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Free Pattern: Simple Seed Stitch Neck-Warmer

January 5, 2011

As part of our Solstice celebration this past December, I gifted each of my family members with a hand-knitted item to keep them warm through the cold winter months ahead.  O received a pair of mittens.  For B, I thought a thick cozy neck-warmer would be perfect.

After a bit o’ Googling & Ravelry-searching, I could not find exactly what I wanted in a neck-warmer for B.  I wanted something soft and squishy and cozy for sure, but it also had to be simple enough to make sense on a man.  After finding many many cowl patterns that would be appropriate for the women in my life, I decided to just create my own neck-warmer pattern for the men.*

Simple Seed Stitch Neck-Warmer


US size 10 needles
approx. 2 oz worsted weight wool
(sample knitted with Malabrigo Worsted Merino)
tapestry needle


CO 36 stitches using long tail method.
Row 1:  K3 *K, P.  Repeat from * to last three stitches,  K3.
Row 2:  K3 *P, K.  Repeat from * to last three stitches, K3.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until neck warmer reaches 17 inches or desired length.
BO and use tapestry needle to stitch ends together.

Remember to K3 at the beginning and end of all rows.  This creates a row of ribbing at the top and bottom of the finished neck-warmer.
Gauge is not terribly important.  To make a “taller” garment just add an even number of stitches to your cast on chain.  Conversely, subtract an even number of stitches for a “shorter” garment.  You can also make this piece closer or looser fitting by knitting more or less than the recommended 17 inches.  Keep in mind that the seed stitch pattern has quite a bit of built in stretch.

*I find you get a much more enthusiastic response if you refer to the same garment as a cowl for women and a neckwarmer for men.


I used to ask people not to sell items made from my patterns.  After further thought, I’ve decided that what folks do with their own work is their business.  However, since the pattern is free, I ask that you do credit your source.  I also think it would be nice that for each garment sold, one is also given…  but that is, of course, entirely up to you.

Please do not reprint or distribute in any form without author’s permission.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 10:56 am

    What an awesome pattern – I love it!

  2. January 5, 2011 11:56 am

    I love it too!

  3. Tajie permalink
    January 5, 2011 3:59 pm

    You know, I was looking for the same thing. I love this, it’s perfect. Thank you!!

  4. January 11, 2011 10:37 pm

    Love it. What colorway did you use? Malabrigo is *the best*!

  5. January 14, 2011 8:29 pm

    This pattern is just wonderful! I’m off to make one right now; thanks!!!

  6. Paula permalink
    January 17, 2011 10:48 am

    It’s a great look on your model. But why not do the circular needle thing with no stitching together?

    • January 17, 2011 12:13 pm

      Hi Paula, There’s no reason one couldn’t knit this on circulars. I just chose to knit it flat. :-) ~Carrie

  7. India permalink
    January 17, 2011 1:46 pm

    Thank you for the free pattern Carrie. I do appreciate you sharing this. I’m putting this on my needles as we speak as it’s snowing here where I live right now. I find a scarf too much to wear inside my coat and if I wear it outside, then it gets full of snow when I’m out walking. This will just do the trick!

    your follower from the east coast of Canada

  8. January 17, 2011 7:43 pm

    I like the simplicity of this Neck Warmer! Right now I am on a toque (knitted hat in Canada) knitting kick but have written out your pattern instructions and it is on my to do list…

  9. Emilie permalink
    November 14, 2011 11:05 pm

    Thanks for the lovely pattern Carrie! I want to make one for my step-dad while he’s out hunting this winter. I’m traveling at the moment and only have my size 10 circular needles with me….was wondering if you could tell me the # of stitches I would need to cast on?
    Thanks for the help!

    • November 16, 2011 4:15 pm

      Thanks Emilie!
      I think your best bet would just be to knit it as written. (I use circulars for flat knitting all the time.) I haven’t ever knitted it in the round so I can’t give you an exact number. I suppose you could do a gauge swatch and decide on length and cast on the correct number of stitches that way if you really want to knit in the round. I know that’s not exactly what you were looking for but I hope it helps!

  10. Cara permalink
    January 7, 2012 11:11 pm

    thanks! this is right on my level of expertise. i am making for my colleagues and my students at school who don’t have enough cold weather gear.. : )

  11. September 26, 2012 3:42 pm

    Starting my December-gifting knitting now. Planning to knit one with circulars and one with straights… Lovely simple pattern and the neck-warmer/cowl nomenclature is just I needed.

  12. Lorraine permalink
    September 27, 2012 1:34 pm

    What a wonderful quick gift idea! Thank you. I need something in short order and this will fit the bill. Regrettable that folks are using your intellectual work for their profit.

  13. Hime permalink
    October 11, 2012 7:44 pm

    Thanks so much for this pattern! I just got through knitting it and it was easy to follow. I just started knitting this year and decided to test my skills by knitting gifts for the whole family so my dad who hates scarfs will definitely love this! thanks once again.

  14. October 28, 2012 6:25 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing… x x

  15. Lorraine permalink
    October 28, 2012 6:38 pm

    Wow! Made two in short order with Baby Me Boo and they look spectacular! Again thanks for this simple and wonderful pattern.

  16. Karen Guthrie permalink
    January 12, 2013 11:47 pm

    My husband loves his ‘simple seed stitch neck warmer’ so much, he’s asked for a second, in a slightly larger and heavier size to wear while bicycling/commuting to work over winter time to wear with bike helmet and bring up over his face/ears. (We live in WI—real winters.) So, compliments to the designer.

  17. Denise permalink
    January 28, 2013 8:01 pm

    I have bought the same yarn you used here and am working on it now. It doesn’t seem like when I am finished he could possibly get it over his head. Yours looks so thick and warm but mine doesn’t as of yet. Can someone reassure me that I am suppose to only cast on 36 stitches. I am new to knitting and hate to finish this to have to rip it all apart. I’d sooner rip it apart now if I have done something wrong.

  18. rahmah permalink
    March 6, 2014 5:16 pm

    Hi! thanks so much for this pattern, it looks fairly simple…The children at my daughters Sunday school are rewarded with a table of goodies at the end of the month. I felt bad that the pickings for the older children are slim, so the wife of leader of the community asked if I could come up with something…the search was what to make for a young teenage male…thanks again! rahmah

  19. Kim C permalink
    January 23, 2016 7:59 pm

    Thank you so much for publishing this! It is exactly what I was looking for!

  20. karen permalink
    February 5, 2016 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the pattern!! I never sell my work. I like to give to the needy or as presents, this way its from the heart! Thanks again.


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