Add a fun embellishment to anything from a sweater to a tote with a simple knit bow! While you can find all kinds of patterns for knitted bows, this one is probably the easiest one out there — you don’t even need to know how to increase or decrease to knit this bow!
How to knit a bow
For this tutorial, I’m using Cloudborn Superwash Merino Bulky in Grey Heather. You can use any weight of yarn you’d like; just remember that if you use the same number of stitches that I did with a lighter yarn, your bow will be smaller. If you want a bow that’s larger, just increase the number of stitches per row, as well as the number of rows. If you want a bow that’s smaller, decrease the number of stitches and rows.
Use whichever needles match your yarn. (Check the label if you’re not sure.)
1. Cast on 8 stitches. I used a long-tail cast-on here.
2. Work in garter stitch, knitting each row.
3. Knit until you have a rectangle that measures about 4-3/4″ long.
4. Bind off, and weave in all the loose ends with a yarn needle.
5. Cut a piece of yarn about 7″ long. (If your tail ends were pretty long, you could even use one of those here!) Wrap the length of yarn around the center of the rectangle, then tie a knot to secure it. This will give the bow more shape so that you’re not depending on the center band to hold everything in place.
6. Now we’ll make the center band. Cast on 3 stitches.
7. Knit each row until your piece measures about 2″ long. Bind off, and leave a long tail that you can use for seaming later.
8. Wrap the band around the bow, centering it. You might find that you need to stretch the band a little to wrap it around, but that’s ideal since you want it to be nice and snug.
9. Grab your yarn needle and thread it with the yarn tail you left in step 7.
10. Sew the band’s short ends together, then weave in the loose ends. Now you have a bow!
You can also customize the center band, making it thicker or thinner depending on your preference. If you’re crunched for time, simply wrapping yarn (as I did below) around the center of the bow is also an option!
Ways to use your bow
Photo via Craftsy member TheatreofYarns
Place your bow at the center of the neckline in the front or back of the sweater, like the one on this Bow Tie Baby Sweater. You can even add one near the side at the hem. A bow doesn’t have to make a bold statement; just a small simple one will work.
Photo via Craftsy member theelimonster
This Alskling Hat uses a bow as its centerpiece. You can make this hat, or knit your own bow and just add it to your favorite hat pattern.
Photo via Craftsy member girlyknits
Knit up an I-cord or garter band and attach your bow to make a fun headband. The free Bow Head Headband pictured above uses the technique of wrapping a single strand of yarn around the bow instead of knitting a separate band.
Photo via Craftsy member AndiGaylor
A bow tie is the most classic way to use your knit bow. Whip up a couple for the classy dudes in your life. If you want to follow a pattern, you can use the free Tweedy Bow Tie pattern pictured above.