Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot

When I was presented with the great opportunity to design an accessory in this Big Stitch yarn, I knew it would be a challenge, but I knew not to what extent. Two completely failed designs later, third time was a charm -- once I got the hang of it, I was able to put it to good use and make a crazy cozy piece that I'm pretty darn happy with! The yarn works up nicely in a 1x1 rib, which makes it 2-sided to give the piece wearable versatility, and the stretchy ribbing prevents the bulky fabric from feeling too dense or stiff.

Since this yarn is well beyond a standard super bulky weight (nope, that's not a typo below where it says 3 stitches per 4 inches!), I've been calling it a superduper bulky weight...I got kind of attached to that moniker, so it seemed like a fitting pattern name!

The pattern itself is very simple, but working with the broomstick-like needles and giant yarn, while fun, is a bit, well, unusual; so I gave the pattern a tangy rating for that reason alone. If you can manage the massive gauge knitting, it will only take a few hours to knit up this giant winter accessory, and it's tons of fun to wear!

spacer model: Lee Meredith
spacer photos: Pete Bejarano
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Width (lying flat, un-stretched): 12 inches
Length (when positioned in the figure-8 style, lying flat): 35 inches



spacer The BagSmith Big Stitch Merino [94% Merino, 6% Nylon; 125yd/114m per 992g skein]; color: Turquoise; 1 skein (shown at right)

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set US 36/20mm straight needles

spacer 1 giant yarn needle (to fit this yarn size) or a large crochet hook

3 sts/4.5 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

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

When measuring the garter stitch strip, pull on the strip to stretch out the dense garter stitch first, then measure it as it lies flat.

Use the backwards loop cast on throughout.



Leaving a tail of about 12 inches, CO 3 sts.

Knit until strip measures 15 inches.
Break yarn but leave sts on needle.

Leaving a tail of about 12 inches, CO 3 sts onto the needle holding the 3 sts.

Knit until the second strip measures the same as the first.

Increase section
You'll work across the stitches of both strips, casting on stitches between them.

Row 1 [RS]: K1, p1, k1, CO 3 sts, k1, p1, k1. 9 sts.

Row 2 [WS]: [P1, k1] to last st, p1.

Row 3 [RS]: K1, yo, [p1, k1] until 2 sts rem, p1, yo, k1. 11 sts.

Row 4 [WS]: [K1, p1] to last st, k1.

Row 5 [RS]: P1, yo, [k1, p1] until 2 sts rem, k1, yo, p1. 13 sts.

Row 6 [WS]: [P1, k1] to last st, p1.

Row 7 [RS]: K1, yo, [p1, k1] until 2 sts rem, p1, yo, k1. 15 sts.

Row 8 [WS]: [K1, p1] to last st, k1.

Center Section
Row 1 [RS]: [P1, k1] to last st, p1.

Row 2 [WS]: [K1, p1] to last st, k1.

Repeat Rows 1-2 until solid piece, from where strips were joined, measures approx 20 inches.

Holes row 1 [RS]: P1, k1, p1, BO 3 sts in rib pattern, (1 purl st is on needle from finishing the BO sts) k1, p1, BO 3 sts in rib pattern, k1, p1. (There are now 3 sets of 3 sts on needle, with gaps between.)

Holes row 2 [WS]: [K1, p1, k1, CO 3 sts] twice, k1, p1, k1. 15 sts.

Repeat Rows 1-2 until piece measures approx 20 inches from the holes (approx 40 inches total in solid piece).

Decrease section
Row 1 [RS]: P1, ssk, [k1, p1] to last 4 sts, k1, k2tog, p1. 13 sts.

Row 2 [WS]: K1, p2, [k1, p1] to last 2 sts, p1, k1.

Row 3 [RS]: P1, k2, [p1, k1] to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

Row 4 [WS]: Repeat Row 2.

Row 5 [RS]: P1, ssk, [p1, k1] to last 4 sts, p1, k2tog, p1. 11 sts.

Row 6 [WS]: [K1, p1] to last st, k1.

Row 7 [RS]: [P1, k1] to last st, p1.

Row 8 [WS]: Repeat Row 6.

Row 9 [RS]: P1, ssk, [k1, p1] to last 4 sts, k1, k2tog, p1. 9 sts.

Row 10 [WS]: K1, p2, [k1, p1] to last 2 sts, p1, k1.

Row 11 [RS]: P1, k2, [p1, k1] to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

Row 12 [WS]: Repeat Row 10.

BO in rib pattern.


Loosely start rolling the piece, starting with the strips on the inside, then bring the strips through the holes and continue rolling it, so the strips line up with the opposite edge (the BO edge) of the piece, with no parts twisted. Sew the strip edges to the BO edge, using the tails you left at the beginning, aligned with each side, then weave in all the ends.

Note: This yarn is too big for most yarn needles, so you can use a large crochet hook to thread the yarn ends through the stitches and sew the pieces together, and to weave in the ends.

I don't recommend that you block this item after finishing it. The giant merino yarn is a bit fragile and prone to pilling if not treated gently enough, and the knitted fabric is quite different from a normal hand knit piece; it really doesn't need to be blocked before wearing. It's recommended that you just treat it kindly and only wash when washing is necessary (using instructions on yarn label).

Experiment with different ways of wearing it to find your favorites.

It can be rolled around itself into a tube in either direction, so that the inner tube and outer tube (with the strips on the outside) are about the same size, for an extra super bulky cowl.

If you flip the whole thing (both layers together) inside out, it can be a smaller inner tube and a larger outer tube (strips on the outside), for a cowl on the inside and a wider shoulder wrap on the outside, with the strips in front or in back.

You can flip the outer tube around, so that the whole thing forms a kind of figure-8 shape: the bigger tube acting as a cowl, the smaller tube as hand warmers.

Slide the strips so that the figure-8 has the same size tubes on both sides, and slip your arms through for a shrug.


designernamespacer Lee is a maker of things, doer of stuff, in Portland, Oregon, where she designs knit accessories under the name Leethal Knits and tries to find the time to do a bit of spinning, sewing, and other crafty pursuits. She has a background in art and photography, a love of games and puzzles, and an obsession with color, all of which she brings into her knit design concepts.

Find her on Ravelry.