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!"

faten

Can a man wear it? is it suitable for men?

Jenn

The scarf is great for men, in fact, I think I’ve sold more scarves for men than women in my Etsy shop.

Sandy

I started this scarf today and really like it. Could you explain how you do the blocking of the scarf when finished? Thanks!

Jenn

Just soak it, use a towel to take out excess moisture, and lay it out flat on some plastic bags, or another non-absorbent surface, and let it dry. Very easy!

Karisa

Thanks! That does make sense… i’ll def try it!

Karisa

This may be a silly question, but I’m new to crocheting… Do you stitch the scarf pictured above lengthwise or width wise? I am going to attempt to make a scarf for my boyfriend in black and I think this stitch will look very nice. I want the ribbed effect to show up lengthwise on the scarf and not widthwise so I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

Jenn

Lengthwise. People usually think to crochet a scarf width-wise, and are surprised to see that I do them length-wise. But I’ve always thought a scarf crocheted lengthwise looks so much better!

By the way, for the first row, crochet in the bottom loop of each chain stitch, not the top as you probably normally would. You can just turn the chain over to easily crochet in that bottom loop. The first row will look better that way. If that doesnt make sense, just ignore it. Just an extra tip πŸ™‚

Kelly

I totally agree about lengthwise – I really don’t enjoy doing the first row after the chain, so I always think about doing it width-wise, but end up going length-wise. At the end of the day, it seems to work up faster for me, too, that way. It may not be literally faster, it just feels faster.

I just started on this and it’s wonderful! So nice and soft and not stiff at all.

Jordan

Thanks for posting this pattern — I’m halfway through making a scarf in sapphire blue and it looks great! Your instructions were very easy to follow, much appreciated from a crochet beginner.

I made this scarf with Patons Classic and it turned out just beautiful. I thought while I was working it that it felt kind of stiff but I was pleasantly surprised by how it blocked up really fluid and soft. Long fringe looks very nice on it!

I did not notice the number of chain stitch to make to begin the project. Or hook size. What do you suggest?
I am anxious to get started. Thanks!

Jenn

It depends on the yarn weight, the type of fiber, how long and wide you want your scarf, and personal preference. You really just need to experiment. Try making a swatch of 10 rows 20 stitches across. Try different hook sizes and once you get it how you like it, measure it to see how wide it is, and use that to calculate how many chains you should use for your scarf. Takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it, your scarf will turn out just right.

Kay

How do I know how much yarn to get to make a 6 to 7 ft scarf? I want to make sure I have enough before I start.

Jenn

For a 6 ft scarf like the one pictured, I use slightly over 200 grams. 300 grams should be a good amount, in case you want a longer and/or wider scarf than mine.

Debbie

Great stictch! I tried to make a swatch but it just wasn’t working out. When I went back to your site, I saw what I needed to do. The purple color you put on the photo was a great help! Thanks for sharing. I am going to use it for a basic sweater.

Kelly

This is fantastic! I’m making my sister a few scarves for Christmas, and she really likes them to be “un-holey”. I also refer to myself as having the heart of a knitter but the patience of a crocheter, so your post is perfect! I’ve been really getting into the Tunisian crochet, but I still end-up making a really chunky scarf in between because I want to get something done. I am so trying this!

Valerie

I found this post last night, bought yarn today, and am 4 rows into it already! I’m making a scarf for my dad’s birthday early next month. It looks wonderful; I’m sure he will love it. Thanks so much! All your comments have been useful as well. Best of luck..

Daniboy

Vielen Dank for sharing this pattern! I love it. I used it to make the cuffs on a pair of gloves I crochet.

Gleda

What a great pattern! Thank you for sharing it. I’ve already started a scarf and can’t wait until I get a few more rows done to see how it looks.

This is a great stitch! I have just tried it and it is really easy and the effect is great. Thanks so much for sharing this with us all.
Caz from Never Knew

First of all this is just a gorgeous pattern, thanks for sharing! I see how what you need to do is hdc into the extra loop created by the last row’s hdc, but what I don’t understand is how this makes the pattern look any different than if you’d just hdc into the back loop? I only ask that because I accidentally did my hdc in the back loop and it so far, the scarf looks almost exactly still like your samples, no?

Jenn

crocheting in the back look can create a similar ribbed effect. I’ve seen people make ribbed scarves by crocheting in the back loop using sc instead of hdc. But I love the clean knitted look created by using the extra loop created by a hdc. I haven’t tried back loop hdc, you got me curious, that would probably be interesting too πŸ™‚

Hunh. Brilliant. Off to try this now – thank you!!! πŸ™‚

[…] Scarf mozzas Ribbed ScarfJenn […]

What brilliant timing…was just about to start a new blanket…am going to try this tomorrow…thank you for this tutorial…warm wishes from south africa

Hi Jenn,

Lovely scarf,been looking for a pattern like this for a while. I have a stash of bulky yarn, so can i use a 5.5 hook with it ?
Another query, is it possible to make a buttonhole in this pattern ? Could you please guide me if so? Would really appreciate any help!!

Thank you and warm regards,
Ramya

Jenn
I’m sure you could make a button hole, but I haven’t don’t that before, so you’ll have to do a little research and trial-and-error to figure it out. The hook size depends on both the yarn and your crochet style, and also your personal preference. I like fairly tight stitches, and for this particular stitch, I use a smaller hook than I normally would. Make a small sampler using this stitch, and the yarn and hook you want to use. Maybe 15 stitches across, and 10 rows. That should give you an idea of whether the hook is the right… Read more »
Jackie G.
I’ve been using this pattern to make scarves for Operation Gratitude. They send boxes to military overseas filled with all kinds of stuff, including hand knit/crocheted scarves. I’ve made over 100 last year by Christmas and 77 this year so far. I’ve been collecting yarn stashes from friends and even put out a successful request on Facebook. So some of the yarn is not the best quality, but I’ve found that using a crochet hook 4 or 5 times larger than recommended on the yarn (ie., size 4 weight yarn I use K hook) makes a loose knit and, therefore,… Read more »
Gina
Fantastic! So beautiful and cushiony- very different – does the pattern have a name? I’d lost it for a few months and just found your link again tonight- no one else has ever come up with this variation, congrats πŸ™‚ I’ve been obsessing over the “edge” stitches, but I’m assured the end product is so gorgeous that nobody would notice those stitches anyway πŸ™‚ This is my new favorite stitch, it stands out from the crowd — maybe that’s what you should call it – OHDC – like Outstanding Half Double Crochet (HD like high def) Thanks a million.:)
Jenn

hehe, it probably has a name, but I didn’t make it up, I actually found it in my grandma’s old crochet books, it was originally for an afghan pattern, but I decided to try it for a scarf, and it worked great! Glad you like it too πŸ™‚

..grazie ho imparato un nuovo punto ….β™₯β™₯β™₯ patrizia luciano

Kurt

Hmmm…..I’m a little confused!

Thanks for the advice about the chain-1 at the end, btw! So, I don’t hdc in that at all? won’t that make my piece smaller and smaller as I go up? Or does that mean if I want a 30 chain length scarf, I have to make it 32? Hmmmm…….

πŸ™‚

Jenn
No, your piece won’t get smaller. If you think about the math it makes sense. Say you have 30 hdc across, and a chain on each end of the row. Every time you crochet a row, you will make 30 hdc, and a chain on each end. As long as you keep crocheting in each of the 30 hdc across, it won’t shrink. Sometimes, patterns will have you skip the first stitch of the row, and that’s why you have to crochet in the end chain. But in this case, you never skip a stitch, so you should not crochet… Read more »
Kurt
This pattern really inspired me…thank you. I’m having a SUPER hard time finding the proper loop to insert the hook when turning. The chain twos that act as a faux half double crochet don’t look the same, so I’m having a problem determining with consistency what loop to push through at the end. It’s making my work look very uneven and unprofessional, and I hate it! πŸ™‚ Any tips? Also, (I think the problem is related)….I’m working on a scarf that is 30 stitches wide, and I find I lose a stitch as I go along. I’ve been careful to… Read more »
Jenn
Oh no, I’m sorry you’re having trouble! The last stitch of the row is easy to miss. You don’t need to crochet around any of the chains at the end. Just crochet in every hdc across, including the first and the last. The last one is one that I miss sometimes too, the loop you need likes to tuck underneath the edge and hide. I usually kinda stretch the end of the row with my fingers so that I can properly see the loop to make the last stitch. Maybe try with a small swatch only 10 stitches across until… Read more »