Crochet Ribbed Scarf. It’s like knitting, only better!

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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 (onΒ 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 ScarfΒ 

Once you have the hang of the ribbed half double crochet stitch, making a scarf is a lot of fun.Β 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.

I love using this stitch for scarves, but it’s also beautiful for blankets. I’m sure there are other applications as well, play around with it and let me know what you come up with! Also, if anything is unclear, feel free to ask for some help or clarification. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚


I heard you, readers. This post didn’t have enough instruction on how to actually make a scarf. After almost 7 years, I’ve finally improved the post. I hope you enjoy it! Please continue to leave your comments and questions.

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602 Comments on "Crochet Ribbed Scarf. It’s like knitting, only better!"

Karys

Hi. Just wanted to tell you that I made a scarf like this for a friend of mine with alpaca wool. It turned out just perfect. Almost 2 meters long. πŸ™‚ Beautiful.

Do you know if its possible to make a cowl/neck warmer (or what you call) it with this pattern?

Jenn
oh awesome! So glad it worked out for you πŸ™‚ Sure, you can make a cowl, but this stitch can’t really be done in the round, so you would need to sew the ends of the piece together after finishing the crocheting. Or, if you wanted to go in the round, you could use a modified version of this stitch, where you would just keep going around and around; this creates a ‘right side’ which looks knitted, and a ‘wrong side’ which just doesnt look so nice. But because it would be a cowl, having a wrong side might be… Read more »
Sue

Thanks for your gorgeous pattern.I am starting it right away as I bought some wool 2 weeks ago and have been searching everyday on the net for a great scarf pattern. Thanks for sharing….sharing is caring!

Evelyn

Hi!
Like the half double crochet scarf. What size crochet needle do I use for worsted yarn. If I want to make a scarf for the troops that measure 6″-7″ wide and 50″ long. Can you send me the pattern for this. Since USO wants the scarf to be these measurements. Thanks

Jenn
The size needle and number of stitches to get the length and width that you want depends on the yarn and how tightly or loosely you crochet. But as a general rule for this stitch, you should use a hook that is 1 or 2 sizes smaller than you normally would. To get the correct length, crochet a small square, and figure out how many stitches you need for 5″. Then multiply by 10, and you know how many stitches you need to make it 50″ long. For the width, just stop adding rows after it’s 6-7″ wide. Hope that… Read more »
Ashley

What size needle did you use?

Jenn

I used an I9 (5.5mm). But the size of the needs of course depends on the size yarn, and how tightly or loosely you crochet. But you should definitely use a hook a couple sizes smaller than you normally would to keep this stitch neat and pretty.

I have been looking high and low for a scarf like this. I am a fairly new crocheter. I really like the look of this. Thank you so much for sharing!

What a fantastic idea…thanks for sharing with us. I am anxious to give this a try! πŸ˜€

I know what you mean, knitting a scarf can take forever but crocheting is very difficult for me. I always forget the count and stitch I am on. Thanks for your tutorial !!

Caroline

I round your pattern and it is exactly what I looked for. I’m french and I didn’t find this stitch explained in french, so it was not easy for me to do it but I succeed. However I don’t know how you do to begin and and the scarf by the braid…I begin with chains and it’s not esthetic… Have you a solution? Thanks a lot!

Jenn

The first row should be regular chains, as you did. The secret is to have uniformly sized chains, not too loose and not too tight (takes some practice), and also to begin your first row by crocheting in the bottom loop of the chains, instead of the top as you probably normally would.

Elizabeth

Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

Elaine

I did it

Elaine

I need a pattern. how many chain and rows

wendy

Love this pattern. I am intermediate to expert and have been looking for a replacement edging for a pattern I want to do. This will be perfect!

Suzanne

Hi Jenn! I have been following your blog for a while and check back occasionally for anything new. I saw mention of the possibility of you selling your bootie pattern. I would love to purchase it from you too! I understand that you have had a busy year, but I wanted to encourage you to keep going with the crochet as your time permits. Love your work!

Jenn

Thanks for the message Suzanne πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll start updating this blog soon, and also start selling my patterns. Yes, it’s been a busy year, so I haven’t been able to do all the Etsy/crochet stuff I’ve wanted, but the encouragement definitely helps, so thanks a bunch!

Pil

Is this the same as working through the back loop, or is there some extra loop I just happen to never see?

Jenn

No, this is different than working in the back loop. There’s an extra loop created when working in a half double crochet. If you check the images in the post, you should be able to see what I’m talking about. Need any help, just let me know.

Iona

Thanks for this informaion. This was very easy to follow and it looks great. The pictures made it really clear.
Thanks again:)

Hi I was just wondering if you had your bootie pattern available.. they are very cute. Thanks!

Jenn

Not yet, but hopefully will be soon! I planned on preparing the pattern for sale this spring, but I became very busy with my web design work, and haven’t had a chance for much crochet stuff this year πŸ™

Romi

Jenn: Thank you so much for your crochet ribbed scarf. I intend to use it for multiple projects. Tell me please, how did you do the math for the 6′ scarf of 10 rowsx20 stitches? Keep sending your elegant ideas along.

Jenn
First, you crochet a sample piece to check how large your stitches will be. So maybe crochet 10 rows of 20 stitches. Let’s say your 20 stitches are 6 inches wide (or .5 ft wide), and you want a 6 foot scarf. 6 feet is 12 times longer than 6 inches (6ft / .5ft = 12), so you will need 12 20-stitch lengths, or 240 stitches (12 x 20 = 240). If that still doesn’t make sense, I’ll try to explain better, let me know. I’m short on time right now–my web design work has been keeping me very busy–but… Read more »
Jenn

wow that was a long comment!

Kristin

I love the way the final scarf looks! I am a beginning crochet-er, so this may seem like a silly question. How many chain stitches do you recommend for the scarf you have pictured?

Thank you!

Jenn
That’s not a silly questions at all! I experimented quite a few times to get a length and width that I liked, and figure out how many chains worked. Actually, the size really depends on your personal preference, and the number of chains depends on your yarn, hook, and how you crochet (tightly or loosely). The best thing to do is crochet maybe 10 rows of maybe 20 stitches. This is called checking your gauge. Then, you can get a feel for the stitch, and you will know how many stitches will give you how much length. Use that to… Read more »
Sophie

Hi Jenn,

I am also a beginner. This was actually the first scarve I made and it turned out really pretty – so thanks a lot for sharing this stitch! You mentioned in one of your erlier replies that you block the scarf after finishing – what exactly does that mean? How do you do that and why? Thanks a lot for your help!

Jenn

I actually wrote a post about blocking here that should answer your questions: http://jennozkan.com/2010/uncategorized/blocking-the-all-important-yet-all-too-often-skipped-last-step/

Maria

I LOVE this pattern! I’ve been looking for a while for a really beautiful yet simple scarf pattern and I’m glad I found this one! Just curious, what size hook/yarn did you use for the orange on at the very top/in general?

Jenn

Glad you like the stitch πŸ™‚

For the scarves in the pictures, I used bulky yarn and I think an I9 (5.5mm) hook. The stitch is kinda loose because of the way it is crocheted into the extra loop, so use a smaller hook than you normally would for whatever yarn you choose.

Aly

I absolutely love this pattern! I had been trying to learn to knit because I love the ribbing look and was never satisfied with what I had tried in crocheting… until now!
I am about halfway through a scarf in this pattern and was just wondering if you do anything different to finish off the last row, or if you just push it to sit right when blocking it?
Thanks so much for sharing this great stitch =)

Jenn

Hy Alyssandra, so glad you like the stitch! I just half double crocheted the last row, not different than any of the other rows. I don’t really push it any special way while blocking either; after blocking, it just sort of perfects itsself πŸ™‚

Let me know how it turns out!

(Just found you on craftgawker) I love the half double! I actually made myself a scarf with this stitch a couple years ago but mine went back and forth the whole way. I really like how yours is the long way! You’re right – it does make it look like a cute knit. I’m definitely going to try this!

It’s SO PRETTY!

this is the neatest stitch I’ve seen. I’ll have to try this. I want to make another crochet scarf, but I don’t have the patience lol!

I saw your blog on craftgawker πŸ™‚

Brilliant – thanks for the pattern, it looks great.

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