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17 Free Balaclava Knitting Patterns to Keep Warm This Winter

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Whether you love spending time outside in the winter or just want to stay warm and cozy, knit balaclavas are the best way to keep your head and face toasty! They come in many styles – tight-fitting for sports, loose and stylish for wearing around town, or anything in between! Find your next balaclava knitting pattern in this collection of 17 free balaclava knitting patterns for beginner and intermediate knitters.

photo collage of three adults and one child wearing knit balaclavas, with text overlay that reads,

Our Favorite Balaclava Knitting Patterns

Balaclavas are one of the best things to knit during the winter months. They’re relatively quick to make and super useful. Make one for yourself or your family’s winter gear – or make a bunch to sell at your next craft fair.

What is a balaclava?

A balaclava is a face covering that slips over the head, protecting it from the wind and cold. Balaclavas have openings in the front – sometimes just large enough for the eyes and sometimes wide enough for the whole face.

They can be tight-fitting or roomy, depending on the pattern you choose. And while often knit from wool, balaclavas can also be knit with other yarns.

Are balaclavas easy to knit?

Balaclavas make a good project for comfortable beginners or intermediate knitters. Besides basic stitches, casting on, and binding off, balaclavas use a few other techniques like knitting in the round and simple seaming. They’re a relatively easy project that allows beginners to practice fundamental skills while creating something really cool. 

Knitting Supplies You’ll Need

To knit a balaclava, you’ll need:

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles (usually circular needles or double-pointed needles)
  • Other notions (scissors, yarn needle, stitch markers, etc.)

What yarn is best for knitting balaclavas? 

Since you wear balaclavas next to your face, choose a super soft, non-scratchy yarn. Superwash wool yarn is a great option because it’s warm and machine-washable. For something different, try alpaca wool – it’s especially warm and soft. 

Some of our favorite yarns for balaclava knitting include Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash, Swish Worsted, and Garnstudio DROPS Air.

In the list below, we’ve linked to the suggested yarns for each pattern. Feel free to switch them out – just be sure to check your gauge before starting on your pattern.

Knitting Techniques to Know

Not sure if you’re ready to knit a balaclava? Here are some techniques to know before getting started:

17 Free Balaclava Knitting Patterns

Enjoy these fun and free knit balaclava patterns!

Tips for Successful Balaclava Knitting

Choose the right pattern for your skill level.

This list is full of different types of patterns for a variety of skill levels. If the first pattern you love doesn’t look like a good fit, there are plenty of other options! 

And, of course, it’s always a good idea to read through the pattern and make sure you understand all of the instructions before committing to one.

Measure for proper fit.

Many balaclava patterns come in multiple sizes. Check the finished measurements against your own for the best. Tip: Balaclavas are usually knit with a slight negative ease.

Make a gauge swatch.

We totally understand that anxious-excited feeling of just wanting to jump into a project! However, it’s worth the work and extra time to make a gauge swatch first, especially for a wearable such as a balaclava. If your gauge is too small or large, adjust your needle size accordingly. It’ll be worth it to have a balaclava that fits perfectly.

More Knitting Patterns

If you love to knit as much as I do, you may be interested in the following knitting articles.

What’s Next?

Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards so that you can come back to it later.

Leave a comment: We love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!

Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker_. We love to see what you make!

photo collage of three adults and one child wearing knit balaclavas, with text overlay that reads,

Have questions? Join the Facebook Group!

We hope this article was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. We created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each other out.