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How to Crochet a Scarf

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How to Crochet a Scarf in Long Rows -- Horizontal Scarves
Examples of Scarves Crocheted in Long Horizontal Rows

Examples of Scarves Crocheted in Long Horizontal Rows

Photos © Michael Solovay and Amy Solovay

Examples of Scarves Crocheted in Long Rows:

Let's start by taking a look at some examples of scarves that are crocheted in long rows (pictured above.) You'll see that they are all different, but they do have some common elements. Pictured from top left to right:

If any of these scarves strike your fancy, the free crochet patterns are all available on our website -- help yourself. In that case, just follow the instructions in the pattern to crochet your scarf.

Otherwise, the instructions below will help you design your own scarf if that's what you'd rather do.

Choosing a Stitch or Stitch Pattern to Use for Crocheting Your Scarf

One of the things that differentiates each of the scarves above from the others: the stitch or stitch pattern used for crocheting the design.

If you are new to crocheting, I recommend making your first scarf in one of the basic stitches -- perhaps single crochet, half double crochet or double crochet. This is optional; if you're persistent and adventurous, you could jump right into crocheting a more complex stitch pattern if you like, although you'll have to do more planning and perhaps more math in the process. Check out our library of crochet stitches to find free instructions for a variety of different crochet stitches; or perhaps you might prefer to work from a printed stitch dictionary such as Triple Play Pattern Stitches by Darla Sims.

Figuring Out How Long to Make Your Starting Chain

Most crocheted scarves begin with a foundation chain, perhaps a short chain or perhaps a long one. If you want to crochet a scarf in long horizontal rows, you'll begin by making a long length of chain stitches.

Using your chosen yarn and crochet hook, and working in the stitch you would like to use, crochet a gauge swatch measuring at least 4 inches square. Measure this swatch to determine how many stitches per inch you are working. Decide how long you want your scarf to be. Multiply your stitches per inch by the desired number of inches. This is a rough estimate of how many chain stitches you need to crochet, but that isn't the final number.

To arrive at the final number, you'll also need to account for any additional stitches that need to be worked at the edges to make the design turn out right. If you're using a basic stitch, you can use the turning chain formulas on this page as a guideline; for example, if you are working single crochet stitch you'll add one chain stitch to your total. If you're working double crochet, you'll add three chains to your total.

There's one other factor to consider: if you are working a stitch pattern with a "multiple," you'll want to be sure the math works out right.

Figuring Out How Many Rows to Crochet

As you crochet your scarf will grow vertically / upwards from the foundation chain; each row will be long, but (relatively speaking) you will not need to crochet all that many rows to create a wearable scarf. The exact number of rows you'll need is variable and depends on several factors:

  • The finished size you want your scarf to be; for a skinny scarf, you'll need fewer rows than you need for a wider scarf


  • How short or tall your crocheted rows are; perhaps you make very tall stitches, in which case you'd need fewer rows than if you make shorter stitches.


  • Your materials also play an important role in this. If you're crocheting with thread and a tiny steel crochet hook, you'd need to crochet many more rows than you would if you are using a bulky yarn and a large hook.


  • There's one more consideration you'll need to keep in mind, and that is the stitch or stitch pattern you are using. Some stitch patterns cannot be completed in a single row; you might have to work several rows to make one complete repeat of the stitch pattern. In that case, you'll need to take that into consideration when you decide how many rows to crochet. If your stitch pattern repeats over four rows, you'll have to crochet your rows in groups of four to avoid ending up with an incomplete repeat.

    With basic crochet stitches such as single crochet and double crochet, there's no complicated row repeat to deal with.

See More Pages in This Tutorial:

How to Crochet a Scarf | Choosing Materials for a Crocheted Scarf | How to Crochet a Scarf in Short Vertical Rows | How to Crochet an Infinity Scarf | How to Crochet a Freeform Scarf | How to Finish Your Crocheted Scarf

Find More Pages by This Author:

Check Out Free Crochet Patterns by Amy Solovay | Meet Amy Solovay, Crochet Pattern Designer and Author for About.com.

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