Crochet patterns don't get any easier than this one; this is just about the most basic crochet scarf pattern you could ask for. There are only two crochet stitches you'll need to know: the chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. If you haven't yet learned how to do these stitches, you can learn by watching our free videos:
Crochet Skill Level: Beginner
Materials You Will Need to Crochet This Scarf:
- Yarn: You'll need worsted weight yarn (medium weight yarn.) My sample scarf was crocheted using Red Heart Super Saver. I chose this yarn because it is both affordable and widely available, but I encourage you to upgrade if you like. This scarf would be nice and warm if crocheted using wool, and the design could also work well with many other different types of yarn.
See also: Which yarn should a beginner buy?
- Crochet Hook:
I used a size K crochet hook to make the sample scarf. Please use this size hook as a starting point, but keep in mind that it's not set in stone that this is the only possible hook size that will work.
One of the beautiful things about crochet is that it is made by human beings, not machines. Each crocheter is unique, and each crocheter's work is unique. Your crochet stitches will probably differ from mine -- perhaps slightly or perhaps a great deal. That isn't because you're a beginner, and it isn't because you "aren't doing it right." It's because crochet is as much art as it is craft. Each painter's brush stroke is an individual artistic expression, and you can think of each crochet stitch in the same way.
It's a combination of hook size and other factors -- including your individual way of crocheting -- that determine how large or small your crochet stitches will turn out. With that in mind, you might need a different size hook than I do to crochet this particular scarf design in the same size mine turned out. The information given in the "gauge" section below will help you understand whether or not you might be better off changing hooks.
- Other: Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Red Heart Super Saver comes in 5 oz skeins and 7 oz skeins. One 7 oz skein should be more than enough to crochet this scarf even if you want to make yours really wide. One 5 oz skein should be about enough to make a scarf that's similar to the one shown in the picture, but if you want an extra-wide scarf you may need more than one 5 oz skein.
Finished Scarf Size:
The sample scarf measures 84 inches (7 feet) long by 4 inches wide.
Stitch Gauge: I worked to the following gauge when I crocheted my sample scarf: 8 single crochet stitches = 3 inches.
There are a couple different ways you could check your gauge. You could either crochet a gauge swatch measuring at least 4 inches square (bigger is better.) You'd crochet this in single crochet stitch using the exact same yarn and crochet hook you'll use to crochet your scarf. Then you measure the center 3 inches of the swatch to see how many stitches per inch you are working with that particular combination of hook and yarn.
The other option is to just jump into crocheting the scarf, and hope for the best. There's a chance your gauge would be close enough to mine, but there's also a chance it would be off and you'd have to rip the entire thing out and start over.
It's up to you which way you want to go.
If you choose to jump into crocheting the scarf, after you've worked several rows, measure your work.If you have more than 8 stitches per 3 inches, it means that your stitches are turning out smaller than my stitches did when I crocheted the sample scarf. Your scarf is likely to turn out smaller than mine did. My sample scarf is very long and even if yours turns out significantly shorter, it'll likely still be wearable. If you have your heart set on a seven foot scarf you may wish to switch to a larger crochet hook and start over. If you're OK with having a shorter scarf than the sample, don't feel obligated to start over.
If you have fewer than 8 stitches per 3 inches, it means your stitches are turning out larger than mine did when I crocheted my sample scarf. In that case, your scarf is likely to turn out really, really long; you also risk running out of yarn. In this case, it would probably be best to change to a smaller crochet hook and start over. That's totally up to you; if you want a seriously long scarf and you bought plenty of yarn, you could keep going with the same hook if you like.
Row Gauge: Row gauge is not critical for this project.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern: none
Pull out a length of yarn measuring at least six inches or longer; leave this length unworked and make a slip knot after that point. Then, being careful to work with the end attached to the ball of yarn (rather than the cut end,) crochet a long starting chain consisting of 224 chain stitches.
Row 1: Work a single crochet stitch in the second chain from your hook.
If you're thinking "second chain from my hook? huh?" keep the following in mind: After you've crocheted your chain, you'll have an active loop still on your hook. Don't count your active loop; start counting with the first chain adjacent to the active loop. You'll work into the chain stitch that's on the other side of that one, the second chain from your crochet hook.
Continue working single crochet stitches all the way across your starting chain. You'll work one single crochet stitch into each chain stitch, until you've reached the end. When you get to the end, count your single crochet stitches to make sure you have a total of 223.
Next, you'll crochet one chain stitch to use as a turning chain. Then flip your work horizontally, so that you can work back across the piece. When you flip the work, you'll be looking at the side that used to be facing away from you.
Row 2: If you look carefully at the top of the row of single crochet stitches you just made, you'll see that each stitch has two loops at the top. When you work your single crochet stitches from this point on, be careful to work through both of these loops together -- meaning that you will insert your crochet hook underneath both of the loops, not just one loop or the other.
Note: single crochet stitch is typically worked through both loops, but it is possible to work through only one loop to get a different effect. Small changes like this can make a big difference in how your project turns out. If you are curious about some of the possibilities you could achieve by working through different loops, check out this list of single crochet stitch variations.
Working through both loops, work a single crochet stitch into the last single crochet stitch you made in row 1. Continue working 1 single crochet stitch into each single crochet stitch, all the way across the row. Be sure to count your stitches and make sure you have 223 stitches in the row. Work one chain stitch and turn the work over horizontally so you can work back across again.
Rows 3 and Up: Repeat row 2 until your scarf is the desired width. Mine is 13 rows, and it measures 4 inches; yours can be whatever size you want it to be.
When you crochet the last row, do not work a turning chain afterwards, because you'll be finishing your work rather than turning it over and continuing.
How to End Off:
Leave a length of yarn at the end measuring at least six inches; I usually leave even more than that, because having a long piece of yarn to work with makes it easier to weave the ends in. Cut the yarn, taking care not to drop your active loop. Wrap the cut length of yarn around your hook, grab it with the hook, and pull it all the way through the active loop. Give it a gentle tug to ensure that it is tight and will not come undone. Thread the cut end of this yarn onto a tapestry needle and use it to weave in your ends. After you weave in both ends, the scarf is ready to be worn.
Pattern Updates: This pattern was updated on 7-9-2013 to add yarn information, references and update the copyright notice. If your copy of the pattern is older than that, you may wish to make a note of the updates, or print out a new copy of the pattern.
Easy Crochet Patterns for Total Beginners:
- Simple Crochet Scarf Pattern -- Here's another option for a basic, beginner-friendly scarf pattern. This one matches several other simple accessories, and free patterns are available for all of them.
- Basic Granny Square Pattern and Tutorial -- Usually, this is the pattern that I recommend to total beginners as a good first project. This was my first project when I was learning to crochet. I like it as a first project because it is easy to get it started, and it is easy yet fairly interesting to crochet.
- Easy Crochet Neck Warmer Pattern for Beginners -- This project gives you something fun, pretty and useful to make while learning (or practicing) the double crochet stitch.
- Easy Beginner's Crochet Granny Square Pattern -- This granny is another fantastic beginner pattern which allows you to practice using several of the most important basic crochet stitches together to make a small square.
Fast, Easy Crochet Baby Blanket for Beginners -- There's no such thing as instant gratification when it comes to crochet, but, for a blanket, this one works up pretty quickly. It's an easy pattern that even a beginner can get good results with.
Copyright Information for This Pattern: This scarf pattern is © Amy Solovay and licensed to About.com Inc. Please do not post this pattern or any part of it, including the photos, on another website, or reproduce it in any form, without written permission from an authorized representative of About.com. It is possible that perhaps you could obtain this permission if you submit a reprint request and the request is approved. The company has the final say in this matter; thanks for your understanding.
The stitches used in this scarf, chain stitch and single crochet, have history that goes back hundreds of years. I've found both stitches used often in various vintage crochet manuals, such as the following:
Fleisher's Knitting and Crocheting Manual -- I happen to have the 1918 edition, but every other edition of this publication I've seen also features these same stitches.
Royal Society Crochet Lessons No. 10, published by the H.E. Verran Company
The Princess Manual of Artistic Crochet
The Dictionary of Needlework, 1882, by Sophia Frances Anne Caulfield and Blanche C Saward.
These stitches are covered in The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters. You'll find instructions plus stitch diagrams for both the chain stitch and the single crochet in this stitch dictionary, along with general instructions.
The Craft Yarn Council’s website confirms the standard abbreviation for these stitches.