Winter Winds Balaclava

Say goodbye to the woes of “hat head” and embrace the comfort and elegance of this versatile accessory. This hooded cowl is a breeze to knit up and the best part? It’s done entirely in the round, making for a seamless and efficient knitting experience. Once you reach the crown, a simple cut and finishing touch create the perfect winter accessory, ensuring you stay cozy without compromising your hairdo. This cowl is not only fashionable but also serves as an excellent introduction to the art of steeking. By knitting in the round and then skillfully steeking, you’ll create a piece that seamlessly combines tradition with innovation.

Skill Level: Easy

Size: Adult

Gauge: 27 sts and 32 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in on US size 6 (4.00 mm) knit flat, before blocking in pattern stitch


Medium weight yarnYarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted (100% Wool, 220 yards [503 meters]/100 grams):  Color 71662 Turquoise (3 hanks)

Needle: US size 7 (4.50 mm) 24″ circular, US size 6 (4.00 mm) 24″ circular for ribbing

Notions: Tapestry needle, 3 locking stitch markers, scissors, tape measurer

Optional Notion: Cable needle

Pattern Notes

In order to make the hood suitable for a wider variety of hair styles and still not cause the dreaded hat head, it is oversized when compared to the hood of a sweat shirt.

This version took just over two hanks of yarn. If only two hanks are available or a smaller size is desired, repeat rounds 1-5 a total of 6 times instead of 10 and work fewer rounds of the hood resulting in a piece that is 26″ from the cast on edge rather than 29″.

Special Stitches

C1f: slip 1 st to cable needle, hold in front of work, knit 1 st, knit 1 st from cable needle



Cast on 132 sts, join in the round and place marker to denote the end of the round.

Round 1 – 4(RS): *K2, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5: *C1f, p1, rep from * to end of round.

Repeat rounds 1-5 a total of 10 times, repeat rounds 1 – 4 one additional time.

Transition work to larger needle, knit one round in stockinette.


Round 1: Kfb on each of first 2 sts, pm, knit to two stitches before end of round, pm, kfb on each of last 2 sts. (4 sts inc)

Round 2: P4, sm, knit to m, sm, p4, M1k. (1 st inc)

Round 3: P4, sm, knit to next m, p4, k1.

Repeat round 3 until work measures 29″ from the cast on edge, on final round. Repeat round 3 half way around the final round working first four purls plus 66 knit sts. The stitches are now positioned to work the crown.

Move end of round marker to the last stitch of the Cowl section of the work to use as a reference mark when picking up stitches for the brim. When finished, this will be under the chin.


Seam the two sets of knit stitches together using the kitchener stitch and the working yarn.  Fasten off through remaining knit stitch.

Relax the seam and purl field using steam, allow to air dry.


Turn piece so the WS is facing

Using crochet hook and working yarn, crochet a chain up the column of stitches of the purl stitches which are on either side of the knit stitch. Since you are looking at the wrong side of the fabric, worked in the round, the purls will present as knit stitches and the knit stitch in the middle will present as a purl stitch.  Repeat for second purl stitch to create a total of four ridges of chains, two on either side of the knit stitch. If it is difficult to see, you may prefer to crochet up the same columns of stitches with the RS facing. The important thing to keep in mind when securing the edge prior to cutting it is the integrity of the middle stitch.  The middle stitch is the one which will be cut therefore do not crochet into it, crochet into the stitches on either side of it. If you prefer, you may crochet your chain stitch columns one stitch further back from the middle knit stitch just to be sure you do not accidentally crochet into the knit stitch which will be cut.

Using sharp scissors, cut along the ridge of the middle of the knit stitch in the middle of the 8 purl stitch field along the length of the hood.


Using the smaller circular needle and the working yarn, with the RS facing, begin at the end of round marker which was moved to the last stitch of the Cowl section prior to seaming.  Pick up stitches along the purl ridge between the purl stitch and knit stitch of the hood along both edges onto the circular needle at a rate of approximately one stitch per row. (147 sts)

The crocheted chains will be covered as the brim is worked, these rows of crocheted chain stitches will help give the brim its shape.

Move marker to denote the end of the round after picking up last stitch under chin. Count the stitches, you will need a multiple of three stitches for the brim.

Using the smaller circular needle, with RS facing, proceed as follows:

Round 1 – 4 (RS): *K2, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5: *C1f,  p1, rep from * to end of round.

Repeat rounds 1 – 5.

Repeat rounds 1 another 6 times.

On the final round when binding off the live stitches will be worked together with the first stitch which was picked up along the brim of the hood and the crocheted edges will be hidden underneath.  When working right handed with the work held in the left hand and RS facing, pick up the WS of the corresponding stitch 16 rounds beneath with the tip of the left needle.  Knit this together with the first stitch on the left needle. Pass completed stitch to right needle. Repeat on next stitch, pass first stitch on right needle over the stitch just worked to bind the first stitch off.  Repeat around until all stitches are bound off.


Steam finished piece to relax the work.

Weave in all remaining ends.

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