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

P A T T E R N S

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.

Materials:

  • #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.
BO

- – – – – – -

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)
BO

- – – – – – -

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

Basketweave is just alternating blocks of stacked purl stitches and knit stitches. In this case the knit blocks are 2 stitches wide and the purl blocks are 4 stitches wide, always with one knit round separating each horizontal “strip” of the basket. So it’s just K2/P4 for 4 rows, then knit a row, the P4/K2 for four rows, etc. The trick with doing it in the round is that if you were to start the first P4/K2 rows (the second horizontal “strip”) at the beginning of the round, the purl section wouldn’t be properly centered over the knit section below it. So when you knit the first separator round, you stop 1 stitch short of the end and begin your P4/K2. Then the opposite on your next switch: Knit one stitch past the end of the round before switching back to K2/P4. This should make sense as you’re doing it. It sounds complicated but it’s really not.

CO 48 stitches
place marker and join for knitting in the round

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: *K2, P4; rep from * through the end of the row
Rows 3-5: Rep Row 2 three more times
Row 6: K47, P1
Row 7: P3, K2; *P4, K2; rep * until last stitch; P1 (your P4s should now be centered over the K2s from the previous rows)
Rows 8-10: Repeat the pattern for 3 more rows, keeping your P4s and K2s lined up
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: K1; *K2, P4; rep from * until last five stitches; K2, P3
Rows 13-15: Repeat the pattern for 3 more rows, keeping your P4s and K2s lined up
Row 16: p1, K47
Row 17-20: *P4, K2; repeat for four rows
Continue repeating the pattern, keeping your horizontal bands of purls lined up over your vertical bands of knits until you reach the desired height. (The version pictured in 6 “strips” of the basket.)
Knit the last row
BO

- – – – – – -

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

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

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