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I've retired from a wonderful career in graphic design and now spend my time volunteering for local animal-related organizations -- from fostering tiny kittens for adoption to assisting visitors at ...

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Basic Balaclava

from MaryAnn C. Davis
(6) Name: 'Knitting : Basic Balaclava
Basic Balaclava
Basic Balaclava
Basic Balaclava
Basic Balaclava
Basic Balaclava

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Knit, purl, decrease
  • Short rows
  • Cast-on and pick-up stitches

Pattern Description:

Hikers! Bikers! Sports fans! Skiers! Snowmobilers! Military! This warm balaclava is the perfect headgear for everyone who ventures out in the cold. Knit with or without an optional flared collar. The 2/2 rib pattern helps keep the garment close to the face. The eye opening is wide, aiding sideways vision and allowing increased face exposure by pulling the lower part down (especially convenient for snacks). Consider highly visible or camouflage yarns, and even team or school colors.

While the basic stitches are simple knits, purls and decreases, a couple of areas around the face require a bit of concentration. You'll have to work short rows for the chin, cast-on stitches for the cap, and pick-up stitches along the upper opening for the face rib. You'll also have to set aside some stitches while you work others. I've divided the pattern into six sections and knit a rainbow colored sample to help explain and simplify each step.

The pattern also includes a worksheet for a multi-color team/school balaclava, plus gift tags for you to print.


4 sts = 1" (16 sts = 4")

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 4 circumference sizes
  • 19.25" Small Adult
  • 21" Medium Adult
  • 22.75" Large Adult
  • 24.25" X-Large Adult


  • #4 Worsted Weight Yarn
  • Weights [With] [Without] Flared Collar
  • Small [3.5 oz] [2.4 oz]
  • Medium [4 oz] [2.6 oz]
  • Large [4.6 oz] [3.1 oz]

You Will Also Need:

  • Two 16" circular needles (or 1 needle plus stitch holders)
  • 4 double pointed needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Tape measure or ruler

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Any worsted weight wool, wool blend, acrylic or super wash