Winter Butterfly Cowl

I’ve been on a major stash busting spree, in an attempt to find the surface of my crafting room.  The chunky yarns would seem easy to get rid of!  Simply knit them up and move them to the outdoor clothing drawer!

This pattern is super simple.  It’s nothing difficult or mind blowing.  It’s something quick and easy and uses only one skein of chunky yarn.  It has these little butterflies all over this simple fabric.  If you can manage a knit and a purl stitch, you can handle this quick pattern.  This would make a great last minute Christmas gift, at least I think.

I made it for myself, with the desire to have something a bit deeper than my Clara Cowl because sometimes I need to pull a cowl way up to my nose, and just bury my face in it as we walk in the cold wind.  Winter and wool go so nicely together!  No wonder winter is my favorite season.

To make this quickie project, you’ll need:

Size US 11 circular needles on about a 24 inch cord.
One skein (or 110 yards) of super soft chunky yarn.  I used Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande because it’s one of my absolute favorites.

Gauge: 11 sts and 18 rows = 4″ or 10 cm.

Final size: 26″ around, 7″ deep.  (Modification note: if you want it wider or slimmer, simply increase or decrease cast on by 6 stitches.)

The one part of the instructions that can be confusing is when you knit into the next stitch in the row below.  For this instruction, you’ll have a purl stitch to work next, but you’re going to ignore it completely, and knit into the knit stitch just below it, and slip it off the needle.

Cast on 72 sts, and join in the round, being careful not to twist.  Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

Rows 1-3: (K3, p3) repeat to end.
Rows 4-5: knit.
Row 6: (K3, p3) repeat to end.
Row 7: (K3, p1, knit into next stitch in the row below, p1) repeat to end.
Rows 8-9: knit
Row 10: (P3, k3) repeat to end.
Row 11: (P1, knit into next stitch in the row below, p1, k3) repeat to end.

Repeat rows 4-11, 3 more times.

Work final ribbing as follows: (P3, k3)  for 3 rows.  Bind off loosely in rib.  Weave in ends and block to size.

That’s all!  Feel free to knit a dozen of these and give them out for Christmas, sell them on Etsy and make some Christmas money, or do whatever you like.  If you sell them, please point back to this pattern in your listing.  That’s all I ask.

Want some of this soft yarn for you or to whip up a gift?  Well I happen to be cleaning out my stash.  I’m doing a giveaway for it right here.


  1. Lori Ann says

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful pattern! What a wonderful last minute gift for the holidays! Looking forward to knitting one up.

  2. Anonymous says

    Hello, I’m a newer knitter and I do not understand what you mean by “knit into next stitch in the row below.” I’ve tried it as written and it just does not look right. Could you please explain this move so a beginner could understand? Thank you.

    • Pat says

      I have the same problem. I tried youtube for a video, but the butterfly stitches there look very different. Do you still stitch the purl stitch that you said to ignore? If not, what happens to it?

  3. says

    Thanks for the cowl pattern–it solves half of this year’s annual holiday knitting ideas dilemma. I, too, think the little bow knot stitch looks more like a butterfly than the butterfly stitch does, particularly in a chunky or bulky wool. As I had just cast on a pair of short row toe-ups, and had wanted a little something for the instep on those, have incorporated the stitch pattern into the socks as well.

    I’ll be making a cowl for myself, too! It couldn’t be more perfect and will no doubt become a winter wardrobe favorite of mine. Plus, I’ll be able to get half my holiday knitting done by September this year, and am confident that everyone who receives one this year will enjoy it immensely, also! Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *