Scarves are of the funniest and most straightforward knitting projects. Anyone can do it, even if you have never sewed a button before. It might seem a bit hard at first. But, there are so many free knitting patterns and video tutorials online that you may even knit a baby blanket with a variegated yarn.
If you want to upgrade your look, the most inexpensive way is to craft your things. You can make your dress, rip your jeans and give them a makeover, or the simplest to sew scrunchie or even a DIY bandana. But a scarf knitting pattern is the easiest way to learn how to knit. After that, you can even start crocheting, which is quite different from knitting. Here’s an easy scarf knitting tutorial to learn how to knit a scarf and upgrade your look.
Table of Contents
What yarn and needles to use
There are no limitations in the type of yarn. You can use anything you like. If you’re a beginner knitter, though, you better choose a bulky yarn. You can handle better chunky weight yarns than lighter ones, as they are less fiddly, and you can knit them faster. Also, you should avoid using lightweight or super-fine yarns, especially if it’s your first knitting project. Knitting with super-thin yarns would feel like knitting with a sewing thread. It will take ages to finish your scarf.
Opt for at least a medium weight yarn if you don’t like larger ones. If you aren’t sure about the yarn weight, check out the below chart:
|Yarn weight||Also labelled||Needle sizes|
|0-Lace||Lace, Fingering||1.5-2.25 mm|
|1-Superfine||Fingering, sock, Baby||2.25-3.25 mm|
|2-Fine||Sprot, Baby||3.25-3.75 mm|
|3-Light||DK, Light Worsted||3.75-4.5 mm|
|4-Medium||Worsted, Aran, Afgan||4.5-5.5 mm|
|5-Bulky||Chunky, Craft, Rug||5.5-8 mm|
|6-Super Bulky||Bulky, Roving||8-12.75 mm|
As soon as you choose your yarn, check the chart and get the right needles. If that’s your first attempt at making a scarf and knitting in general, use bamboo or wooden needles. These two types of needles can grip the yarn better, and they aren’t so slippery.
How wide and long to make your scarf
Before we get deeper into the knitting pattern details, you’ll have to decide how wide and long you want your scarf to be. Actually, there isn’t a rule of thumb. It’s all about your preference.
However, the average width of knitted scarves is from 11-20cm wide. As for the length, it depends on the yardage of the yarn you have chosen and your height. Measure your height and subtract 30cm from it. This will allow you to wrap the scarf at least once around your neck. Generally, a scarf needs to be long enough to wrap at least once around the neck and have some length left over to tuck into a coat. But, if you aren’t sure about the length, knit a scarf about 1.50-1.80m long.
How to knit a scarf
Now that you know the different yarn weights and the right needle size for each yarn, are you ready to start knitting an easy scarf? Sit somewhere comfortable, and let’s knit your first scarf!
- Three balls of yarn
- A pair of knitting needles
- Tapestry needle or crochet hook
Steps to follow:
1. Casting on stitches
You need to cast on 16 stitches for your scarf knitting pattern. Suppose you are knitting with worsted weight yarn and 8 – 10 mm needles, cast on 30-40 stitches. The easiest way to cast on is the single cast on method.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cast on stitches:
- Make a slip knot on one needle. Make a loop with the yarn and bring the strand behind the loop, like dividing the loop in half. Hold the strand there and pull it out from the loop. You’ve just made your first stitch.
- Get a needle and put it into the slipknot. Grab the two strands and pull them to tighten the slipknot around the needle.
- Hold the needle with your right hand and hold the knot to stop it from rolling around.
- Using the four fingers of your left hand, grab the strand (the one that is not attached to the ball of yarn), take your thumb behind it, and then up. It should look like making a loop around your thumb.
- Get the needle and touch the front of your thumb and go into the loop.
- Now, wrap the strand, which is attached to the ball, around the needle.
- Take the loop and bring it over the needle.
- Then, take the strand and pull it down.
That’s how to cast on stitches. Follow the same procedure.
2. Start knitting
Once your stitches are ready, it’s time for some real knitting. Here’s the garter stitch pattern:
- Insert the needle from left to right and wrap the yarn around the needle anti-clockwise.
- Pull the yarn through and slip the first stitch of the needles. Keep doing the basic knit stitch until all of the stitches are on your right needle. Now, one row is over.
- Once you have knitted the first row, continue knitting in garter stitch back and forth, following the same process until you reach the desirable scarf length.
That was the garter stitch scarf pattern, the basic knitting technique. There are also the purl stitch, the reversible, the stockinette, the rib stitch pattern, beaded rib pattern and so forth. There are so many knitting patterns that you might get a bit confused. Stick to the basic knit stitch if you’re a novice knitter.
How to join a new yarn
The most frequent problem you may encounter while knitting is to run out of yarn. Don’t worry, though. You can join a new ball of yarn and keep knitting. Here’s what you need to do:
- Leave your needles down and get the new yarn.
- Pick the end of the two threads (the one of the new ball and the other you used to knit) with your fingertips and tease them out.
- Wet them either with a little split or plain water and stack them one over the other.
- Hold the strands between your palms and rub them together really fast. The two ends will be felted together by friction.
- After that, if the joint is still wet, squeeze the excess moisture by using a paper towel. Be sure, though, that they’re fully dried before you keep on knitting.
- You can now knit with your new skein. The join will be invisible when you finish your scarf.
How to finish knitting a scarf
When you reach the desired length, you need to bind off the stitches somehow; otherwise, they will unknot.
It’s really easy. This is how to do it:
- First, knit two stitches.
- Next, lift the second stitch over the first one and drop it off the end of the needle. Now, you should be left with just one stitch on the right needle.
- Knit another stitch. You need to have two stitches on the right needle again.
- Lift the second stitch again over the first stitch and drop it off the end of the needle.
- Repeat the same process until you bind off all stitches.
How to add fringe to a scarf
A knitted scarf without fringes it’s just not a scarf. It’s pretty easy to do it:
- Cut strands of yarn. Decide how long you want the fringes to be and cut the double-length.
- Then, fold each one in half and tie them to the last row of stitches using a cow hitch knot.
- With a crochet hook or a tapestry needle, push the strands through the loops.
- Cut the fringes to the same length with scissors.
And voila!!! Your first scarf is ready!
Frequent knitting mistakes and how to avoid them
Mistakes are for humans. Here are some of them that most people do, and you should know about:
- Stop knitting in the middle of a row. Don’t do that because you won’t remember which direction you were going. But if this happens, you can tell the direction you were following by the yarn connected to the ball. It should be hanging from the last stitch you were working on the right needle.
- Too tight stitches. If your stitches are too tight, you can’t move them up the needle. Push your stitches to the widest part of the needle every time you make a new one.
- Wider knitting at the edges. This may happen if you split a stitch during knitting. The only thing you can do is to unknit up to the stitch you missed and knit again.
- Drop a stitch. A frequent mistake. If you have just dropped a stitch, insert the tip of the left-hand needle into the dropped stitch from the front. But if it has unravelled, you need to re-knit the strand again.
Could you ever imagine that making a scarf would be so easy? There might be some words, like stockinette, long-tail cast, that might sound like Greek to you. However, with our free knitting pattern tutorial, you have nothing to worry about. All you need is your favourite balls of yarn, needles and 4-6 free hours to finish your scarf—nothing more, nothing less.