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Balaclava Pattern {Bulky Knit}


This balaclava pattern is an excellent project for anyone who is braving the cold weather and visiting a ski resort!

Inspired by the balaclavas seen on the runway this season from Calvin Klein and others, I wanted to make a cozy balaclava.

This balaclava is made from a super bulky yarn which will certainly keep you toasty on colder days.

Scroll down for the free pattern or you can purchase a printer-friendly ad-free PDF here.


An Intermediate-Level Balaclava Knitting Pattern

This is an intermediate knitting pattern for those of you who are more advanced than a beginner, and the techniques you will need to know are knit, purl, k2tog, and knitting in the round.

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Using mainly knit and purl stitches, it will also introduce you to decreasing and shaping.

If you have never knit in the round before you can watch my video tutorial here. – How to join knitting in the round with circular knitting needles

Balaclava knitting pattern free

The Yarn I Used For This Balaclava Mask Pattern

I made the balaclava ski mask using Drops Eskimo Print in 27 – Rust print and knit on size 8mm (US 11) 16″ circular needles.

I knit this balaclava on circular needles, so there was no seaming involved, just a few loose ends to sew in at the end.

This was knit up quite quickly and used 3 skeins of yarn.

Any bulky weight yarn 05 will be okay to use for this pattern.

knitted balaclava in multicoloured yarn


back view of knitted balaclava

Balaclavas In Style

While balaclavas are better known for being necessary for when you go skiing, they saw a trend happening this fall, with many of them appearing on the runway and on celebrities. 

Made in various colors, with poms and tassels, they appeared to be colorful accessories for some of the fashion big names. 

If you are considering the trend, there are no rules, anything goes!

The designer balaclavas are, however, quite steep in price, starting from $290 and up – so making your own seems like a good option.

Making a balaclava face mask for the colder weather is not only now stylish but practical too, protecting your face from the elements. 

Image Source

Knit Hat Patterns

If you would like to make more knitted items/hats for women, please take a look at the other patterns in the women’s knitting pattern library.

There are also hat patterns for women, men, babies, and kids in the hat pattern library. – Hat Patterns

You may also like these free patterns for adult-sized hats:

front view of balaclava hat

Balaclava Pattern

Purchase the inexpensive ad-free, PDF printable pattern in my shop here.


The balaclava knits up quickly in super bulky yarn, and the simple design makes for a relaxing and enjoyable knit.

I used a wool fiber (the Drops Eskimo) but you could substitute with other yarns of the same weight to make this snug balaclava.

This is a cozy knit, quick project for the winter season you can wear, gift or donate.

Copyright Notes

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C’s please read my Terms of Use.

Skill Level – Intermediate

Size –

  • Adult Woman
  • Balaclava measures – H – 16.5″ / W – 10.5″

Gauge – 4 x 4 inches/10 x 10 cm = 12 sts / 16 rows in stocking stitch.

The Supplies You Need…




Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK) List

  • Approx = Approximately
  • Beg = Begin(ning)
  • CO = Cast on
  • Cont = Continue(ing)
  • Dec = Decline
  • K = Knit
  • K2tog = Knit next 2 stitches together
  • P = Purl
  • PM = Place marker
  • Rem = Remaining
  • Rep = Repeat
  • Rnd(s) = Round(s)
  • St(s) = Stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

  • CO 60 sts – Join in the round – being careful not to twist the sts, you can pm here at the start of the round.
  • Knit to the end of the round.
  • K2, P2 rib every round for 1.5 inches.
  • Place 2 markers – 1 at the beg of the round and the other after 30sts – on the other side.
  • Cont to K every round until piece measures – 3 inches.
  • Dec 1 st  – before the first marker and after the second marker (K2tog). (58 sts)
  • Rep the dec when the piece measures 6 inches. (56 sts)
  • When piece measures 8 inches cont as follows – K4, *K2, P2* rib on the next 20sts, K4, K the rem sts in the round.
  • When the piece measures 9.5 inches cast off the 20 sts in rib and cast on 20 sts over the cast-off sts on the next round.
  • *From here – please measure from the 20 sts you just cast on*
  • K4, *K2, P2* rib on the next 20 sts, K4, K the rem sts in the round.
  • When the piece measures 1 inch continue to knit every st in the round.
  • Place markers every 8 sts (56sts)
  • When the piece measures 5.5 inches dec 1 st (K2tog) to the right of each marker.
  • Knit to the end of the round
  • Dec 1 st (K2tog) to the right of each marker.
  • Knit to the end of the round.
  • K1, K2tog – rep to end of the round.
  • Knit to the end of the round.
  • K2tog – rep to the end of the round.
  • Cut a length of yarn and thread through the rem sts, pull tight, and secure.
  • Weave in any loose ends.

I love seeing your finished projects! 

If you enjoyed making the balaclava, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme. 

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the handylittleme Facebook page and share a photo. 

I’d love to see your work!

More Patterns You May Be Interested In…

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  1. I did it! I am a beginning knitter and can’t believe I was able to do this. It is easy and took me longer than an experienced knitter but that was expected. I am so thrilled and can’t wait to use it! Thank you for posting this, all I really wanted to make myself was a balaclava and this pattern was a find! Your pattern is clear and simple and very cool that I only needed the circular needles. I’m looking forward to knitting one of your other patterns…

    1. Hello Erika, I am so happy that you knit a balaclava from this pattern and that it was easy 🙂 I hope you take a look at some of the other patterns and find something you want to make in the future. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and happy knitting! 🙂

  2. Hi,
    I want to make this for walking the dog this cold February week! My question is whether the opening is loose enough to lower under your chin if you get too warm? Also, the neck looks really loose in your photo. Could I make it a little tighter without affecting the rest of the balaclava? How many stitches would you recommend for the neck?
    Looking forward to knitting this weekend..

    1. Hello Debra,
      The balaclava can be pulled down so that your mouth is free to talk etc but not so loose that you can hook it underneath your chin, you could try that out.
      The neck could be made tighter, you could try casting on 40 or 50 sts but then will have to adjust the other numbers in the pattern as you work.
      Let me know how it goes!

  3. Hello! This pattern is beautiful and exactly what I was looking for. I bought some stunning bulky wool and I’ve knit up three different gauge swatches and I’m having a hard time meeting your gauge. I suspect it’s because of the difference between super bulky and bulky wool. The fewest stitches I seem to be able to get in 4 inches is 13, and that’s with size 13 needles. I tried going up in needle size again, but it’s getting to the point where the holes between the stitches are so big that the balaclava won’t be warm! Do you have any tips for conversion?

    1. Hello Jil,
      Did you try with the 8mm (US 11) needles?
      The yarn I used is bulky and had a tight-knit fabric on the 8mm (US 11) needles.
      If you do use super bulky and size 9mm (US 13) needles – it will be larger but shouldn’t have holes in the knitted fabric.
      You can email me if you need more help – the contact form is in the main menu.