How to crochet a scarf

Knitted scarves are beautiful and soft, but a crocheter wants to crochet! Crochet is faster than knitting, and is great for producing nice chunky stitches. But too often, crochet scarves turn out awkward and stiff, lacking the nice drape and softness of knit. Determined to make a warm, soft, beautiful crochet scarf, I set out on my quest to find the perfect way to crochet a scarf.

I experimented with a lot of stitches to find one that would look nice (on both sides of the piece, because who wants a one-sided scarf?), would feel nice (not too dense, and with soft and smooth stitches), and that would work up quickly.

What I finally settled on is this beautiful ribbed variation of a half double crochet stitch. I love the look and feel of scarves made using this stitch.

Here’s how it’s done:

Start with a row of half double crochet (hdc).

The following rows will all be worked in the ribbed hdc variation. The only difference between a normal hdc and the ribbed variation is with where you insert your hook. Hdc stitches create an extra horizontal loop below the ‘V’ where you would normally insert your hook. To create hdc ribbing, you will insert the hook through that extra loop instead of through the V.

Some pictures to help:

The image below shows the hook inserted through the V, like a normal hdc. This is not how you will complete this stitch.

The next image shows the hook inserted in the horizontal loop. Continue hdc through these horizontal loops, and you will create the ribbing, it’s that easy!

You won’t really start to see the ribbing effect until after a few rows, and it tends to look strange on a short piece (like the swatch below). So don’t give up on it too soon! It really is a simple and beautiful stitch, especially for a scarf.

Making the Scarf 

Once you have the hang of the ribbed half double crochet stitch, making a scarf is a lot of fun. The scarf is worked up lengthwise, so the length of the starting chain determines the length of your scarf, and the number of rows determines the scarf’s width. I’ll walk you through how to figure out how long your starting chain should be.

**If you don’t want to calculate and don’t care about the exact length of your scarf, just make a chain wide enough that you can hold it in both hands and stretch your arms wide. Then, add 10-20 more stitches, and start crocheting your scarf!

Yarn
You can use any size yarn, but I recommend not using special fuzzy yarns because they will hide the ribbing – this stitch looks best with a standard yarn. I’ve used cotton, wool, acrylic, and more, and all have worked well, just not fuzzy yarns.

Hook
I recommend a hook that is a size smaller than you would typically use with your yarn – the ribbing turns out best when the stitches aren’t too loose.

First step: Crochet a swatch

The best way to calculate how many stitches you will need is to start by crocheting a swatch. To create a swatch, chain 15 stitches. Complete 5 rows of the half double crochet ribbed stitch.

Measure the 10 stitches in the middle of the swatch and write this measurement down. You will use it to calculate the number of stitches needed to complete the scarf.

The swatch I created measures about 2.75 in. for each 10 stitches.

Determine the length of the chain

Now we need to use our swatch measurement to determine how many chains to make to get the desired scarf length. Between 6-8 feet (183-244 cm) is usually a good length. I’ll shoot for 6 feet for this example. First, I’ll convert that to inches. There are 12 inches in a foot, so my 6 foot scarf will be 72 inches.

So how many 10-stitch segments does it take to reach 72 inches? Here’s a simple formula:

Scarf Length / Swatch Measurement = X

Plugging in my numbers I get:

72 in. / 2.75 in. = approx. 26

So I will need 26 10-stitch segments to complete the scarf. In other words, I will need 260 stitches.

The width

Just keep adding rows until you like the width of your scarf. Not sure what width a scarf should be? Between 5 – 7 inches (12-18 cm) is usually a good standard size.

And you’re done! No finishing off needed.

This crochet super scarf pattern works length-wise, rather than along the width, to create a scarf with beautiful long lines and rich texture! It is super easy (using only double crochet), so it is great for beginners and it is quick to work up using size 5 yarn and a P hook. This is a perfect item to sell at craft fairs (I did so myself) and also makes a quick and impressive handmade gift! Although, you might have a hard time giving it away since it is so squishy!

ORIGIN OF THE PATTERN

This is a pattern I threw together just for myself a year or so ago. I created it so I had a quick, easy and popular basic scarf to sell at craft shows. I didn’t consider publishing it since I figured there’s probably a few out there like it already. Like I said, it’s pretty basic. But then I decided I needed to write it down, since I loved the scarf and didn’t want to forget how I’d done it. And then I figured, if I’m going to the trouble if writing it down, I might as well write it down on my blog!

I also thought it would be a nice companion pattern to go along with my stitch tutorial for the Foundation Double Crochet Stitch that I had been planning. I love foundation stitches because they are such time savers! Since they are some of my favorite stitches, I use them in a lot of my patterns, so I thought I should write out a tutorial to go with my patterns. I’m happy to say that the video tutorial for the Foundation Double Crochet is up and running! This super scarf pattern is a perfect practice piece for the stitch tutorial  since it runs length-wise instead of across the width, making a nice loooong row of foundation stitches. So, if you haven’t mastered the foundation double crochet, this is a fantastic pattern to practice with!

THE YARN FOR THIS PATTERN

This pattern is great because it uses thick yarn, so it works up quickly. However, thick yarn that is nice and squishy tends to be more pricey. I’ve noticed Michael’s seems to regularly put their Charisma Yarn on sale for $2.50 each! This pattern takes 3 skeins of Charisma yarn (not counting fringe… sometimes I seem to have enough for fringe and sometimes not… but the pattern looks great with contrasting fringe if needed). I figure $7.50 is an amazing price for a super scarf!

Be aware though that not all the Charisma yarns seem to be equal. You’ve got to do the squish test before throwing them in your cart! I have personally found the marble, tweed and heather skeins (in most colors) to be extremely soft and perfect for a squishy scarf. Other types did not feel as soft to me.