Free Knitting Patterns: Bulky Ribbed Cowl

Big bulky cowls are popular, stylish, and warm. This knitting pattern is easy enough for a beginning knitter but also quick enough for an experienced knitter to make in an evening. It is worked in the round on large needles with bulky yarn. A simple 2 x 2 rib stitch is used throughout. It is completely reversible. The skills required include knitting in the round, working the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and casting on and binding off. Chunky Ribbed Cowl hanging

This pattern is versatile enough for any type of fibre. I used Bernat Roving, an acrylic/wool blend that is affordable, easy to find in Canada, and soft and squishy. You can substitute any bulky yarn in any fibre. I used 2 skeins, or 240 yards [220 m]. (Your yarn usage, even with the same yarn, will be slightly different. Always check your gauge.) Be sure to choose something soft and squishy and comfortable to wear around your neck. Chunky Ribbed Cowl This cowl is worked in the round. Always check that your cast-on stitches are not twisted before you join and begin knitting. The 2 x 2 ribbing is worked this way: *K2, p2; rep from * to the end of the round. When binding off, you will bind off ‘in pattern.’ This means knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches while working the bind-off. This adds elasticity to the ribbing and matches the cast-on edge. Work the bind-off loosely. If this is difficult, use a larger size needle to bind off.

You may wish to modify this pattern. You can make it longer by using more yarn and knitting to a longer length. You can make it wider or narrower by casting on more or fewer stitches. You must cast on a total number of stitches that divides by 4. This is because the k2, p2 ribbing is worked over 4 stitches.

Bulky Ribbed Cowl Instructions


  • 2 skeins of Bernat Roving (80% acrylic, 20% wool; 120 yd [109 m]/3.5 oz [100 g]). Shown here in Dark Grey. Or, approximately 240 yards [220 m] of any bulky weight yarn.
  • US size 13 [9 mm] 24 inch [62 cm] circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • 1 stitch marker.


  • 10 sts and 14 rows = 4 inches [10 cm] in k2, p2 rib, worked in the round, after blocking.

Finished Measurements

  • Approximately 15 inches [38 cm] wide and 18 inches [46 cm] tall, laid flat, after blocking. Circumference of cowl is approximately 30 inches [76 cm].

Stitch Guide

  • k2, p2 rib: *K2, p2; rep from * to end.


  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • rnd(s) – round(s)
  • st(s) – stitch(es)


Cast on 80 sts. Place marker and join for knitting in the rnd, being careful not to twist the sts. Work k2, p2 rib until piece measures approximately 18 inches [46 cm] from cast-on, or almost all yarn has been used, leaving enough to bind off.


Bind off loosely in pattern (knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts). Weave in all ends. Wash and block lightly.

Pattern by Michelle Krause.
Copyright 2017 by Leah Michelle Designs. Pattern and photos may not be sold for profit or distributed or reproduced without permission.

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