Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Knit a Scarf

Extreme Pastels Scarf pattern below

Also check out my other scarf patterns.  Video tutorials on each scarf.

Free Patterns:
 Flutter Scarf (a potato chip scarf) 
Amazing Curly Scarf (a spiral/corkscrew scarf)
Lacy Ruffle Scarf 

Available for Purchase:
Quite Contrary Scarf

If you are new to knitting, you may be wondering how to knit a scarf.  Scarves are good beginner projects, because you generally don't need to worry about gauge - something which often confuses newbies.  Scarves can be knit as long as you want, as wide as you want, as skinny as you want.  You can use any yarn you like, any needle size, and any stitch pattern.  It can be simple, such as garter stitch, or something more complicated like lace.

Even though a scarf is a simple project, all of the options can be overwhelming.  If you aren't ready to go it alone, there are more scarf patterns available on the web than you can shake a knitting needle at.  If you would like to design your own, here are a few steps to get you started.

Find a stitch pattern you like.  There are many web sites with stitch patterns if you don't own any stitch pattern books.  The Weekly Stitch has a new stitch pattern posted each week, most with a video demonstration of the stitch.  

Choose your yarn and needles.  If you aren't sure of which needle to use for you yarn, check the ball band and start with the recommend size.  While you don't have to swatch first, you certainly can if you like; you can decide from there if you like how the fabric looks, and if you'd like to make a denser fabric then try a needle size smaller than the one recommended.  If you'd like something looser and airy, shoot for a larger needle size.    Also, a swatch can tell you how wide your scarf will be.  Myself, I just guesstimate and don't worry about it.  Obviously, what type of yarn and needle size you use will affect the width.  Finer yarn will require more stitches, and heavier weight yarn will require less. 

Once you have your yarn, needles and stitch pattern you are ready to cast on.

 There are many cast ons - use which ever cast on you like.  Long tail cast on is one of the most common ones.  Backward Loop is also common, or you can even do a knitted cast on.

Begin knitting your scarf; keep going until it is as long as you want it to be.  Now you can cast off, or bind off.  Use any bind off you like.  The standard knit bind off will do fine, but of course there are many different bind offs.  If you like to purl, you can try the standard purl bind off, or if you crochet perhaps the single crochet bind off will feel most comfortable for you.

If you have knit your scarf with wool or another animal fiber, you may want to block it before wearing it. Blocking is not required, but can open up your stitches and give the scarf a more finished look.  You can always add fringe to your scarf if you like!  Now you are ready to wear your new scarf!

Scarves are a good way to use up left over yarns; you can use several strands at once, or just knit with one until you run out and then begin with another.  The scarf above was knit with four strands of yarn on large needles.  I wanted to use up some scrap yarn, as well as get it done fast.

I call it the Extreme Pastels Scarf.  I used Baby's First by Lion Brand on size 50 needles.  No, that is not a typo - I said size 50.  Most knitters probably don't have this size needles, and the only reason I do is because a couple of years ago I knit a blanket which used several thick yarns at once - it was kind of like a knitted Snuggie.  The top was folded over and sewn so that there was an opening on each side for your arms.  I didn't care for the finished item, and don't even use it now.  But, since I have the needles, I thought I would put them to good use and make this scarf.  If you would like to make this wacky, extreme scarf, here's how.

You will need:
Approximately 45-50 yards each of Baby's First yarn from Lion Brand in colors Fairy Tale, Splish Splash, Honey Bee, and Sea Sprite (or the colors of your choice)
US size 50 needles 

You will work with all four strands of yarn at the same time for the whole scarf

To make the bobble on Row 42: Knit, Purl, Knit into the next stitch.  Turn, purl three stitches.  Turn, knit three stitches.  Now, pass the first stitch over the second and third, and now pass the second stitch over the third.  Basically, what you have done is made 3 stitches out of one, and then after purling/knitting them, decreased back down to 1.  

Extreme Pastels Scarf

Cast on 10 stitches
Knit 41 rows in garter stitch

Row 42: Knit 5 stitches, make a bobble, knit 4 stitches

Row 43: Knit

Bind off

I wear the scarf with the top folded down, like a collar.  This thing is totally not my style, but I like it!

If you would like to knit and sell this scarf, I ask that you please give me credit.  If you would like to share the pattern on your blog, I ask that you do so by linking back to me instead of just copy/pasting the pattern.  If you would like to print the pattern to share, please make sure to give me credit on the printout. 

Here is a short video on making a scarf, and I also knit the Extreme Pastels Scarf also.  Happy Scarf Knitting!

Many people have asked about how to knit the blue Ripple Stitch Scarf in this video.  I have no idea.  I knit this years ago when I first learned to knit.   I did not write down the pattern.  I just knit along to my head.  There is no written pattern for this.  I don't remember exactly how I did it.  Looking at the scarf in the video I think I did a garter stitch border with yarn overs before the ripple stitch. That is all I know.  I do not have it any longer to look at and try to figure out what I did.  A video for the stitch I used in that scarf is HERE.  You can use it to make up your own scarf pattern, it is a very easy stitch. 

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