“Two Ways” Giant Knit Ribbed Cowl Pattern


I love the trend and look of the giant knit scarves and cowls for fall.  The cowl I’ve shared with you here can be worn or made in two different ways.  You can see the two options below and choose which you like the most! Place all of the buttons along the front, or place three buttons strategically to create a triangular drape.  You can see what I mean in the pictures below. 🙂

From talking to friends and knitters, it seems that we either really like the giant knit trend or really DON’T like it.  I ride the “I like it train” for a few reasons.

1. It looks cool.

2. The patterns usually work up quickly (I love fast and easy)

3. Bulky = warm and cozy!

With this knit cowl, you get the trendy “big knit” look, but it’s still functional and wearable. Do you remember seeing Lenny Kravitz in his giant blanket that was a “scarf”?  I’d post the picture here but I don’t want to go breaking any copyright laws.  Who saw that picture on the internet? It still makes me giggle a little thinking about it. Go him!

The way it’s worn above is my preferred way to wear it. You can see the other way to make it and wear it below.


Although stockinette is a beginner stitch, it is still a favorite of mine and I think it really shows it off well with this wide rib pattern.

Above, you can see the second option. You can place the buttons down the front which creates a giant cowl or kind of a short scarf.

A trendy, giant knit cowl that is beginner friendly.  With simple knit and purl stitches, you’ll create this cowl with a wide rib.  The texture and drape make it comfortable and versatile.



I love the drape and texture that this Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn gives the cowl.

 You can find the inexpensive, ad-free printable PDF pattern on Etsy HERE or scroll down to see the pattern for FREE!

Click the picture above to purchase the PDF printable version on Etsy

You will need:

3 Skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA Yarn or Comparable Super Bulky yarn (uses approximately 2.5 skeins) in Houston Cream

US Size 13 (9.0 mm) needles

5  or 3   1 1/8” buttons (28mm) (Number of buttons determined by which style you’d like to make – see pictures below)

Needle and thread or crochet thread to attach buttons to cowl

Tapestry Needle to weave in ends



Explanation: This cowl is made by creating wide ribbing with knit and purl stitches.

Gauge is unimportant

Cowl measures approximately 11.5” wide (without being stretched)  X 36” long

You should be familiar with knit and purling.

Your buttons should fit through the knit fabric and there’s no need to make button holes.  Be sure to check that your buttons fit snuggly through the fabric before you go to far into the pattern. Loosen your tension and make your guage larger if needed (in other words, make your stitches larger for the buttons to fit through)



CO – cast on

K – knit

P- purl



CO 40 stitches

Row 1  *K2, p2; rep from * to end of row.


Repeat row 1 until entire piece measures 36” in length

Cast off and weave in ends.


Attach Buttons:

*You may attach buttons in two different ways

Option 1 (5 buttons to join the ends):

Place 5 buttons, spaced evenly along short end of cowl.  Button closed when worn.



Buttons are placed evenly along the end of the cowl
This is the look with the 5 buttons

Option 2:

Place three buttons as pictured below.  Place a button on the top and bottom of one end, and then a third button 12″ inches in from the top button.


Three buttons placed on the cowl. Two buttons placed at the end of the cowl, one on top and one on bottom. The third button placed 12″ inches in from the top button.

Here’s the look with the three buttons:




What do you think? Which way would you wear it?

If you make one, I’d love to hear about it on my Facebook page, or feel free to share a picture on Instagram (tag me @mamainastitch).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project! Happy GIANT knitting.

I’m going to put a blanket around my neck now and pretend it’s a scarf. Just kid’n!







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  1. Thank you so much for this gorgeous pattern, I am ordering yarn today to make these for my girls for Christmas this year! I’ll be making the 3-Button version for all my girls, its my favorite. I’m glad something I love is fast and easy, I’ll be done in no time!

    1. I’m so glad that you think your girls will love it!! What a nice mama to make them things for Christmas. Thanks so much for letting me know you’ll be making it!

  2. Hi…I just completed your cowl pattern…doesn’t fall the way your pictures portray in either picture…I’ve tried it both ways…I used very beautiful wool for a gift to say I’m dissappointed as I now have no gift to give I have a cowl that even I can’t wear

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that Belle! I wonder what may have happened. The yarn that I used has a lot of drape. What yarn did you use for the project? I’m wondering if the texture could be the issue.

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