your friend would love this cowl. I’m not sure about organic yarns, but I’d say anything you find that is super chunky would be good. I looked online for a few non-wool yarns, but didn’t find too much. You might have to visit your local yarn store and feel the yarn to determine if it’d be a good option for your friend. Hope you find the perfect yarn!

  • Victoria

    February 18, 2013

    Hi, love the pattern ! Thank you for sharing 😉 Would you happen to have the same /similar in a crochet? Thanks again 🙂

  • Lou

    March 3, 2013

    I am using this pattern and using Size 15 needles since that is all that I have available right now. Anyway, I am using Baby’s First yarn from Lion Brand. It is very soft and is working well. The piece only measures 6 inches, but I am sure that is because I am using a smaller knitting needle. I will try it again when I get some 17’s. Thanks for the pattern. I like patterns that are easy to make and the finished product gets done quickly.

  • Aileen

    August 3, 2013

    The pattern says to use Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, and to knit until the yarn runs out. Also states 160 yards needed. However, skeins of Thick & Quick are 106 yards. Did the pattern transpose the yardage needed, or do I need to use more than one skein? If so, how long is the cowl before bind-off?

  • Aileen

    August 4, 2013

    I’m sorry, I read the directions again. Answers are 1-1/2 skeins and 70 inches long.

  • Mall

    September 22, 2013

    Hi, do we need circular needles for this? Looks great but I’m not sure what needles to use. Thanks!

  • JJCrochet

    November 17, 2013

    Hi Mall – No circular needles are needed. The cowl pattern is worked width-wise, so only size US 17 needles are needed to CO the the 15 stitches.

  • Lynn

    November 17, 2013

    This is some information on the wool yarn she used so you can match up closet what someone needs to obtain the same thick style…

    Weight Category: 6 – Super Bulky Weight: Bulky, Roving Yarn
    Solids, Heathers, Twists, Tweeds:6 oz./170g (106 yd/97 m)
    Prints (Sequoia, Mesquite, Granite): 5 oz./140g (87 yd/80 m)
    Metallics: 5 oz./140g (92 yd/84 m)

    Solids, Heathers, Twists: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool
    Wheat & Wood: 86% Acrylic; 10% Wool; 4% Rayon
    Oatmeal & Barley & Grey Marble: 82% Acrylic; 10% Wool; 8% Rayon
    Metallics: 79% Acrylic, 20% Wool, 1% Metallic Poly

    Knit: 9 stitches x 12 rows = 4″ (10 cm) on size 13 (9 mm) needles
    Crochet: 6.6 sc and 8 rows = 4″ (10 cm) on size N-13 (9 mm) hook

  • Terry

    November 23, 2013

    I love this pattern. I am new to knitting and this gives me a chance to practice knitting/purling. My daughter loves this pattern also (she found it on the internet) so I guess I will be making a lot in different colors. Thanks so much!

  • Beth

    December 14, 2013

    You state twist once and sew short ends. Do right sides also have to be matched together. If yes, that would make a double twist, yes? OR, is there no right and wrong side with this parren? I’ve made two — one with a single twist and one with a single ties then match “right” sides. Thanks!

  • Bethany Nash

    December 20, 2013

    Isn’t this Seed Stitch? Moss Stitch is a bit different, with a four row repeat.

  • JJCrochet

    December 24, 2013

    Hi Beth, it’s just a single twist so right sides won’t be matched together (although it won’t matter with this pattern). Hope that helps!

  • rachel

    December 31, 2013

    This pattern was not only fun, and easy..the result was a lovely gift. Now I make one for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jen

    January 12, 2014

    When you wear it, how many Times Does It Wrap Around Your Neck?

  • Cheryl Ann

    January 23, 2014

    Exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thanks so much nice and EASY!!!!

  • Carol Riley

    January 25, 2014

    I made this cowl many times… easy…love it! Thanks for posting.

    I did my own version… kinda…. I used size 15 needles… and then I made it the length I decided upon. I just kept knitting… and stopping and then I would put it over my head… twist it… and finally got what I wanted. I measured that amount and now use it for my other cowls..
    Also, after casting off… I made sure I left a very long tail… then I crochet it….
    I have had so many complements on it. Thanks again.. ca

  • Deb Mirrison

    March 8, 2014

    I didn’t want as much bulk around my neck so I made this between 30-35 inches long. I wrap it only once around my neck. It looks so cute with a jacket! The gals at work wanted one so I ended up making about 6 of these. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, the variegated colors. I used size 15 needles as that’s what I had, it came out great casting on 15 stitches. Huge hit, thanks for the pattern!

  • Donna hussey

    August 4, 2014

    I have made the cowl and love it, I don’t know what “the infinity loop’ IS PLEASE HELP

  • regina m

    August 7, 2014

    This my first time knitting a scarf, and would like to say it’s a very easy pattern, but i wanted to know how many inches is the scarf before sewing it together….thanx for the pattern

  • Donna hussey

    August 9, 2014

    do not know what an infinity loop is please help

  • Gail

    December 22, 2014

    I just finished my scarf and I thank you for sharing your pattern. I am just curious as to why you say to sew with a half twist. Does it lay different then if you don’t? Thanks so much!

  • Amy

    December 25, 2014

    Hi Jayna
    Can you please tell me how to make an infinity loop at the end?

  • Mary

    February 10, 2015

    For the person who has an allergy to wool above — LionBrand Hometown USA is great because it’s a weight 6, super bulky and it is acrylic so it is perfect for those who find wool to be scratchy or who are allergic. I use it all the time for my daughter who has wool issues.

  • Carol

    January 28, 2016

    “Infinity Loop” is when you sew the beginning and end of a scarf together, it then becomes a infinity scarf or loop. If you don’t twist it you wont get the same effect when you put it on as in the picture.
    Very nice pattern and great instructions…..Thanks!

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