DIY Giftables #1: 2 simple snoods - a free knitting pattern

We can't think of much that trumps a handknit Christmas present. Nothing is as thoughtful and seasonally practical (for Northern Hemisphere dwellers at least), and shows just how much you care. And the best part is that handknit gifts don't have to be as time consuming as you'd expect. Replace your images of intricate fairisle jumpers and spindly lacework shawls with chunky knit winter must-haves: mittens, pompom hats, slouchy socks and snoods that can all be completed in an evening or two. We've come up with two super simple snoods that are lightning quick to knit, suitable even for first time knitters, and will make the perfect gift for just about anyone (even those tricky men!), that is, if you can bring yourself to give them away!

Representing two of our favourite stitches - moss stitch and English rib stitch - these snoods are a once around the neck coze extravaganza. Both stitches are reversible (exactly the same both sides), completely non-gender specific and really make the most of a chunky yarn by exaggerating the surface bulk. In terms of circumference, it can often be tricky to get the perfect length that neither strangles you nor sags down exposing your neck to the bitter chill. We have found the ideal length to be around the 60-65cm / 25" mark.

Moss Stitch Snood

Difficulty - beginner

You will need:

CO - cast on
BO - bind off
k - knit
p - purl
rnd(s) - round(s)
st(s) - stitch(es)
cont - continue
tog - together
*We realise that knitting pattern lingario can be pretty confusing if it's not something you're used to. While it's super useful to learn if you're wanting to further explore the world of hand knitting, we want to make a simple project like this as approachable as possible for a beginner or once-in-a-while knitter. Therefore, we have written out these patterns in the abbreviated pattern lingo and actual real words in italics alongside the instructions where needed, including the odd tip.
CO 57 sts. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches. There are some amazing tutorials on YouTube to get you started if this is a first attempt knitting in the round!
Rnd 1: k1, *(p1, k1) rep from * to end of rnd. Knit 1, then repeat purl 1, knit 1 for the rest of the round.
Rnd 2: p1, *(k1, p1) rep from * to end of rnd.
Continue in this manner until the snood is as deep as you want, we stopped when it was  12" deep. Make sure to leave your length of yarn at least 4 times the length of your round for binding off.
Last rnd: BO loosely, cut yarn and weave in tails.

Wool and the Gang snood - By Hand LondonMoss stitch snood shown above in Wool and the Gang's Crazy Sexy Wool in Margaux Red


English Rib Snood (with a twist)

Difficulty - confident beginner

You will need:

  • 8 x 50g balls of chunky weight yarn suitable for 6mm needles (all the same colour or 4 balls each of 2 colours like we did)
  • a pair of 9mm straight needles, plus one extra for the 3 needle bind off
  • a yarn needle to weave in ends
  • scissors
CO 31 sts stranding 2 balls at the same time.
Row 1: knit.
Row 2: k1 (edge), k1, *k1 below (inserting right-hand needle knitwise into the centre of the stitch just below - see diagram), k1*, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (edge).
Row 3: k1 (edge), *k1 below, k1*, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (edge).
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until your snood measures about 25" long, or fits comfortably around your neck.

Binding off: Pick up the 31 cast on stitches with the needle pointing in the opposite direction to the needle with the live stitches. Twist the needle with the picked up stitches to meet it's partner side by side. This creates a sort of infinite twist loop, making more of a feature of the kushy rib stitch and seriously upping the coze factor! Bind off with a three-needle bind off (holding your 2 rows of live stitches together, use your 3rd needle to knit into the 1st stitch from both needles at the same time. Repeat with the second stitch from both needles and then bind off from the 3rd needle as normal. Repeat this until all the stitches have been bound off. There are plenty of video tutorials for this technique on YouTube). Cut yarn and weave in tails.

All done! Now for the hard part - wrapping these babies up and giving them away...

  • Elisalex de Castro Peake
  • accessoriesChristmasDIYfree patternknittingscarfsnoodwinter

Comments on this post ( 40 )

  • Feb 29, 2016

    I’m about to start the English rib snood – I’m pretty petite, so I’d like to make it a little narrower – any suggestions on how many stitches to CO? Should it be an odd number? Thanks!

    — Becky

  • Nov 29, 2015

    Hi I’m knitting the moss stitch snood with size 9mm double pointed needles as I didn’t have right size circular needles. I also didn’t have super chinky so I double to chunky wools together. They are a beautiful deep purple colour. Can’t wait to give it to someone for Christmas.

    — Lily

  • Nov 05, 2015

    I’ve bought 10mm 80cm circular needles but they seem too long. Should I try 60cm long? I’ve never knitted ‘in the round’ before so it might just be me but your previous reply said try 21" long and that seems enormous!

    — Suzanne

  • Sep 21, 2015

    Hi Lauren, thanks for your comment! You would just continue the k1 below, k1 pattern until you get to the last stitch and then it’s just a k1 edge, if that makes sense? It’s essentially the same idea as a regular rib in that on a return row you would purl the knit stitches and knit the purls, only here on the return row you’re knitting below on regular knit stitches and knitting were you previously knit below. I hope this makes sense! ~Elisalex

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Sep 21, 2015

    Hello. Starting the English Rib pattern, and wondering if there is possibly a misprint.

    Row 2: k1 (edge), k1, k1 below, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (edge).
    Row 3: k1 (edge), k1 below, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (edge).

    Row 2 appears to be multiples of 2 (3), while Row 3 appears to be multiples of 2 (2). So in described cast on of 31, there would be 14 repeats of the to plus the 2 knit stitches at the beginning and 1 knit stitch at the end. However, Row 3 only has 1 knit stitch at each end (the edges).

    Should there be an additional k1 in row 3 after the to repeats are completed and before the k1 edge stitch?

    Thank you!

    — Lauren

  • Sep 14, 2015

    Hi Noush! The circular needle we used is about 21" long (the wire part not including the needles) – you basically want something that can encircle your neck, or smaller. Too long and it will stretch your stitches and be very hard to knit!

    Hope this helps!

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Sep 10, 2015

    Total newbie here to knitting in the round… what length circular needle are people using for the Moss Sticth Snood please?

    — Noush

  • Apr 09, 2015

    Hello! I’m giving the English Rib a go, and I’m wondering how wide it should be? I know you said 31 stitches but mine is looking quite wide and I’m wondering if it’s going to work out like your photo or of I should start again with a few less…

    — Amanda

  • Dec 01, 2014

    Hi…these snoods are great and easy to knit….i have a few ..sirdar big bamboo balls left,and will use size 10mm needles,and knit the length you said to get one twist..these will make great xmas gifts..thankyou very much for free pattern xx

    — margaret walker

  • Oct 16, 2014

    I made these for my daughter and now my granddaughter, who is only 2, really likes them. Could you possibly adapt the pattern for age 3/4 please.


    — Angelal White

  • Sep 10, 2014

    Hi. Thanks for sharing these. I am hoping to make the moss stitch version but can anyone advise on the length of circular needle to use? I think mine is too long! thank you,

    — Red Fraggle

  • Sep 07, 2014

    Am in the middle of knitting the English rib cowl in Debbie Bliss Roma in red. So far so good! Love the look of the pattern, any chance of you doing a beanie hat & hand warmers to match? Many thanks x

    — Gillian Dodsworth

  • Aug 27, 2014

    I love this pattern but I am having a real problem with k below st. SO this is what I am doing knit the first row 2nd row , knit edge st, k in st below (center of the st. and knit the next st. is this correct. because when I turn to start the next row I have a row of loose yarn. is there a video on this. thank you

    — Kathy M

  • Jul 08, 2014

    Thank you so much. Exactly what I have been looking for and something I can manage too. Thanks again. Much appreciated.

    — Jane Moody

  • Jul 04, 2014

    Hi Rogeema, that sounds about right! The snood is designed ‘to wrap around just the once, so it sounds like you’re all done! Of course, you could keep going if you want a snood that wraps twice… x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Jul 03, 2014

    Hi. I need some help and advice please.

    I’m busy with the english rib snood and I love it so far :)

    I think I’m halfway. The length of it is about 25" now, but I’ve only used 4 balls of 50g chunky (with 2 strands as you show).

    Is this the length that it’s supposed to be? This would be a snood that only wraps once. Or is it a double wrap snood, which means I would be halfway and would be using all 8 balls of wool. Is the 25" on the pattern a mistake and it should actually be a length of 50"?

    — Rogeema

  • Jun 27, 2014

    It’s winter here in South Africa.Just finished 2 snoods in English Rib Pattern.I love it and so do my friends! It’s so warm and cozy.Tanx for the great pattern!!

    — Elize

  • May 14, 2014

    I began knitting the English Rib pattern, but seemed to have one side ribbed while the other is in Moss stitch. I am not sure if I am missing a step. If so, is the edge stitch a drop stitch, a bind off stitch, or something else. Sorry, I am still getting the hang of knitting as a confident beginner. Thank you for your time and help!

    — Heather

  • Mar 24, 2014

    Hi Angela – yes the ribbed snood should have the same texture on both sides, making it wonderfully kushy and reversible! x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Mar 23, 2014

    Should the kushy rib snood be ribbed on both sides?

    — Angela White

  • Feb 27, 2014

    Hi Suzie – you most certainly can simply sew the two ends together as opposed to the three needle cast off. You could also close the ends with a Kitchener stitch (my favourite!).

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Feb 25, 2014

    I knitted the moss stitch one in a lovely mixed colour Rico wool and it is great. So much so my daughter now wants one, so back to my knitting needkes…

    — Jody

  • Feb 20, 2014

    can i just sew the english rib pattern together when i finished, instead of using 3 needle cast off??
    i am planning to do it in single colour using rowan chunky wool yarn.
    many thanks for sharing.

    — suzie

  • Jun 19, 2013

    Just finished the english rib snood – but (accidentally!) made it extra long for a double wraparound. Great pattern and instructions! Youtube videos helped too :)

    — Mirisquiri

  • Jun 19, 2013

    So glad to hear!! Double is always better when it comes to snoods ;)

    — byhandlondon

  • Mar 24, 2013

    Am just about to start this rib snood ….. the calendar is saying spring, the weather is saying deep mid-winter …… so I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it before the summer begins!

    — Sue

  • Mar 30, 2013

    oops have gone wrong on the english rib snood ,how do i unpick this? i can unpick normal plain and purl stitches but how do i unpick the ones knitted on the row below?!

    — dianne

  • Apr 04, 2013

    Hi there! Unpicking the English rib is pretty much the same as unpicking knit and purl stitches – just very carefully slide your needle out and even more carefully unravel, ensuring that you are able to re-slide your needle back through the loops once you’ve unravelled past where you went wrong! Good luck!

    — byhandlondon

  • Dec 20, 2012

    In the English rib stitch snood, does k1* mean to (p1, k1) as in the moss stitch snood instructions? I get that *k1 is to do what’s in the diagram, but I’m confused what *k1 is…

    — Lauren

  • Feb 07, 2013

    I’m having the same problem. I feel like there are missing steps.

    — Marta

  • Feb 07, 2013

    Hi! The *s in the knitting pattern simply serve to highlight the section of stitches that need to be repeated, sort of like parentheses in maths equations… Whatever instructions are in between the two * is the section that needs to be repeated, eg:

    Row 3: k1 (edge), k1 below, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 (edge).

    You would knit the first stitch (the edge stitch) then repeat k1 below, k1 until the last stitch, then knit 1 (opposite edge stitch).

    I hope this makes sense – can be tricky to explain in plain words!

    — byhandlondon

  • Dec 11, 2012

    It does seem like a lot… they are only 50g balls however, so really it’s just 400g altogether and you will have a fair bit leftover. Alternatively, you could just find a chunkier yarn like Rowan’s Big Wool and knit the single strand as opposed to double stranding 2 colours like we’ve done here – then you’d probably be fine with 3 × 100g balls. Let us know how you get along!

    — byhandlondon

  • Dec 11, 2012

    Ah… I see. Thank you for your help!

    — Lauren

  • Dec 11, 2012


    — byhandlondon

  • Dec 04, 2012

    Aaaack, love these! Especially the English Rib Snood!!!

    — Marie

  • Dec 05, 2012

    It’s just soooo kushy and cosy! I don’t think I’ll be able to let it go…

    — byhandlondon

  • Dec 07, 2012

    Love both of these! Now I’m itching to pick up my knitting needles!

    — Ginger

  • Dec 11, 2012

    First time knitter – I’m going to give the rib stitch snood a go…
    8 balls of yarn seems like a lot though. Is it because of the type of stitch that so much is needed?

    — Lauren

  • Dec 04, 2012

    Love these! What needles did you use for the moss stitch one?

    — Alice

  • Dec 04, 2012

    Thanks love!! 10mm circular needles xxx

    — byhandlondon

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