Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Much akin to every knitter I’ve ever known, I have a major yarn hoarding problem. Like, a – the crew from Hoarders is going to find me sitting in a room filled with yarn eating baked beans from a can cooked on a hot plate (balanced precariously on a pile of yarn) while I cry about them taking my “babies” away – problem. Even if you’re not a knitter/crocheter/weaver, you have to admit that yarns these days are rull pretty (see here, here and here), and pretty yarns need loving homes, right?!

When I walk into a yarn store my ADD goes bananas and I pretty much just buy single skeins of ALL OF THE PRETTY YARNS without projects in mind, so I basically have 1000 random single skeins of all sorts of crazy colored yarn in varying weights and plies and such scattered around my house. I’m permanently beholden to instant gratification/single skein knitting patterns/random other uses for small amounts of yarn. WHICH IS TOTALLY OKAY THOUGH because I have the attention span of a gnat and will invariably wander off halfway through a project to stare at something shiny, so sweaters and other fancy-ass knitting just aren’t in the cards for me.

So, I developed this pattern because I had this G O R G E O U S ball of Malabrigo Rasta giving me the side-eye from across the room. I’ve had this particular skein of yarn for something ridiculous like 4 or 5 years, waiting for the perfect pattern to present itself. I wanted something substantial but with good drape, and a nice big stitch that would show off the hand painted color of the Malabrigo, but the right pattern never came along so I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. I bequeath unto you my very first knitting pattern!



  • Size US 15 (10mm) knitting needles
  • Approx. 90 yards super bulky weight yarn – I used Malabrigo Rasta
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tapestry/yarn needle


Skills Required:

  • CO over two needles
  • Slip stitches purlwise
  • p2tog (purl 2 together)
  • YO (yarn over)
  • Knit through back loop
  • Mattress stitch
  • Rya knots – tutorial below



CO 16 sts loosely over two US size 15 (10mm) needles. Casting on over two needles is pretty much mandatory for this pattern because your cast on edge needs to be loose and stretchy to match the loose openwork gauge of the rest of the piece.

Row 1: Sl first st purlwise *p2tog, YO. Repeat from * until one stitch remains, then knit the last st through the back loop.

Note – the first and last stitch of each row of this pattern serve to make a nice and neat chained edge. If you have another method of working your edges on flat knitting, feel free to substitute that instead. The main pattern repeat to create the openwork stitch is p2tog, YO.

Repeat row 1 until piece measures approximately 30″, then bind off loosely, leaving a long tail to seam the piece together. Seam your cowl with the tail end of the yarn using a loose mattress stitch. The seam need not be perfect if you will be adding the fringe.

Rya knots instructions: Cut lengths of yarn between 10-12″. I prefer using varied lengths to give a varied appearance to the finished piece, but feel free to keep all pieces uniform if that’s your steez. I used 24 pieces of yarn for the fringe, but I suggest cutting as you go because you may need more or less depending upon how closely you space them, and we don’t like wasting yarn. MOVING ALONG. This is a bit difficult to explain in words, so I’ll attempt to show you in pictures. Worth noting – I just used a really sloppy non-mattress stitch seam in my piece, which is why in the photos below, my seam stitches look kinda wonky and slanted like this \ \. When you use a mattress stitch to seam your work, you’ll have nice, even perpendicular stitches to work from, like this | |. Mine turned out just fine with the sloppy slanty stitches though, so feel free to just do that if you’re confident in your fringing skillz.


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Take each end of your length of yarn, and loop them under a pair of parallel seam stitches from the direction of outside to inside

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Pull the ends of the yarn to tighten the knot, making sure that your ends are situated on top of the bottom loop

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Continue to tighten the knot until bottom loop sits snugly against the seam of the cowl. Your knot should look like the leftmost fringe piece in the photo above from the top, and like the fringe pieces to the right from the bottom



Note that you will need to tie the rya knots on EACH SIDE of the seam as you can see in the pictures below:

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Finish fringing all the way down the seam, weave in your ends, and enjoy!



The Merit + Fork Chunky Knit Cowl – perfect for concealing your identity as you throw shade/give side-eye.

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  • Kate F

    25.01.2015 at 15:03 Reply

    Just discovered your blog today and I looooove it!
    Oh, and duh I’ll be making like ten of these cowls!

    hare & anser

    • Elizabeth

      25.01.2015 at 16:43 Reply

      wooooo glad you like the blog!! It’s always so nice to hear good feedback like that :) IS THAT YOUR PINK POODLE IN THE PICTURE?!?!?!?! <3<3<3<3

      We’d love to see pics when you make the cowl!

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