How to Knit a Scarf

Do you want to learn how to knit a scarf? Don’t let that yarn size intimidate you. Most beginners feel inadequate to handle some knitting projects but later find out that they can execute numerous knitting techniques with the right guidelines.

You can also use clothing labels and tags to enhance your knitted garments. Find out what you need for the scarf project, and then grab your needles and yarn to start knitting. If you want to learn more about scarf knitting, read on. 

Patterns; How to Knit a Scarf Pattern

Knitting patterns make learning how to knit easy for novice knitters and challenge the creativity of experts. They help you decide on the stitches you will use (like Garter, Stockinette, or Seed), yarn size, and needles. You also get to learn how long it may take you to complete a knitting project.

You can plan and acquire all the resources you need. So, if you want to work on a knitting gift for a friend, check out patterns for exceptional work and timely delivery. Here are some scarf patterns you may want to try out

    1. Big Beginner Knit Shawl Scarf

Big beginner knit shawl scarf
Image source: Fave Crafts

This pattern offers a straightforward guide on how to knit a basic scarf. It uses a chunky yarn which makes it easy for beginners to manipulate the thread to knit comfortably. It also takes a short time to complete; if you are learning how to start knitting, you won’t feel overwhelmed. 

To knit this scarf, you need a 35mm US needle and two strands of Worsted yarn. Another great thing about this pattern is that it only constitutes one stitch; Garter. Here are some great woven labels and care labels you can use on this scarf.

You can also check out this video to learn how to make a scarf faster as a beginner. 

      2. Cable Knit Scarf and Hat

Cable knit scarf
Image source: Fave Crafts

Intermediate knitters who like cables would try this out any day. The scarf pattern also comes with a guide on how to knit a hat that complements the set. You can either use plain colors or blend them accordingly to match each other.

The braided cable pattern comes out neat and beautiful. If you are looking for a guide with detailed step-by-step instructions, this guide is ideal for you. You will get all the knitting requirements and explanations here

      3. Chunky Reversible Cable Scarf

Knitting pattern for chunky reversible cable scarf
Image source: Folksy

This pattern offers you another chunky scarf guide that will exhibit your yarn. It also highlights the bulk of your yarn which makes it cozier. So, if you are starting you want to create a bulky scarf that will complement your outfit and fashion taste, you can try this.

The great thing about this pattern is that you get a reversible scarf. You don’t have to be concerned about the wrong side showing out. Its edges are sturdy, giving it shape to sit on your shoulders and front.

      4. Saroyan Scarf

Saroyan scarf pattern
Image source: Ravelry

This pattern was inspired by Saroyan, an actor on the Bones show. It’s epic and makes an elegant statement in your professional wardrobe. You can grab it any day to accessorize your official outfit; don’t let cold weather frustrate you.

While it’s easy to start this scarf, the edges may be challenging because you have to knit lace leaves. This combo makes it great for beginners who want to stretch their skills and intermediate knitters.

      5. Heart Cable Scarf Free Knitting Pattern

Heart cable scarf knit pattern
Image source: Pinterest

Are you an intermediate knitter looking for the ideal scarf pattern to gift your loved one? The Heart Cable Scarf pattern offers you a gorgeous option that fills the air with a heartfelt message. You can’t go wrong with this!

The project uses large needles and super chunky yarn and therefore knits up fast. It looks impressive and has a cute texture of intertwining Celtic hearts. You can get this exclusive scarf pattern at $0 here

      6. Rippenschal Scarf

How to knit a scarf
Image source: Ravelry

This scarf pattern gives you a neat and stunning piece.  The scarf is versatile and, therefore, you can use any yarn of any length. It highly adapts to both adult male and female needs. You can also customize it to fit kids. 

You can knit this scarf in 40 or 60 sts, depending on your preferences. The good thing is that you can download it for free. So, if you are an advanced knitter and want to save a few bucks, here is the next project for you. 

Exploring different scarf knitting patterns will help you improve your skills as you prepare for winter. You can view more stunning beginner and advanced scarf patterns to decide what you will be knitting next. 

What Do I Need to Knit a Scarf?

Knitting supplies
Image source: Jen Geigley Knits

    1. Knitting Supplies
      • Needles

When choosing a knitting needle, consider the comfort each material offers you as you knit. You can either choose bamboo, metal, carbon fiber, or plastic. Also, ensure that you pick the right needle size to avoid messing up your scarf project.

      • Yarn

Different yarns offer distinct texture and stretching ability so, when buying yarn, consider these two factors. If you are making a bulky scarf, you can only get great results when using chunky yarn. Ensure you follow the tutorial’s guidelines to avoid a mismatch of your yarn and the required one.

Other essential tools you will need include scissors, a tapestry needle, tape measure, knitting gauge tool, and stitch markers. If you plan to add fringes to your scarf, get a crochet hook.

      2. Basic Skills

      • Casting On

Casting on helps you add stitches that are independent of the existing ones. It is crucial when starting or continuing a project. If you are knitting for the first time, you can learn how to cast on knitting before you begin making a scarf. 

      • Knitting

You can start with simple stitches such as the Knit, Garter, Stockinette, Linen, or Purl Ridge. Getting familiar with a stitch will help you work your scarf through smoothly. No unraveling to start again!

      • Binding Off

After making the scarf and getting to the last row, what next? Binding off is the next thing you need to do to complete your project. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard this before; you can access an easy-to-follow guide on how to cast off knitting.

If you are an absolute beginner, start by learning simple techniques. For instance, you can practice cast-on methods such as single and long-tail cast ons. You can also explore the Standard bind off and Stretchy cast off before practicing advanced methods like the I-Cord.

      3. Time

The period you have to complete a knitting project is vital because it either restricts or allows you to explore your creativity. That’s why experts recommend that novice knitters start with simple and small or medium-sized projects. 

When planning to knit a scarf, give yourself enough time to take breaks. You can also make mistakes, so plan for it because you may have to unravel several rows or start again. Intermediate and advanced knitters should consider the difficulty level of the project, so they don’t overstretch and strain themselves. 

Scarf knitting requirement Things to consider

Knitting supplies

    • Needle (size and type)
    • Yarn (material and size)

Basic skills

    • Casting on
    • Knitting
    • Binding off


    • The size and how complex the project is.

How to Hand Knit a Scarf for Beginners

How to knit a scarf for beginners
Image source: Etsy

Feeling excited to start your scarf project? Below is a step-by-step guide on how to knit a scarf for absolute beginners. 

How to Start Knitting a Scarf

Step 1. Slip Knot

    • Measure the dangling yarn depending on the number of stitches you will make. For example, if the stitches are 10, leave a foot for the loose end.
    • Hold this spot foot from the (end), create a loop, and insert the working yarn here to make a slip knot.
    • Place the slip knot on the needle and pull the yarn to tighten it.

Complete this step by holding the working needle in your left hand.

Step 2. Long-Tail Cast On

    • Pick your dangling end, wrap the thumb, pass the loose end through your palm, and lay it opposite you.
    • Pick yarn from the ball, wrap the index finger, pass it through your palm, and lay it adjacent to you.
    • Hold the two strands of yarn on your palm with the midland ring fingers to avoid slipping.
    • Insert the needle below the loop on your thumb and scoop the wrap on your pointer finger.
    • Bring the scooped yarn through the loop on the thumb. Then slide your thumb from the ring to get a stitch. Finally, you can pull the yarn to fasten the stitch.

Step 3. Repeat step two until you get the number of stitches you want.

Knitting; Using Garter Stitch

Most people confuse the Knit and Garter stitches since they relate. The distinction is that the Knit stitch is independent, but when you repeat knitting the knit stitch, it forms a Garter stitch pattern. 

Here is how to begin knitting a scarf using the Knit technique to make a Garter stitch pattern

Step 1. Knit

    • Start by holding the needle with cast-on stitches on your left hand and the empty one on the right.
    • Insert the right needle in your first stitch in a front-under and up-back direction.

Knitting first stitch
Image source: Knitfarious

    • Wrap the yarn on the right needle’s tip in an anti-clockwise direction.
    • Slide the wrap using the right needle down and out through the initial stitch to create a new stitch on it.
    • Slip the original stitch from the left needle to remain with a new stitch on the right.

Step 2. Garter Stitch

That’s how you execute a knit stitch. Repeat step one to get a Garter stitch pattern.

How to Finish Knitting a Scarf

If you think you are in the last row, stop and take your tape measure to ensure it’s the right size. Start by wrapping the tape measure around your neck to the length you desire. If you intend to tie, tuck, or wrap, add more rows.

Step 1. Binding Off

    • When you get to the last row, create an edge by casting off stitches until you are left with one on the right needle. 
    • Cut the yarn around 15 cm from the needle and insert the end in the last stitch.
    • Slide the right needle from the stitch, then pull the dangling end to make a knot.

Step 2. Weave in Ends

Start by weaving in this last loose end, then check for others if you interchanged colors for your work to stay intact. When you complete this step, you can wear your scarf to stay warm. 

How to Finger Knit a Scarf for Beginners

Finger knit scarf
Image source: Momtastic

If you’ve had your share of knitting challenges like unraveling repeatedly and tightening the stitches, learning how to finger knit can be a great solution. For knitters who like binge-watching as they knit, this straightforward technique will do fine.

Here is how to finger knit a simple scarf with loop yarn

Before you start making the scarf get your supplies ready; two skeins of loop yarn and sharp scissors.

Step 1. Pull out one end of the yarn and count 12 to 16 loops. You can adjust the number of loops depending on the width of the scarf you intend to finger knit. 

Step 2. First Row

    • Pick the 17th loop on the ball’s side and pull it via the 16th loop to make the first stitch.
    • Pick the 18th loop on the working yarn and pull it through the 15th loop.
    • Pick the 19th loop and pull it through the 14th loop.

Step 3. Repeat step two until you knit all the 16 loops to make the first row. You will continue looping over the yarn until you get to the second last loop of the first skein.

While this pattern is straightforward, you can miss a loop. So, be keen to see you are working with all the loops, or you may have to bear with a sticking-out ring. 

Step 4. Second Skein

    • To add the second skein to your work, start by cutting open the last loop of the first ball of yarn.
    • Thread it inside the knitted stitches to hide it.
    • Pull out the second yarn, cut the first loop, and weave it inside the stitches for it to be invisible.
    • Repeat step two process until you get the desired length of the scarf.

Step 5. Finish Finger Knitting the Scarf

At this point, you will have the last row with live loops. Here is how to ensure they are intact

    • Pick the second loop from the farthest end and pass it through the first loop.
    • Pick the third loop and pass it through the second loop.
    • Take the fourth loop and pass it through the third loop.

Step 6. Repeat step five until you get to the last loop. Take scissors, cut the first loop on the working yarn, and place it in the last loop. 

Make sure you weave it in the stitches not to show and to keep your work intact. The last row will give a neat finish of a braided edge. Now you can wear your scarf!

What to Consider when Choosing a Knitting Pattern

Knitting scarf for beginners
Image source: All Free Knitting

Whether you are a beginner or advanced knitter, you know how exciting it is to view stunning scarf patterns online. Most knitters are carried away and buy complex patterns then realize they were not ready for them. 

To avoid such mistakes, here are the factors you need to evaluate before purchasing a pattern.

    •  Skill Level

Knitting patterns come with a description of the skill level one needs to work on them. It’s crucial to check the information first before rushing to pay for the guide. If you are a beginner who is learning how to hand knit a scarf, it’s logical, to begin with, simple patterns.

With time, you will gain enough experience to handle intermediate and advanced-level projects. Another thing you should consider is studying the abbreviations carefully. It will help you not to miss out on a step, saving you the hassle of unraveling to repeat the project. 

    • Size

The pattern looks great but will it fit you or your loved one? Some patterns are versatile, and you can manipulate the number of stitches to cast on to achieve the intended size. Others can be challenging to adjust, especially if you are a novice knitter.

Try to find a pattern that caters to the needs of the required size. If you are an intermediate or advanced knitter, you may try to adjust the size. But before purchasing a complex pattern, be sure you can alter the measurements.

    • Pattern Information

Before you grab that pattern and learn how to knit a sweater, read the information on it. Some guides may necessitate buying special materials. You may also identify what you should replenish to complete the project, for instance, yarn.

    • Project

Whether you want to learn how to knit a chunky scarf or socks, evaluate the pattern first. Check if it will help you accomplish your knitting goals or not. Confirm whether it has precise instructions to avoid getting confused amidst knitting. 

Don’t get frustrated by unclear instructions; knitting should be fun and relaxing. So, grab a pattern with easy-to-follow explanations.

Factors to consider when choosing a knitting pattern Why?

Skill level

    • Avoid straining
    • Get the best results


    • Get a pattern that can match different sizes’ needs.

Pattern information

    • Identify the supplies you don’t have to buy.


    • Does the pattern have clear instructions to help you learn how to hand knit a scarf with thin yarn?


Knitting a scarf has been the initial project that most novice knitters explore. It comes with simplicity and numerous options that cater to their needs. You can choose a scarf pattern that matches your skill level and the intended outcome. 

To learn how to knit a scarf, prepare all the knitting supplies, learn the basic skills, and schedule enough time. Then follow the instructions and make use of the images when you don’t understand a step. 

After completing your scarf, you can learn how to knit socks. Did you get insight for your scarf project?