Leap Year

Designed especially for those crazy variegated skeins that we all love and buy and then don’t know what to do with! The stitch pattern consists of floats on the right side that highlight the color shifts. The wrong side is also attractive – always a good quality in a double-wrapped cowl.

For results similar to the sample shown, short runs of color are best. Long color runs or a solid will give a different appearance.

This is an easy pattern to modify for a different size or different gauge.

Finished measurements: 134.5 cm in circumference and 21.5 cm tall, easily modified

Gauge: 13 stitches and 20 rounds to 10 cm of stockinette stitch; 12 stitches and 36 rounds to 10 cm of Vandyke Swag stitch

Note: Though conversions to the metric system have been made on this page for your convenience, the pattern itself uses American measurements.


  • Knitting pattern for fun, variegated yarn-friendly cowl
  • Suitable for advanced beginners

Materials you need at home:

  • Approximately 315 m of bulky weight yarn. Sample was knit in Miss Babs K2 and Malabrigo Chunky (both 100% merino). You will need approximately 220 m of the variegated colorway (K2) and 95 m of the solid (Malabrigo)
  • 6.5 mm/US 10 circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge (an 80 cm cable works well)
  • Needle one size larger for binding off
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
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Laura Aylor

If ‘knitting designer’ had been one of the job choices for those aptitude tests they give you in high school, I wouldn’t have spent so many years trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. My best subject in high school was math; my best classes in college were logic, drawing, and a commercial art class. After careers in computer programming/analysis and child-rearing, knit design snuck up on me, but I think it’s the perfect use of my odd skill set! I love every step of the process, from figuring out how to actually make what I’ve envisioned to putting the finishing touches on a pattern, not to mention all the knitting that comes in between!

I also love reading and hiking and spending time on Brier Island in Nova Scotia every summer.

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