Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


For most of my life, my standard over-layer has been the classic, grungy, waffle-knit long-sleeve t-shirt. In my attempts to recreate this garment in a handknit, I’ve met, tried and rejected a veritable ton of “waffle” stitch patterns, usually created using triangles of knit and purl stitches arranged artfully, or some combination of ribbing and garter stitch. Generally, these stitches look great and waffle-y, especially on small needles, but I was unable to find the hand-knitting equivalent to my favorite mass-produced stitch pattern on a larger scale!

I began experimenting with slipped stitches and floats, and came up with a deceptively simple, three-stitch, four-row repeat that will trap extra air to keep you cozy, just like the real thing! And, as an added bonus, the “wrong side” has its own distinct look, opening up extra styling possibilities – my personal favorite is wrapped twice and rolled over into a shawl collar!

The other great thing about this stitch pattern is that it lends itself incredibly well to easy, two-color knitting; only one row out of the four uses both colors at once, and the other rows rely on slipped stitches. I knit this one in the super-bulky but super-lightweight Quince & Co. Puffin, a lightly fulled single-ply yarn that comes in a gorgeous array of complex colors.

spacer model: Caitlin Caulfield, Cara Sharpes
spacer photos: Elisabeth Parker



Circumference: 56 inches
Height: 8 inches



Quince & Co. Puffin [100% Wool; 112yd/102m per 100g skein]
spacer [MC] Split Pea; 2 skeins
spacer [CC] Carrie’s Yellow; 1 skein
Note: I used all but approx. 1 yd of CC. You may wish to buy an extra skein.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 40-inch US #13/9mm circular needle

spacer Yarn needle
spacer Stitch marker



10 sts/16 rows = 4" in stockinette st
16 sts = 5” and 20 rows = 4" in pattern


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]


Using CC, CO 180 sts. Place marker and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Set-up Round: *K1 tbl using CC, bring MC and CC between needles to front of work, p2 using MC, bring both yarns between needles to back of work; repeat from * to end.
Note: Keep MC pulled tightly when slipping sts or working sts using CC. Hold CC loosely when slipping sts or working sts using MC.

Keep sts spread out on needle to help maintain even tension.

Round 1: Using MC, *sl 1 purlwise with yarn held to back of work, p2; repeat from * to end.

Round 2: *K1 tbl using CC, p2 using MC (leave CC at back of work); repeat from * to end.

Round 3: Work as for Round 1.

Round 4: Using CC, *k1 tbl, sl 2 purlwise with yarn held to front of work; repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 nine times more, or until cowl is desired height.

BO all sts using CC.


Weave in ends and block as desired.


Elisabeth knits, spins, weaves, and crochets in Western Massachusetts, where she lives with an embarrassing amount of equipment and a cat, who enjoys her fiber stash possibly more than she does. Her designs have been published by Berroco, Classic Elite, and Valley Yarns.

You can find her on Ravelry here, and she blogs here.