November 20, 2012

Free Pattern: Red Rasta Cowl

We’ve all been tempted, but there’s a better way to wear Malabrigo Rasta.

We originally knit up this quick and simple cowl as a way to show off Malabrigo Rasta, one of our favourite yarns. It sure did its job. Malabrigo Rasta has been flying off our shelves almost since we opened, and we frequently get requests for simple cowl patterns that show off the gorgeous kettel-dyed colourways and knit up quickly. So, here you go! This is our go-to, most recommended, absolute favourite. It’s suitable for beginners and quick and enjoyable for more advanced knitters, and in a season when there always seems to be a last-minute gift to produce, it never hurts to have an easy, stylish, and speedy project in your back pocket.

We call this the Red Rasta Cowl, but it would look fantastic in any of Malabrigo’s colourways. The pattern is easy to memorize, but since it never hurts to have backup, there’s a link to a printable pdf at the bottom of this page. If you make one (or ten), please let us know how they turn out!


Better, right? (Sample knit in Malabrigo Rasta, colourway Ravelry Red.)

Size: One size – fits most adults comfortably
(To make larger or smaller, increase or decrease stitch count by multiples of four stitches. If increasing, be aware you may need more yarn to complete cowl.)

Materials: 1 skein Malabrigo Rasta in any colour, or 98 yards of your preferred super-bulky yarn; 10mm 16-inch circular needle; large stitch marker; darning needle

k – knit
p- purl
* * – repeat instruction all the way around


Loosely cast-on 48 stitches. Join in the round, being
careful not to twist.

Work *k2, p2* rib for 14 rows.

After ribbing complete, work four repeats of the following four rows (16 rows total):

Rows 1 & 2: *k1, p1* around
Rows 3 & 4: *p1, k1* around

Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and marvel at your speedy creation.

Download a pdf: Red Rasta Cowl

24 Responses to “Free Pattern: Red Rasta Cowl”

  • Molly says:

    Love this cowl. We wanted to share your pattern in our e-newsletter. Would that be ok with you? Sincerely, Molly from Knit-N-Purl in Myrtle Beach, SC.

  • Angela says:

    Hi Molly,

    Thanks for getting in touch! Yes, we’d be fine with that as long as it includes a link back to our site :) Can you e-mail us a copy of the newsletter?


  • Dana A. says:

    I LOVE this pattern!!! Just finished it in Rasta Indiecita – wanted to do the red because it is gorgeous, but it’s a gift for my mom and the color wouldn’t go with her coat. :( Any-who, I was thinking that the variegation in the yarn added to the texture might negatively affect the overall look, but it came out perfectly. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Thelma Schoen says:

    This is lovely. I can’t wait to knit it. Thanks so much for giving us this pattern.

  • Dianne says:

    I found the pattern earlier today..and it’s now finished. I didn’t have the proper Malabrigo..which I adore..but I used Berroco..and it came out beautifully..thank YOU

  • LC says:

    Love Malabrigo! My fav yarn.

  • Sue T. says:

    Just casting off this wonderful cowl done in Malabrigo Rasta Stitch Red. The different variations of red really show it off.

    Came out beautifully.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah says:


    The Fuzzy Square is pleased to let you know that one of your cowl pattern is featured on the Fuzzy Square blog.

    Here is a link to the post:

    Thanks! Hope you’re having a great day,

    The Fuzzy Square

  • 'rika says:

    Beautiful stitch def. I lurves me some o’dis yarn. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

  • Alma says:

    I did not have a circular needle but did this with rasta and ooo needles. I was surprised to have some wool left over since I am a loose knitter and the cowl seems much tighter around the neck and appears much smaller than the illustration.

    I have decided to redo it and add four more stitches.
    Very disappointed so far with this pattern tho the wool is beautiful.

  • Alma says:

    Can you please tell me how much this cowl should measure around at top and bottom? This would be very helpful to me. Thankyou.

  • Angela says:

    Hi Alma,

    Do you mean that you used size US 000 needles? The pattern calls for size 10mm needles, which are a size US 15, if you were using very small needles, that would definitely affect your finished size, as well as the amount of yarn you used.

    Our finished cowl measures approximately 24 inches in circumference, but because wool stretches, the final circumference will grow a little as you pull it on and off over your head.

  • Fall? « TwistedLoopYarnShop says:

    […] The pattern is on Ravelry and it takes 1 skein of Malabrigo’s Rasta.  The pattern is on the EweKnit Website as well. Knit up on a size 15 needle it goes fast and is a lovely gift for you or someone who is […]

  • kittenknit says:

    I was just looking for a cast on count for a half-seed/half-garter cowl – thanks!

  • nicolette jenkins says:

    I’m just starting. Could I do this on dpn’s instead of circular or would it be too big? I have a large set of dpn’s but I have not yet started purchasing circular needles.

  • Angela says:

    You could definitely knit this on dpn, though you’ll have to make sure they’re long enough (8 inches or so should do it).

  • Patricia Gentges says:

    I love the looks of this pattern. Could this be knit on size 15 flat needles..then sewing two ends together?

  • shalomnurse says:

    I made two of these beautiful cowls. The first one I made exactly as the pattern stated. The second one, I cast on 52 sts and only knit 12 rows of the K2P2 ribbing and 12 rows of the 4 repeat rounds. It was a little smaller than the original but perfect for my daughter who wanted something smaller and looser. I used the Rasta Indiecita. Thank you for this wonderful pattern.

  • suponte says:

    what a lovely pattern¡¡¡¡¡ , i will knit it just immediately…;p

  • Nicky O'Connor says:

    I am so ticked…I live in Florida and was just up visiting my son and his family in Stouffville. Looked all over for a shop and ended up driving to Aurora and was unable to find KNIT SHOP which was recommended.

    I am adding your address to my phone so as not to lose you. Rest assured, I’ll see you next time we go up.

  • Beth says:

    Does this take a full skein of Rasta? I had to use a small part of the skein I like to use for this lovely cowl to finish a scarf I just made. Thanks!

  • Angela says:

    Hi Beth,

    As written, the pattern takes a full skein. But you can certainly customize it to your needs. Just work fewer rounds of ribbing or moss stitch (the textured pattern) and make sure you save enough to cast off.

  • Alecia says:

    I have been looking all morning for a cute, trendy quick cowl to make for a sweet friend and when I saw this one I squealed with delight(not really out loud :)because I can get this done fast fast without having to keep the pattern close at hand. I can’t wait to get my yarn and get started!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Oh and I am doing it in Piedras!!

  • margo says:

    This is my 6th cowl!!
    Love it – keeps me so warm – looks great!

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