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How to Crochet a Scarf without a Pattern

Updated on April 1, 2011
2 scarves I made to donate to special Olympics. They both use the same yarn and the same hook sizes. The one on the left is a triple crochet repeating stitch with the two yarns held together as I crocheted. The right one is a bobble stitch.
2 scarves I made to donate to special Olympics. They both use the same yarn and the same hook sizes. The one on the left is a triple crochet repeating stitch with the two yarns held together as I crocheted. The right one is a bobble stitch.

If you do a search engine search for “how to crochet a scarf” what you will find is a lot of different crochet scarf patterns. These are definitely useful since most people start crocheting scarves based on a pattern that they find online or in a book. However, this doesn’t really help you out if you want to design your own crochet scarf. If you want to know how to crochet a scarf without a pattern than this article is for you!

A crochet scarf is a rectangle

The first thing that you will want to remember is that your crochet scarf is probably going to be a rectangle. It is possible to make other shapes into scarves but if you are designing a crochet scarf for the first time then you will want to stick with the traditional rectangle shape. Now all that you need to figure out is the size of your rectangle. Take a few scarves that you already have and find the one that’s approximately the size that you want to crochet. Measure it and use this information as the basis for your own crochet scarf.

How to crochet a scarf: choose your colors

The first thing that people are going to notice about the scarf that you crochet is what color it is. That’s why you should take the time to choose a color that really appeals to you. If you want to work with multiple colors then make sure that you hold the yarn against each other to see that it’s going to look good together in the finished product. Keep in mind that if you have poor eyesight or trouble distinguishing stitches when you crochet then you’ll find it easier to work with a light colored yarn rather than one that is dark.

How to crochet a scarf: choose your yarn

In addition to the color of the yarn you will need to decide what type of yarn you want. This means the weight of the yarn as well as the material that the yarn is made of. If you want to crochet a scarf quickly then you will want to choose a bulky yarn. If you want a really fine scarf then you’ll choose a very lightweight yarn. I’ve used everything from sock yarn to super bulky yarn to make scarves and it all works just fine . You just need to know what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice at your local yarn store – they people who work there are there to help! You can also get advice and information from the forums on Ravelry, the crochet social networking site.

How to crochet a scarf: pick a stitch

You will need to decide what crochet stitches you want to use in your crochet scarf. If it’s your first time making a crochet scarf then you might just want to repeat the same stitch over and over again. When I first started crocheting I did a scarf entirely in single crochet stitch and then another in half double crochet stitch and then another in double crochet stitch and yet another in treble crochet stitch. It was a great way to learn the stitches, play with different yarns and learn how to crochet a scarf. If you are already more experienced with crochet then you might have in mind that you want to do a shell stitch or you want to mix a single crochet stitch with a double crochet stitch. Whatever you want to do is up to you!

Sketch your pattern

I’ve found that when you’re first learning how to crochet a scarf without a pattern you will want to sketch out your pattern on a piece of paper. You don’t need to know how to draw to do this. It’s just to give you an idea of what you want to do. You might sketch a rectangle and then shade it in rows because you want to do one row in each color that you’ve chosen. You might want to note on your sketch what stitches you have decided to use where on the scarf (such as single crochet except for an edging in double crochet) to keep yourself on track. The design can be complex or basic although of course you might want to start off with something basic if you’re just learning how to crochet a scarf for the first time without using a pattern.

Now crochet a scarf!

After you’ve done all of this foundation work then you are ready to crochet a scarf using your pattern. You don’t have to follow the pattern exactly – it’s just there to guide and inspire you. Most people will crochet a scarf by doing a foundation chain for the long side of the scarf. Use the measurements that you took in the beginning to make the length of the scarf and then crochet until you have the width that you desire. (However some people do the short end first and crochet short rows until the scarf is as long as they desire. This is less common but when you learn how to crochet a scarf it’s all up to you!)

Making changes

There are two ways that you can choose to make changes when you are learning how to crochet a scarf. The first is to rip back your work (something that crocheters call frogging) and make changes until you are happy with the end result. The second is to finish crocheting the scarf so that you have a sample to work off of and then make another scarf using the first one as a basis and making your changes to the new scarf.

Take notes

If you think that there’s any chance that you will want to make the same scarf again in the future (or sell the pattern for your scarf down the line) then you should take notes on what you’re doing as you crochet. Include the number of stitches in the foundation chain, the number of rows in the scarf, the yarn you used, the hook size that you used, and the stitches that you used in each part of the scarf. The more detailed your notes the easier it will be to crochet the same scarf again in the future. And that’s how to crochet a scarf without a pattern!! 


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    2 years ago

    Thank you very informative. Really enjoyed reviewing the information!

  • annajazz profile image

    Anna Marie 

    5 years ago from New Mexico

    Love it! Thanks for the informative hub.

  • annajazz profile image

    Anna Marie 

    5 years ago from New Mexico

    Thanks for the awesome hub!

  • profile image

    Edwin - CrochetScarfPatterns 

    7 years ago

    My Mother used to crochet a scarf, Great tutorial and tips for beginner. Thanks

  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 

    7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    My daughter taught herself how to crochet from a little booklet and sample kit.

    Great hub

  • viking305 profile image

    L M Reid 

    7 years ago from Ireland

    Very comprehensive hub about crocheting a scarf. My mother does all her knittting without patterns now. But she has been knitting for over 50 years, lol.

    I like the advice about tking notes too, very good idea

  • craftdrawer profile image


    7 years ago

    Great information my only problem when not crocheting from a pattern is I tend to make the scarf too long!!!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Very thorough tips and advice. Wonderful for beginner crocheters.


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