Freitag, 4. März 2016

Stack Overflow Cowl

Stacked stitches are a wonderful way to achieve lovely and intriguing color patterns. This cowl is knitted flat - started with a provsional cast on and ended by grafting. It may take a while to get the hang of knitting stacked stitches but it's definitely a worthwhile activity - since the finished piece is not your average garter stitch cowl.

The first pattern with stacked stitches I saw was Xandy Peters' Fox Paws Pattern - absolutely stunning! Another one of hers is called Ribbon Candy and available on In this pattern I'm going to use a similar notation to hers for the stacked stitches.

As to the pattern name - a stack overflow is a computing term. It means that an execution stack (a part of the computer's memory) grows beyond the memory that is reserved for it - which can lead to computer security vulnerabilities. For more details see this Wikipedia article.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • about 150 grams of fingering weight yarn in two colors
  • 3.25mm needles (straight or circulars)
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Special Stitches and Techniques

Stack Overflow Cowl - free knitting pattern by Knitting and so on


I did a cast-on of 51 stitches and total of 38 pattern repeast (38 times the 6 rows). My scarf has a width of 29 cm and a circumference of 150 cm.

Stack Overflow Cowl - Free Knitting Pattern by Knitting and so on


Provisionally CO51 (or if you'd like to vary the width, cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3 (4n+3))
Row 1 (WS): k all
Row 2 (RS):  k1 * inc1-9, k3 repeat from * until there are only two stitches stitch left, inc1-9, k1
Row 3 (WS): * k2tog k2 kfb k1 kfb k2 ssk k1 repeat from * until there are only 11 sts left, k2tog k2 kfb k1 kfb k2 ssk
Change color
Row 4 (RS) = Row 3
Row 5 (WS) = Row 3
Row 6 (RS): BO4 (and carry up yarn from other color), k2, * dec9-1, k3 repeat from * until there are only 4 sts left, BBO4

Repeat rows 1 to 6 and change color everytime you get to row 4, i.e. you knit 6 rows with each color (rows 4 to 6 and 1 to 3).

Repeat until your cowl has reached the desired lenght - make sure to end with the color you started with. Leave a tail of about 1 meter for grafting. Place the stitches from the provisional CO on the second needle, hold the ends together (RS out) and graft in garter stitch.

Weave in ends an block.

Stack Overflow Cowl - Free Knitting Pattern by Knitting and so on

This page was featured as "Most Clicked" at Pinbellish Link Party #28 and at the Kntting Love Link Party in May 2016

Featured on Knitting Love Link Party with Jessie At Home and Underground Crafter


  1. This is the first yarn project that my computer programmer hubby has ever wanted to see. Love the name!

    1. Thank you. I thought this chance of a really nerdy, computerish name was too good to miss :)

  2. Love, love this cowl! Thank you so much for sharing :)
    Joanita @ Snickerdoodle Sunday

    1. Thank you. And thanks for hosting the party :)

  3. Love the effect with the wool and the colours are perfect

  4. Very pretty. I thought it was crochet at first.

    1. Thank you. It would be interesting to do something similar in crochet :)

  5. What a pretty stitch pattern, and fun name, too! ;^) I, too, thought it was crochet at first. Love it!

    1. Thank you very much! Glad you like the pattern and the name ;)

  6. Glorious! I WILL accomplish this! What is "BO4"?? Hoping a typo -should have been BBO4???

    1. Thanks.
      In row 6 "BO4" means Bind off 4 sts - any "normal" bind-off method. Hope this helps.