Knitting: Bulky Zig-Zag Cowl (pattern)


I keep mentioning that I’ve knit a whole bunch of cowls over the past few weeks. It all started with the #bulkyhatkal and my brand new set of interchangeable needles.


I received the Knitter’s Pride Trendz Chunky Set to work the KAL and they have been the best addition to the set of interchangeable needles I bought from Knit Picks, a few weeks ago. Those only go to size US 11, so I needed bigger sizes to work with bulkier weights of yarn.

I used the US 17 needles for my hat and then switched to the US 15 (seen above) for my cowls. The needles are fantastic! I’m new to interchangeables, so I don’t know how the cords compare, but I can’t imagine them working any better. They have the perfect amount of flexibility and the needle part is a great length–not too long or short. My hands didn’t get that sore feeling that usually accompanies bulky knitting.

I picked up a few different colors of super bulky yarn at Michael’s and just took off! One of the very first patterns I tried was the Swirling Cowl by Signe Marie Ricter. That pattern is for even bulkier yarn than I’ve got, so I increased my CO to 50 and started. When I got about 5 rounds in, however, I decided I wanted to make the swirl go the other way, so I changed things up a bit. Working alternating repeats of left and right leaning stitch patterns, I ended up with a really cool zig-zag cowl!

I wrote up an explanation of my modifications, so you can make one for yourself! If you’d like the original swirly cowl, check out the link I posted above! It is really pretty. Make both?!

Knit with Loops & Thread Cozy Wool

Yarn: One skein of super bulky yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (6 oz/170 g equals 106 yd/ 97m) OR Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (4.5 oz/127 g equals 90 yd/82 m)
Needle: 10 mm (US 15) 16-24″ circular needle

Right-leaning stitch pattern
*YO, K2tog; rep from * around.

Left-leaning stitch pattern
*SSK, YO; rep from * around.

CO 50, place marker and join to work in the round.

Start right-leaning stitch pattern and work for 5 rounds.


Switch to left-leaning stitch pattern, as follows: remove stitch marker (left photo), place first stitch on to right-hand needle without twisting, replace marker (right photo).

Start left-leaning stitch pattern and work for 5 rounds.


Switch back to right-leaning stitch pattern, as follows: do NOT make last YO, instead slip the stitch marker to the right hand needle (left photo), YO, and knit the first stitch (right photo). Resume right-leaning stitch pattern.

Continue switching between right and left-leaning stitch patterns to desired height. I worked 3 repeats each, then finished with another section of the right-leaning stitch pattern.

Bind off loosely, weave in ends.

Cowl knit with LB Wool-Ease Thick & Quick

Ta-da! I think it takes me about 2 hours, or a movie, or 3 episodes of my favorite TV show, to work one cowl. That’s pretty sweet instant gratification, don’t you think? I want to make one with a 100 stitch cast-on and a few less pattern repeats, to loop around my neck a couple times. You only need to remember to CO an even number and the pattern should work out. Perhaps you want to make some boot cuffs? Try casting on about 24 stitches. The good thing is if you have to frog a project to adjust the size, you aren’t working on an incredible number of stitches, so it won’t hurt too much.

Disclaimer: I was sent a set of Trendz Chunky Interchangeable Needles for review. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was given, but the link above is an affiliate link from Amazon.

Pin It

14 comments to Knitting: Bulky Zig-Zag Cowl (pattern)

  • AleNo Gravatar

    That’s cool! I have a circular needle for so long. That is a cool way to use it!

  • AbbyNo Gravatar

    Super beautiful! Can’t wait to start knitting! Thanks for the free pattern.

  • PiaNo Gravatar

    I love that cowl, so simple yet so elegant. And sometimes I measure knitting in terms of movies/TV shows too :)

  • Such a rich texture. Love it!

  • Such a pretty pattern! Thanks! But please visit my blog and please leave a comment. Also if you think its bad then you should understand that I’m only ten years old.

  • KerriNo Gravatar

    I love this! Did you ever get to try the 100 CO version? I started one but it seems like it might be a bit too small to loop twice, just wondering if you finished one.

    Thanks for the great pattern!

  • MichelleNo Gravatar

    I’m not sure if you’re still monitoring this blog but I’ve been trying to make this cowl and struggling to understand the pattern. It seems like it’s in repeats of 3 (a YO and two stitches together) but the total number of stitches you cast on (50) isn’t divisible by 3, so what do you do when you get to the end of a round and there’s one stitch left? I’ve tried just continuing the pattern ignoring where the marker is but the zig zag isn’t really coming out right…help??

    • It’s a repeat of 2, actually. You work *YO, k2tog* for five rounds. Technically, the k2tog is one stitch made from two. The YO adds that stitch back, so you should always have 50 stitches. When you switch to the left-leaning pattern, you move the stitch marker and it’s the same idea: a decrease stitch and a YO. The slants are made by the different decreases (k2tog versus ssk).

  • This is just adorable! I have to share it to the world! haha do you mind if I make a video tutorial?

  • It’s also exciting to hear about the modifications you made to the Swirling Cowl pattern. Your zig-zag cowl sounds unique and beautiful!

  • I knit this hood because I love it, and it just takes a couple of hours to cool.

  • They must be emotionally and physically strong, and able to be unaffected by what they see, whether in the past or in the future.

  • Hello fellow drama enthusiasts! If you haven’t yet discovered the wonder of Asian dramas, you’re in for a treat. MyAsianTV has become my go-to destination for an extraordinary streaming experience, offering a diverse collection of captivating shows that are sure to keep you hooked.

  • Seam the two ends of the cowl together to form a loop, or leave it unseamed for a long, cozy scarf-like cowl.