Make a Hand Knitted Neck Scarf without a Pattern

With cooler weather coming on, hand knitted neck scarves are back on the scene, and gloriously so! New and old yarns can make these luxuriously long neck scarves beautiful, snazzy or even traditional – whichever look you prefer. If you hand knit, it’s the obvious fashion statement to make, the one to give and the one to experiment with. You can do it your way without having to follow someone else’s pattern!

Hand knitted neck scarves come in so many widths and lengths that you can’t go wrong. Just grab a couple of needles, some yarn and knit until you’re tired of the project! Ok, I’m kidding. If you want to create something you’ll be proud to wear – something that’s all yours – then stop to do a little figuring before you get started.

First, the yarn: Eyelash? Super thick wool? Angora? Plain old acrylic? Baby yarn? It’s up to you and your pocketbook but remember that each yarn will feel and look different while you’re working as well as while you’re wearing your new hand knitted neck scarf.

Since different yarns will create very different effects, you may want to think about what kind of effect you want first. Newer yarns can create a fur-like appearance, or a fuzzy surface, or other interesting textures and color patterns. Wool often comes in deep and bright colors and is very warm, so if warmth is what you’re after, wool is it. If you’re inexperienced, you may want to work with inexpensive yarn at first. Mistakes in your hand knitted neck scarf will be less painful if you use acrylic yarn. You can rip out and rework acrylic without much thought, but some yarns don’t respond well to reworking, so you can lose all of your work if you make a serious mistake.

After you’ve settled on the yarn you want, look at the suggested gauge for hand knitting. You can choose a little tighter or looser gauge, changing needle sizes to make it happen, but don’t stray too far from what’s suggested or you’ll have either a heavy and stiff piece of material, or you’ll have a loose, limp and hard to manage piece.

Next, make a swatch and get your exact gauge with the needles you’d like to use. You might have to try a few times to get the effect you want, but it’s worth the time and trouble to be sure your material has the properties you want. You’ll also need this to find out how many stitches to start with.

When you’re satisfied that the needles you want to use will give you the right look and feel, decide how wide and long you want the scarf to be. Try on another scarf, or if you don’t have one, use a piece of cloth folded to get the width you like best. Measure this and write it down, along with the length you prefer. Now is the time to figure how many stitches you need to make the hand knitted neck scarf the size you want.

Do the math like this:

8 stitches to the inch = 16 stitches for 2 inches, etc. If you’re doing chunky yarn, yours will probably be more like 4 stitches to the inch. Whatever it is, multiply the number of stitches by the number of inches you want your hand knitted neck scarf to be. That’s the amount of stitches you’ll need to cast on.

When you have the right amount of stitches cast on to the right size of needle, using the yarn you like, you’re ready to go. Work over your stitches, (doing some fancy stitches if you prefer) until the scarf is as long as you want it. The fashion is anywhere from three to ten feet, so it’s up to you.

What next? Cast off and show off your new hand knitted neck scarf downtown, at the game, in the country, or wherever you are. You’re in style and it’s all yours.

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