September 4, 2021

How to Needle Knit a Cozy Ripple Twist Pillow

Inside: Written pattern for the needle knit, cozy Ripple Twist Pillow with chart and tutorial videos for both right and left handed knitters. Includes videos for seaming with the mattress stitch and adding a zipper.

The Ripple Twist Pillow creates a unique basketweave pattern using twisted stitches.  These twisted stitches are like mini cables that add a little flair to a plain weave.

This pattern makes a zippered cover for a small, travel size pillow. The ripple twist stitch pattern covers only the front of the pillow and it has a smooth stockinette back.

I designed the cover as one piece that is seamed on the sides and has a zipper sewn in close it up. If you’re nervous about seaming and sewing in the zipper try watching my tutorial videos below. I walk you through all the steps so you can sew with confidence.

You could seam the entire pillow closed, but I like the added zipper so I can remove the cover for washing.

needle knit cozy ripple twist pillow

This pattern is written specifically for a 14″ x 20″ pillow form. If you want to change the size just remember that the stitch pattern is a multiple of 4 +4. I recommend casting on fewer stitches than you need to reach the full 20″ width of the pillow. I knit mine to 18.5″ so it has to stretch just a bit to cover the pillow. This keeps the cover from being too loose and sagging.

If there is a + sign after the multiple for a stitch pattern that means there is an extra step to figure out your cast on. For example, if a stitch pattern tells you to cast on a multiple of 6+1. That means, first, you need to find a multiple of 6 that will give you the correct size project. If your gauge gives you 5 sts/in and you want about a 7″ washcloth you need the closest multiple of 6: 36 stitches. Then you need to ADD 1 more stitch to that, so your actual cast on would be 37 stitches for the project.

Needle Knit Ripple Twist Pillow

By Kristen Mangus

A downloadable PDF of this pattern is available in my Etsy store and from Ravelry at the links below:


(Materials list may contain affiliate links to products I used to make this project. Using these links cost you nothing, but helps support GKK.) 

Medium (#4) worsted weight yarn
Caron Simply Soft Tweeds in Gray Heather used in sample. 2 balls. 

US 7 (4.5 mm) needles
Knitters Pride Karbonz US 7 24” circular needle used in sample.

Zipper: 20-22 in (50-55 cm) zipper (Coats & Clark Invisible zipper in color 23A Nugrey used in sample.) 

Pillow form: 14” x 20” (36 cm x 51 cm)  (Mainstays Travel Pillow used in sample.)

Tapestry needle

Sewing needle

Sewing thread to match yarn and zipper

Straight pins (optional)

ripple twist pillow supplies


LT = Left Twist (see notes below)
RT = Right Twist (see notes below)
K = Knit
P = Purl
Rep = Repeat
RS = Right side
St(s) = Stitch(es)
WS = Wrong side

New to knitting? I’ve got a How to Knit Beginner Video Series to teach you ALL the basics.


25 sts x 27 rows in 4” in ripple twist stitch pattern21 sts x 27 rows in 4” in stockinette



18.5” x 25.75” (47 x 65.5 cm) finished pillow cover to fit over 20” x 14” (51 x 35.5 cm) pillow form


Instructions are for a 14” x 20” travel pillow form however you can adapt this pattern for other sizes. The ripple twist stitch pattern will work with a multiple of 4+4 stitches if you want to change the pillow size. The front of the pillow has the stitch pattern for display on a bed or sofa while the back of the pillow uses stockinette for a smooth side to lay your head on. 

There is ease in this pattern so the pillow cover is knit smaller than the finished pillow to allow for stretch and a closer fit. 

Prep fiberfill pillow form by massaging it to pull some of the filling towards the corners before inserting into knit pillowcase.  This will help shape the corners and stand up better with your knit cover. 

Left Twist: Skip one stitch and knit second stitch in the back loop, then knit the skipped stitch. Slip both stitches from needle together.

Right Twist: Skip one stitch and knit second stitch, then knit the skipped stitch. Slip both stitches from needle together.

needle knit cozy ripple twist pillow progress pic


Patterned Side A (See Chart below.)

Cast on 112 sts.

Row 1 (RS): P1. *P2. LT. Rep from * to last 3 sts. P3.

Row 2: K3. *P2. K2. Rep from * to last st. K1.

Row 3: K1. *K2. RT. Rep from * to last 3 sts. K3.

Row 4: P3. *K2. P2. Rep from * to last st. P1.

Row 5: P1. *LT. P2. Rep from * to last 3 sts. LT. P1.

Row 6: K1. P2. *K2. P2. Rep from * to last st. K1.

Row 7: K1. *RT. K2. Rep from * to last 3 sts. RT. K1.

Row 8: K3. *P2. K2. Rep from * to last st. K1.

Repeat rows 1-8 until 12.5” ending on a WS Row 4 or 8. [10 pattern rep used in sample]. This will cover one side of the pillow. 

Stockinette Side B

Row 9: Knit all sts.

Row 10: Purl all sts. 

Repeat Rows 9-10 for stockinette until piece measures 14”

Row 11: K1. *K2tog. Knit 16. Repeat from * until 3 sts rem. K2tog. K1. (105 sts) 

Row 12: Purl all sts. 

Row 13: K1. *K2tog. Knit 15. Repeat from * until 2 sts rem. K2tog. (98 sts) 

Row 14: Purl all sts. 

Repeat Rows 9-10 twice more. 

Row 15: K1. K2tog. Knit 13.  *K2tog. Knit 14. Repeat from * three times. K2tog. Knit 13. until 3 sts K2tog. K1.  (91 sts) 

Row 16: Purl all sts. 

Row 17: K1. K2tog. Knit 11.  *K2tog. Knit 13. Repeat from * three times. K2tog. Knit 12. until 3 sts K2tog. K1.  (84 sts) 

Row 18: Purl all sts. 

Repeat Rows 9-10 until piece measures 25.75”. Alternatively, wrap knitting around pillow form to make sure it is long enough. Adjust length if needed. 

Bind off in pattern.

how to seam using mattress stitch

Fold in half with WS pattern & WS stockinette sides together and sew short edges together as follows:

  • Starting ¼” from cast on and bind off edges, sew along short side using the mattress stitch (see video). 
  • Repeat on other short side.
  • Weave in tails. 

NOTE: The side with the stitch pattern is shorter than the stockinette side. This makes the top of the pillow a bit flatter to give a softer edge.  Perfect for giving a karate chop in the middle for a designer look. (see photo)

how to add a zipper to knits

Sew in an invisible 20-22” zipper with two strands of nylon sewing thread & needle (see video). 

Insert pillow form and zip up pillow case. 


Ripple Twist Knitting Chart

The area in red shows one full repeat of the stitch pattern.

ripple twist needle knit chart


needle knit cozy ripple twist pillow pin image

Video Tutorials

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The following tutorial videos teach you everything you need to needle knit this cozy Ripple Twist Pillow including right and left handed videos demonstrating the ripple twist stitch pattern, how to seam up the sides and how to sew the zipper in place.

Ripple Twist Stitch Pattern (Right handed)

Ripple Twist Stitch Pattern (Left handed)

How to Seam with the Mattress Stitch

How to Add a Zipper to Your Knits

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About Kristen Mangus
Kristen is a multi-talented entrepreneur with a heart as big as Texas. She is the owner of GoodKnit Kisses whose mission is to inspire, encourage and empower people through education and design. She’s built a large and loyal online community of followers by sharing her personal passion for loom knitting, needle knitting, crochet and all things creative through YouTube tutorials, Facebook live broadcasts, blogs and pattern design. Her vision is to leave an inspired crafting world for future generations that continues to teach and reach others. She and her husband, John, have three amazing kids.

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