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How to Make and Wear a Knotted Scarf for Fall

Updated on October 9, 2014

No-Knit, No-Crochet Scarf that Anyone Can Make

One day, in a gift shop, I noticed a display of scarves that were made of strands and strands of different yarns that were knotted together. Interesting, I thought. Then, a friend on vacation sent me a picture of a display of scarves that were created with strands of ladder yarn simply knotted together. "Why aren't you making these?" she wondered.

I was scrolling through new craft patterns on a yarn manufacturer's website and I saw the name, "knotted scarf." Ah ha! A search on Etsy showed a variety of knotted scarves all based on the simple concept of strands of novelty yarns knotted together. All you need to do is measure lengths of yarn, line them up, and knot them in a strategic location.

This is a simple enough project that a preteen could do on her own. If you don't know how to knit or crochet, you finally have the opportunity to design and craft your own handmade scarf. Even if you do know how to knit or crochet, I think you'd still love to make one (or several) of these scarves because you can use your yarn stash while playing with beautiful textures and colors.

Don't have a yarn stash? Don't worry, you can still purchase the supplies for this type of scarf without going broke.

A knotted scarf seems perfect for autumn when you don't necessarily want to wear a bulky winter scarf. Depending on how many strands of yarn you use, this could be a lightweight scarf or a chunky creation.

Scarf and Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Have You Seen Knotted Scarves in Stores?

Knotted Scarf or Fringe Scarf - Both Names Work

Have you heard about knotted scarves? Maybe now that you've seen the pictures in this article you realize that you've seen these scarves but didn't know what they were called. I've also heard the scarves called "fringe scarves" because they are constructed of strands of long fringe.

Ladder Yarn Knotted Scarf and Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Are You Ready to Make a Knotted Scarf?

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Feather yarn (assorted colors)-Package Quantity,24
Feather yarn (assorted colors)-Package Quantity,24

This is a fantastic deal on this yarn as you can't go into a store and find feather yarn for less than $2 a skein. I love the soft and slightly sleek texture of feather yarns.


Select a Color Theme for Your Scarf

One of the fun parts

The first thing to do when it comes to making a knotted scarf is to decide what colors you want to work with. Because you will be using many strands of different yarns, you'll be working with a color theme. You may decide that you want to work with a single color, for example red. However, you will quickly notice that there is quite a lot of variety when it comes to red yarns. In the case of a knotted scarf, this variety will work in your favor, adding depth and visual interest to your scarf.

You could also decide to work with a color and a neutral. For example, blue and gray, purple and black, pink and white, etc. Again, there will be a variety of tints and shades for each color, so you'll still get a lot of variety.

Think of the color wheel when working with several colors. Colors that are next to one another on the color wheel complement one another. So, red, orange, and yellow will look great together as would green, blue, and purple. If you see a multicolor yarn that you like, use that as inspiration for selecting your colors.

Scarf and Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Patons Pirouette Sparkle Patons Yarn, Sienna Sparkle
Patons Pirouette Sparkle Patons Yarn, Sienna Sparkle

Ruffle yarns are strips of mesh fabric that add bulk to your scarf without fuzziness. Just cut the strip to the desired length and use as is; it isn't necessary to knit or crochet the yarn into a ruffle.


Buy Yarn in a Variety of Textures

The other really fun part

Once you've selected the colors that you want to work with, you now want to look for yarn in a variety of textures. Although you may decide to make a simple scarf based on a single type of yarn, these scarves look great when you are working with 6, 12, or even 20 different yarns. Of course, if you don't have a stash of yarn, you'll probably want to limit the different types of yarns you will use.

Keep in mind that fuzzier yarns (like eyelash and feather yarns) as well as pompom yarns lend a bohemian, free spirit quality to the scarf. Smooth yarns feel more sophisticated. You can (and should) combine different textures, but you can decide where you want your scarf to fall on the smooth to fuzzy continuum.

Scarf and photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy

Lion Brand Fun Fur Yarn (171) Amber By The Yard
Lion Brand Fun Fur Yarn (171) Amber By The Yard

Eyelash yarns definitely add a bohemian feel to your scarf if you use several strands of this yarn in your scarf.


Think Color and Texture - Yummy yarns

Since this type of scarf doesn't rely upon complicated stitch patterns to grant it its eye appeal, you want to select yarns that make you want to run your fingers along the material.

You've already selected your color theme, so stay focused when shopping and look for a wide variety of yarns in different weights and textures. Remember, you are looking at texture, so don't get caught into buying yarns with similar textures. Don't worry if the colors aren't perfect matches as the differences will help the different types of yarn to stand out from one another.

Red Heart  Super Saver Jumbo Yarn, Claret
Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo Yarn, Claret

Although I keep mentioning novelty yarns with interesting textures, you can also use smooth yarns as these add bulk and shape to your scarves.


Make a Knotted Scarf - Super easy directions

You will want to cut 25 to 50 strands of yarn to approximately 60" in length. Yes, you can use a yarn more than once; I tend to add two-to-six strands of a yarn, depending upon how distinctive the yarn is and how chunky the yarn is.

Line up all of the strands at one end. Fold the final piece in half. You can add a single knot at the back or place knots so they fall just below the collarbone. If desired, add another knot or two down the ends, leaving approximately 12" of fringe.

Really, it's that easy! You can check out these directions as well as some variations on this style scarf at these different sites.

Creative, One of a Kind Scarves

It seems like every year the yarn manufacturer's come out with a yarn that would be perfect for scarves. If you are a crafter, chances are you've followed the trends. I love the knotted, or fringe, scarves because you get to use a lot of different types of yarn and each scarf is truly unique.

Keep Thinking Color and Texture

Knitting Fever Dazzle Metallic Ladder Yarn New Color 4 Gold Brown Green Orange
Knitting Fever Dazzle Metallic Ladder Yarn New Color 4 Gold Brown Green Orange

More beautiful colors to add to an autumn themed scarf ... although by combining this yarn with brighter colors, if would work for summer or spring, as well.


Are You a Fan of Making Scarves?

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    • JennyRowling profile image

      Jenny Rowling 4 years ago from London, UK

      I love scarves X3

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I think I could do this.

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 4 years ago

      Yes! I love knitting and i love yarns, unusual yarns. Last fall I made 3 Infinity scarves..this year?...

    • theJavaGirl profile image

      Debbie 4 years ago from Atlanta

      I love scarves but had no idea it was so easy to make one of these! Thanks for sharing.

    • LilyBird profile image

      LilyBird 4 years ago

      I've knitted several scarves for winter but have never tried making a knotted scarf. They look fairly simple to make and are beautiful. Thanks for the info!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Very nice article, I am not a wearer of scarves, but I think they would make great gifts, and I would have some fun making them, and seeing the end result.

      Thanks for the idea.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I am new to these knotted scarves. From what I have seen here, I love them. Thanks for showing me how to create my own and congrats on your feature.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a great project and a really great gift idea!