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Let’s knit a scarf

June 14, 2013

Sometimes it can seem daunting to learn something new, so let’s take it one step at a time, and knit a simple scarf together.  Be sure to click the links for detailed tutorials illustrating each technique.

First, download the Wheat scarf pattern, gather your materials, and let’s get started!

The Materials ::: knit with yarn that you love

For our scarf, we used Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Worsted in the colourway ‘spanish coin’ and 5mm circular needles (if you don’t know a thing about yarn or needles check out this post <coming soon>). There are many yarns and needles that will work for your first scarf so we recommend a trip to your local yarn store if you have one. Bring the pattern and they will set you up with everything you need.

Your Local Yarn Store ::: the best place to begin

If you are lucky enough to have a yarn shop near you it can be a wonderful resource. The LYS (local yarn store) often has friendly and helpful staff, classes you can take, or knit nights when you can drop in. While it is a faux pas to assume the staff can give you a knitting lesson on the spot, they can often help with smaller issues, point you in the right direction, and they can certainly help you choose your project materials.

The Pattern ::: we are keepin’ it real simple to start

Back to our scarf. Following the pattern instructions, cast on 35 stitches and knit each row until your piece measures 3 inches from the cast on. Once you have reached this point, your knitting will look like this:

Next we will place markers to indicate where the ribbing goes in this scarf. Both ribbing and garter stitch look the same on both sides so having both in a scarf makes for a simple design and a reversible finished project. You will place your markers by slipping them over the needles. Markers go on your needles BETWEEN the stitches. You never knit into them, simply slide them from your left-hand (LH) needle to your right-hand (RH) needle as you come to them. For more information on purling (which you will need to accomplish your ribbing), see this tutorial.

Once you have placed your 2 markers, your work will look like this:

Once you have worked a few rows with both garter and ribbing, the pattern will start to form like this:

Although you are only a 4 inches into your scarf you have already learned almost everything you need to know! You will keep going, working the ribbing between the markers and garter stitch everywhere else. Unless you have an unusually large ball of yarn, you will need to start a new ball of yarn at some point in your scarf, at least once.

Once your scarf reaches 57 inches (or 3 inches short of your desired length), you remove your markers and knit every row for 3 inches.

Bind off all stitches and cut your yarn, leaving a 4 or 5 inch tail. Voila a scarf! You will notice 2 things about your new garment, the first is that there are some literal loose ends, and the second is that it seems to ‘pinch in’ where there is ribbing. There are 2 simple finishing steps to take: blocking and weaving in your ends.

While this tutorial looked specifically at the Wheat Scarf, all of the techniques apply to the Malt Blanket, our other beginner knitting pattern.  Check it out!

Enjoying the Simple Collection?  Get our email updates and we will let you know as new free patterns and tutorials are released!  And if you like the designs, be sure to share them with friends and knitting groups.

Simple Collection Designs by Tin Can Knits:

Malt Blanket

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Marinella crosta gadda permalink
    December 15, 2017 2:56 am

    Fantastica semplice ma d’effetto

  2. Kyrstin permalink
    November 20, 2017 9:01 pm

    I am wondering if you slip stitch at the beginning of each row? And if so, knitwise or purlwose? No matter what I try I have been unsuccessful in achieving a clean edge on the sides like you’ve shown. I’ve restarted this pattern more times than I’d care to admit! Thanks :)

    • November 22, 2017 9:29 am

      Hi Kyrstin – I acutally didn’t slip any sts for this scarf, but slipping the first st purl-wise does give a nice edge!

  3. October 8, 2017 9:43 am

    I’m a complete beginner, and I had the same question as two other commenters: if the rib section is k1p1 going from right to left, as shown in the photo, does that mean the next row should be p1k1 (because it’s going from left to right relative to your photo)? Does the order of everything flip, or just the order of the sections?

    Your responses didn’t clear it up, so I did some experimenting and figured out for myself that the order should be k1p1 no matter which direction you’re going in. It would be really great if the instructions were more clear about this, especially since it’s targeted at beginners!

    Thanks for putting this tutorial together!

  4. Mer permalink
    August 3, 2017 12:33 am

    How do you suggest adding a new ball of yarn? The instructions state “Unless you have an unusually large ball of yarn, you will need to start a new ball of yarn at some point in your scarf, at least once.” It seems the link was intended to be there but wasn’t added.

  5. Ginny permalink
    May 2, 2016 8:12 am

    I’ve been knitting a couple years but haven’t been able to knit very often, so consider my self an advanced beginner. I saw this scarf as a sample in my LYS and chose it as a pattern for a 3-day road trip both because I love the design and also it will be easy to pick up and put down when my turn to drive. Thanks for all the tutorials. They are great refreshers for me!

  6. Samantha permalink
    April 10, 2016 12:58 am

    Really loving these patterns so far! Quick question though – when you get to the ribbing section, does the pattern reverse when it’s flipped? For example, the first row is k 5, k1 p1 (7 times), k 16. When you flip it and finish the k 16, are you still doing k1 p1 for the ribbing pattern or should it be flipped (p1 k1) since the material is flipped? Without flipping it, it seems like you’re knitting onto a purl stitch, so I wasn’t sure which way was right. Thank you!

    • April 13, 2016 10:21 am

      Hi Samantha – because the ribbing is in a multiple of 2 you don’t need to flip it. If you started with a knit and ended with a knit in the ribbing section you would need to reverse it (p1,k1) on the back side. But not for the wheat scarf!

  7. Betsy McGinn permalink
    January 9, 2016 2:46 pm

    I think your directions are unclear when:
    “from right to left” you knit 16 then k1p1 (x7) and then knit 5, BUT when I am headed “from left to right” do you knit 5, then…p1k1 (x7) and then knit 16 or knit 5, then still k1p1 (x7) and then knit 16?

    I am sorry, but I really don’t understand.

    • January 9, 2016 9:09 pm

      Hi Betsy – I’m not sure I understand the question. For this scarf you are placing markers, so you can knit to the marker, work your ribbing and knit to the end. You are correct though, on the right side of the scarf you are working k16, rib 14, k5 and on the wrong side you are working k5, rib 14, k16

  8. February 18, 2015 12:42 pm

    The link at the beginning “Download the Wheat scarf pattern” actually goes to the Malt blanket. Just wanted to let you know. :)

    • February 18, 2015 11:58 pm

      Oh thanks so much! We’ll get that changed right away… thanks for letting us know!

  9. January 18, 2015 10:13 am

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful patterns – I do have a question though “) how did you “tie” your wheat scarf – hoping this doesn’t sound silly

    • January 19, 2015 5:56 pm

      It’s pretty versatile, you can just loop it around your neck, or fold it in half and put it around your neck threading the ends through the loop, or just tie it loosely around your neck.

      • June 21, 2016 1:43 am

        I think she may mean how DID you tie the scarf, in the photograph. I was wondering the same thing. ;-)

      • June 21, 2016 9:32 am

        Hi – I think you are correct! We just folded it in half put the folded scarf around your neck, then put the 2 ends through the loop.

  10. asterix permalink
    March 8, 2014 6:57 pm

    I’m doing this as my first knitting project and I really like the way you’ve written the article! The explanations and linked-to tutorials are great, but I think you missed one: “start a new ball of yarn at some point”. I’m having a lot of fun with this so far! :)


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