Learn how to crochet a scarf step by step with this easy crochet scarf pattern and tutorial guide for beginners. A scarf is a perfect way for beginner crocheters to make something useful. It is so rewarding to have something to show at the end of all your practice and learning!
With a scarf, you do not need to worry at all about any shaping, increasing, or decreasing. It is the best way to practice any crochet stitch, and it is useful for learning about tension and gauges. You do not need to be an expert at reading a crochet pattern, but it will give you a good introduction to doing so.
How to Crochet a Scarf Tutorial (Free Crochet Pattern)
For the first crochet scarf pattern, which is for absolute beginners, I have chosen the double crochet stitch, as it works up quickly and is one of the most basic crochet stitches. Double crochet is a foundational crochet stitch that most people learn almost as soon as they begin crocheting.
This tutorial will show you how to crochet 4 styles of scarf with easy patterns:
- Basic crochet scarf (quick project for beginners)
- Ribbed crochet scarf
- Granny square crochet scarf
- Granny rectangle crochet scarf
Crochet Scarf Pattern Materials
For styles 1 and 3, I would also suggest using a nice thick, chunky yarn for your scarf. This, together with a large crochet hook, is easy to work with, and once again, it works up quickly so that you won’t get discouraged by how long the project is taking! It will also be extra warm!
- YARN: These patterns will work for any weight of yarn since they are based on measurements. Your yarn can be acrylic, wool, or a wool blend. The thicker the yarn, the quicker your scarf will make up.
- CROCHET HOOK: Check the label of your yarn for the recommended size. Also see the table below.
- Yarn needle or tapestry needle for weaving in the ends.
- Tape Measure
Best Crochet Hook Size for Scarves
Here are some of the common yarn weights used for crocheting scarves and the hook sizes recommended for them.
|Yarn Type||Ply||Other Names||Hook Size (mm)||Hook Size Equivalents|
|DK (Double Knitting)||8-ply||Light Worsted||4 - 4.5||G-6 to 7 (US)|
|Worsted weight yarn||10-ply||Aran||4.5 - 5.5||7 to I-9 (US)|
|Bulky||12-ply||Chunky||5.5 - 8||I-9 to L-11 (US)|
|Super Bulky Yarn||14-ply or more||Super Chunky, Roving||8 and above||L-11 and larger (US)|
Best Yarn for Scarves
The best yarn for a crochet scarf depends on how thick and warm you want your scarf and your crochet experience level. Thicker yarns are easiest when you are just learning as it is easier to see the stitches, and your project will be completed faster so you don't get frustrated.
- Wool yarn is a popular choice for people wishing to make a warmer cozy scarf. Choose merino wool for a softer and less scratchy option than other wools.
- Acrylic yarn is, of course, cheaper, making it a great option for beginners. It can also be machine washable, which is a definite advantage as well as hypoallergenic.
- Cotton yarn makes light summer scarves but can stretch out of shape more easily.
BEGINNERS: If you are new to crocheting, start with how to crochet a scarf Style 1 and use 2 balls or skeins of category 5, bulky weight yarn in an acrylic such as Lion brand. (This is also known as chunky yarn in the UK.). Pair the bulky-weight yarn with a size K, 6.5 mm hook size.
How to Crochet a Scarf Abbreviations
Pattern Notes: These how to make a scarf tutorials use US terms.
The following abbreviations for the basic stitches are used:
- dc = double crochet stitch
- hdc = half double crochet
- ch =chain stitch
- sk =skip
- st(s) = stitch(es)
- sl st = slip stitch
- tog = together
Crochet Scarf Sizing
This basic free pattern (style 1,3 and4) will make a scarf that is 9” (23 cm) wide by 76” (193 cm) long. You can easily change this to make it wider or narrower, longer or shorter, but this is an ideal size with which to start.
Crochet Scarf Gauge
It is common practice to give a crochet gauge for any pattern, but really when you are making a scarf, your gauge is not that important. The scarf will fit you regardless of whether it is slightly shorter, longer, wider or narrower.
How to Crochet a Scarf, Step By Step Instructions
1. Basic Crochet Scarf Pattern for Beginners
This is a basic scarf pattern that is great for beginners or those of you looking for a quick-to-crochet scarf. It uses double crochet stitches and is a simple pattern for beginners.
Step 1 - Foundation for Simple Crochet Scarf
- Create a slip knot and chain 30 stitches if using a chunky yarn. Leave a long tail of yarn for weaving in later. If you are using a different weight yarn, chain about 9" (23cm) and add 3 chains for the turning chain.
Step 2 - How to Crochet a Scarf First Row
- Into the 4th chain, work a double crochet. (dc).
- Work 1 double crochet (dc) into each chain (ch), all the way across to the end. Be careful that your row of chain stitches does not twist as you work into it!
I have a full tutorial on how to double crochet, but in case you just need a refresher, here are the steps:
- Yarn over (back to front), Insert into 4th chain
- Yarn over and pull through (3 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through (2 loops on hook)
- Yarn over and pull through (1 look on hook)
Step 3 - How to Crochet a Scarf Row 2
- Chain 3 and turn. (When the pattern says turn, they mean you must flip your work horizontally so that you can work back across the row you have just created.)
- Now, work a dc stitch into each dc you made in the previous row. Be sure to insert your hook through both of the loops at the top of each stitch you are working into.
- Work all the way across the row. Count your stitches to be sure you haven't accidentally increased or decreased a stitch along the way. You must have 26 stitches. (Not counting your turning chain.)
- Your last dc must be worked into the top of the chain stitches at the beginning of your last row.
Step 4 - Row 3 Onwards
- Chain 3 (this is your turning chain).
- Turn your work.
- Keep going, working 1 dc into both of the top loops of each stitch from the previous row.
- Continue doing this until your scarf reaches 76” (193cm) or the length you would like it to be.
Step 5 - Finish and Weave Ends
To finish off the simple scarf pattern, cut the yarn, leaving about 6” (15 cm) for weaving in. Pull this length of yarn all the way through your last stitch loop. Pull it gently to make sure it is secure and will not come undone.
Use the 6” (15cm) of yarn to weave into the scarf so that you don’t have untidy bits of yarn hanging loose. Thread it into the yarn or tapestry needle, and on the wrong side of your work, weave it horizontally through a few stitches.
Then thread it through one stitch vertically, and back again horizontally in the opposite direction. Do this with any loose ends of yarn. The ‘tail’ bit from the beginning, which you left before starting your original chain stitches must be woven in, and any joins of yarn you made along the way.
2. How to Crochet a Scarf with Ribbing
Another easy scarf to make is a rib stitch scarf. This gives a beautiful texture to your scarf that looks similar to what you can achieve with knitting.
How to Crochet a Scarf Lengthwise
If you have been looking at various beginner scarf patterns, you may notice that many of them start with a very long chain, the length of the scarf. They then direct you to crochet up the width of the scarf. This is opposed to style 1, which starts with the width and you crochet up the length. You will crochet a ribbed scarf lengthwise.
- Crochet chain stitches the length you want for your scarf. Put the foundation chain around your neck and check it feels the right length. A standard length is 76 inches (193cm).
- Half double crochet in the 3rd stitch from the hook.
- Half double crochet all the way across the first row.
- Chain 2. (This is your turning chain.)
- Half double crochet into the back loop only (blo) of the row below. You can see the photo below, the back loops are where I have inserted the pink hook. Normally you would go through both loops, but going through the back loop only creates a ribbed effect.
Row 3 and Beyond
Continue crocheting the hdc into the back loops until the scarf is your desired width. A standard width is 9 inches (23cm).
3. How to Make a Granny Square Scarf
Many crocheters start their adventure into the world of crochet, learning to make ‘Granny Squares’. If you enjoy making these, you can simply stitch a whole lot of granny squares together to form a scarf.
My scarf was sewn together in rows of 1, but you could make smaller squares and have double rows. Using a matching color for the single crochet border gave the scarf a cohesive look.
How to Crochet a Scarf with Granny Squares:
- Crochet 12 granny squares with 6 rounds (approximate size 6 inches in a DK yarn with a 4mm hook).
- Join the squares in a line using a single crochet stitch. (Read more about how to join granny squares)
- Crochet around the edge of the scarf using a single crochet stitch.
- Fasten off and weave in all ends.
4. How to Make a Granny Stripe Scarf
The biggest tip I can give you when making this style of scarf is to make sure your foundation chain is loose. On this pink one, I made it way too tight, and the edges of the scarf ended up wavy. I'd recommend using a larger crochet hook just for the chain and then switching to your regular size.
- Start with a long chain 97 inches (193 cm) long.
- Insert hook into the second chain from the hook, sc. Single crochet into each chain to the end.
- Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1dc into the base of the ch3.
- *Skip 2 stitches. Dc 3 into next stitch (first cluster)
- Repeat from * all the way along the row, until 3 stitches remain.
- Skip 2 stitches, 2 dc into last stitch.
- Turn and ch3.
- 3dc into each space. End of row with 1dc.
- Repeat the dc cluster pattern until your scarf is the required width.
Decorating Your Crochet Scarf
How to Crochet a Scarf Fringe
So fringe or no fringe? This is entirely a matter of personal choice. Some people think a scarf is incomplete without a fringe, and others just find it annoying to have to make it! For those who like fringe, here are the instructions for making one.
- Cut strips of yarn twice the length that you want your finished fringe to be, plus a little extra to give enough length for trimming. The amount of strands is up to you.
- Gather your stands into groups and fold them in half. In this example, I used 5 pieces of yarn for each piece of fringe.
- Insert the hook from the right side, and pull the group of yarn strips back through the project by hooking the yarn in the middle where you folded it.
- Pull the yarn through just enough to get a loop that you can put your fingers through.
- Reaching through the loop, grab the yarn tails and pull them back through the loop. Pull the tails in the direction that you want the fringe to lie, until the knot is secure.
- Place the fringe on a flat surface and use your scissors to trim all the tails evenly.
How Long Should I Make the Scarf Fringe?
You can make it as long as you wish. Just remember to make it double your desired length plus at least 1 inch (2.5cm) for trimming. A great average length is 3-4 inches long. This will suit a variety of crochet scarves. Cut your yarn pieces 9 inches and then trim them when finished.
How to Crochet a Scarf with Yarn Tassels
You can also make individual yarn tassels that you can add to the corners of your crochet scarf.
How to Crochet a Scarf FAQs
What Crochet Stitch is Best for a Scarf
You can use the exact method above for your crochet project with many other simple stitches. Which crochet stitch is best for a scarf depends on the look you want. Do you want it dense or with long holes?
- Single crochet stitch (sc) - Gives dense stitch with minimal holes. Sc is great for making a scarf as it is a simple stitch that doesn't take much concentration to do. Great for crocheting in front of the TV.
- Half double crochet stitch (hdc) - This is a great dense stitch that works up faster than a single crochet.
- Double crochet is commonly used for granny stripe and granny square scarves.
- Treble crochet (tr) - Treble crochet will have you completing the scarf the fastest, resulting in larger holes giving a lacy look.
You can also change yarn colors to create a look as individual as you are! Really, you can use any basic crochet stitch, as all you are doing is making a simple rectangle of varying lengths and widths.
How Many Chains do you Need for a Crochet Scarf?
The first style in this how to make a scarf tutorial uses 30 chains, but you can adjust it to your preference. When using bulky or extra bulky yarn, I like to use 20-30 chains. Make your chains loosely, and then measure the length to see if that is what you require. Reassess after the first row, and don't be afraid to pull it all apart and start again.
Thinner yarn will need more chains, and you might need to do up to 40 chains.
How Long Should a Scarf Be for Crochet
This free scarf pattern recommends 76" (193cm), but really there is no right or wrong. As you are crocheting, throw the scarf around your neck every now and again and see if you like how it looks.
How to Crochet a Scarf - In Conclusion
Well, there you have it, an easy crochet scarf pattern for a simple scarf that should only take you a few hours to make. You can make one in every shade of the rainbow to match every outfit you own, or you can make a couple to give as gifts. I know many people who use up their yarn scraps and make scarves of many colors to donate to those less fortunate. Have fun introducing variety to this pattern and creating a truly individual scarf to suit your own personality!
- Crochet Hook Size K, 6.5mm hook
- Yarn Needle
- 2 Balls Bulky (Chunky ) Yarn
- Crochet chain stitches the length you want for your scarf (standard is 76"/193cm). Put the foundation chain around your neck and check it feels the right length. Half double crochet in the 3rd stitch from the hook. Half double crochet all the way across the first row.
- Half double crochet into the back loop only of the row below.
- Continue crocheting the hdc into the back loops until the scarf is your desired width. Standard width is 9"/23cm.
Free Crochet Scarf Patterns
If you would like to try a different crochet scarf pattern, here are some roundups of free crochet patterns of some fancier variations. Expand your crochet skills!