The art of knitting is known to be calming, while at the same time it produces everything from scarves to socks, sweaters and throws!
Well, when the leaves start turning and the winds start blowing, its official; its scarf weather! Funny thing, even in Florida where I live, scarves are all the rage. Ours may be of lighter material, but we can freeze just like you northerners when we step inside a restaurant or doctors office!
So, I’ve picked up the ol’ knitting needles again and started playing around with the beautiful yarns that are available to us today and I’ve been having a ball! My mother taught me to knit when I was in middle school. At that time we used size 50 needles and made a scarf in an evening. I had one in every color and made them for my friends as well.
The scarf I am going to teach you to make is the simplest possible. You only have to learn to do the knit stitch, how to cast on and then how to bind off. We’ll make some fringe too, but that’s just as easy.
- Yarn of your choice
- Size 15 knitting needles
This one skein of yarn allowed me to make both my daughter and Matt’s wife a long, fringed scarf and I had some left over.
1. The first step in knitting a scarf is getting the loops onto the first knitting needle. The number of loops you add determines the width of the scarf. For this scarf, I added 24 loops and you can see how wide it turned out in the first picture. For Matt’s wife I only put 18 loops on and I feel it was a more comfortable width. It’s all up to you!
Putting the loops on is called “Casting On”. To do this you need to make a slip knot on one of the needles and this will be considered your first stitch.
2. Place this needle in your left hand and hold the other needle in your right hand. Insert the point of the right needle into the slip knot, from front to back and under the left needle.
3. While holding left needle, slide your fingers over to the right to brace the right needle while you grab the yarn from the ball and wrap it around the point of the right needle.
4. Return your fingers to the right needle while continuing to hold the yarn. Draw the yarn through the stitch on the left needle using the point of the right needle until the right needle is resting on top of the left needle.
5. Now we have to get this new stitch onto the left needle as stitch number two. To do this, slide the point of the left needle into the back of the new stitch and then remove the right needle.
6. Hooray! You now have two stitches! Now, insert the right needle into the second stitch. Start between the two stitches and go in from front to back. Repeat what you did before, wrapping the yarn and pulling it through then putting it on the left needle for stitch number three.
Continue in this fashion until you have the number of stitches on the left needle that you want.
7. Actual knitting is just about exactly what you’ve been doing to cast on, except that you leave the new stitch on the right needle instead of putting it on the left. See in the photo that you insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle going in from front to back and below the left needle.
8. Holding both needles in the left hand wrap the yarn around the right needle under then over. Pull the new stitch through using the point of the right needle.
9. Only this time pull the stitch off of the left needle and keep it on the right needle. WOW! You’ve just knitted your first stitch!!
10. Continue in that fashion, pulling each stitch off the left needle as you knit it and keep it on the right one!
The first row will look like this. Now, you want to take that right needle with the stitches on it and put it in your left hand.
Now, start the process all over again.
When the scarf is finally the length that you want, it’s time to remove the stitches in a process that is called “Binding Off”.
11. To bind off the last stitch row, you’ll need to knit the first two stitches as you normally would.
12. Now, insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.
13. Pull it over the new stitch and completely off the needle. Now one stitch is bound off.
14. Knit one more stitch, and repeat the steps to bind off the first stitch left on the right needle. Don’t work too tightly while binding off.
15. When only one stitch remains, cut the yarn from the skein about 6” away from the needle.
16. Pull the end through the last stitch to secure it. Then, either using a yarn needle or your fingers, weave the end into several stitches along the bottom edge of the scarf to keep it in place.
Next is the addition of the fringe if you want. However, you are welcome to leave the scarf unfringed, as most men prefer.
17. Start your fringe by finding an object around the house that is about the length of the fringe you desire. I used a small notepad. Wrap the yarn around the object as many times as needed to make the fringe as bulky as you like.
18. Cut the yard from the skein, then cut the wrapped yarn at one end of the object and grasp the yarns in the center to hold them together.
19. This probably would make professional knitters cringe, but it worked for me. To insert the folded end of the fringe through the bottom edge loops of the scarf, I used a bent paper clip.
20. I was careful while inserting to squeeze the open end of the paper clip so it would fit through a single loop. Actually, this worked great and was really easy to do.
21. Once the folded end is through, remove the paper clip and continue pulling the fringe until you have a nice sized loop. Do not pull all the yarn through or you’ll have to start over!!
22. Pull the loose ends through the loop and pull tight.
23. The finished fringe should look like this. Now continue in this fashion until you have as much fringe on as you desire. As you can see, I added 5 pieces at each end and was satisfied!
Knitting is one of those pastimes that can be done just about anywhere. The materials don’t take up much room and they can be easily transported. I like to knit while watching TV or just sitting around in the evening in my hotel room. It is relaxing and productive at the same time.
I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do and in the future I’ll add more stitches and patterns for you to try. If you’d like to see this in video form, go to our video section and click on “How to Knit a Scarf”. It may be clearer than in the photos I’ve provided. Enjoy!