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How to Crochet a Scarf for Beginners – Free Pattern

Do you want to learn how to crochet a scarf? If so, this free pattern is a perfect choice – especially for beginners. It’s a simple and easy ribbed scarf pattern that will teach you all the basics of crocheting.

This scarf is a great project if you are just learning how to crochet, or need something quick and easy to make as a gift.

Once finished, your new scarf will be soft and cozy – perfect for keeping warm on chilly days! The best part about this simple pattern is that it’s completely customizable; use your favorite color of yarn, add fringe, or double it up to create your own unique look! So what are you waiting for? Grab your hooks, and let’s start crocheting!

chunky crochet scarf in cream yarn

When I first learned to crochet, I started out with flat rectangular projects like this simple crochet scarf pattern. It’s one of the easy patterns I always recommend to beginners who have learned the basic crochet stitches and are ready to tackle their first “real” crochet project.

Because, when you think about it, a scarf is just a long rectangle – or a really big gauge swatch. Crocheting a scarf isn’t that much more challenging than making a crochet gauge swatch, but it’s certainly a lot more satisfying! 

Easy Crochet Scarf Pattern

This free crochet pattern will show you how to make a simple and stylish ribbed scarf that looks complex, but is really very easy! It’s is a great way for beginners to learn the basics of crocheting without getting overwhelmed or frustrated.

Our step-by-step guide makes it easy, even if you’ve never picked up a hook before! You don’t need extensive experience reading crochet patterns to make it – just some practice making basic stitches. 

This modern, unisex scarf is the perfect project for beginners because it uses only two stitches – chain stitch and half double crochet stitch (hdc). We’ll walk through each step from start to finish, from the beginning chain stitches to the finishing fringe.

If you are looking to learn new crochet skills, or just need a quick project, then this free scarf pattern is perfect. The best part? It works up quickly – just about 2 hours from start to finish!

Click for the ad-free, printable PDF version of this crochet scarf pattern.

And once you’ve mastered this easy ribbed scarf pattern, try making a crochet hat or other crochet accessories like headbands or cowls!

cream colored crochet scarf made with bulky yarn on a gray background

Design Notes

  • The scarf is made with a large size crochet hook and super bulky yarn, so it works up quickly! Most people say it takes about 2-3 hours to make, so it’s great for a weekend project or a last-minute gift.
  • The pattern is designed to use up every bit of two skeins of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. (If playing yarn chicken stresses you out, go ahead and pick up that extra third skein.)
  • The chunky yarn and ribbed texture make this scarf super warm and cozy. It’s perfect for winter days and chilly nights.

More free scarf patterns: And for those who love crochet scarves, here is a list of my favorite free crochet scarf patterns – 25 different options!

Pattern Stitches: HDC Ribbing

The body of the scarf is made with a crochet ribbing stitch, called “half double crochet in the back loops only” (abbreviated HDC BLO).

This ribbing stitch is very similar to regular half-double crochet – the only thing that changes is where you’ll insert your hook. Instead of inserting the hook under both the front and back loops of each stitch, you’ll insert the hook under the back loop only. 

Making the hdc through the back loop only makes a stretchy crochet ribbing that’s perfect for scarves. It creates a warm and cozy texture that looks like knitting.

photos showing where to insert the hook to crochet in the back loop only

If you’ve never done HDC BLO before, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to make this crochet stitch in the pattern below.

Scarf Pattern Variations

Here are a few ways you can customize this pattern to suit your style.

Size: The pattern is easy to adjust to make longer or shorter scarves. To make a shorter scarf, make a starting chain with fewer stitches. To make a longer scarf, make a starting chain with more stitches.

Fringe: You can add fringe to the short ends of the scarf. If you choose to add fringe, you may need a 3rd skein of yarn.

Infinity Scarf Variation: To make a crochet infinity scarf, you can seam the two short ends of the scarf. Seaming the scarf will create a large loop of fabric that you can double up and wear around your neck.

Project Materials

Here are the materials you’ll need for this project.

  1. Super bulky yarn
  2. Size N / 9mm crochet hook
  3. Crochet Needle (like a blunt-tipped tapestry needle)
  4. Scissors
  5. Measuring Tape

Wondering how many skeins of yarn you need for this crochet scarf pattern? If you choose Wool-Ease Thick Quick, you’ll need about two skeins. Grab an extra skein if you want to make a longer scarf or if you want to add fringe to your scarf.

Best Yarn for Chunky Scarves

I designed this pattern with one of my favorite yarns: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. It’s a lovely bulky-weight yarn that works up fast, so it’s an excellent choice for quick projects.

This yarn combines the warmth of wool with the easy care of acrylic, so it’s great for winter accessories. It’s made from an acrylic-wool blend, so it’s soft, affordable, and really easy to wash. Plus, this yarn comes in more than 50 different colors.

Please feel free to substitute any other yarn you love. Keep in mind that you will need to make a gauge swatch, and possibly go up or down a hook size depending on your yarn choice.

Here are some other yarns you can use to make this project.

If you don’t have any super bulky yarn handy, you could also use two strands of heavier worsted weight yarn held together.

orange crochet hook making half double crochet stitches in cream yarn to  make a beginner crochet scarf pattern

Favorite Crochet Hooks

And, of course, you’ll need a crochet hook. My favorite crochet hooks are ergonomic crochet hooks from Clover. They are suitable for beginners, are very easy to use.

I also love these beautiful wooden crochet hooks from Furls. I find them very comfortable and easy to work with!

For this project, you’ll need a size N/M 9mm hook. If you crochet tightly, you may need to size up to an N/P 10.0mm hook.

How Long Should a Crochet Scarf Be?

A crochet scarf can be as long as you want! Depending on how many times you prefer to wrap a scarf around your neck, you can make a longer or shorter scarf.

On average, crochet scarves are between 60″ and 70″ long. The old rule of thumb is that a crochet scarf should be as long as the wearer is tall. This ensures that the wearer can wrap the scarf around their neck at least once.

I designed this pattern to be 66″ long – that’s five and a half feet. 

Chunky Scarf Crochet Pattern

Pattern Description

  • Skill Level: Beginner/Easy
  • Finished Size: 66″ long and 6″ wide for an Adult size scarf.
  • Gauge: 7.5 sts per 4″ in HDC BLO

Materials

You’ll also need: 

  • yarn needle or tapestry needle
  • scissors
  • stitch markers, if desired
  • ruler or tape measure, if desired

Stitches and Abbreviations

  • st/sts – stitch/stitches
  • ch – chain
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • BLO – back loops only

Special Stitches

Almost all stitches will be made in the Back Loops Only. You will see this abbreviated in the pattern as BLO.

holding a piece of crochet fabric to show the v shape loops at the top of each stitch

What does back loop only mean?

If you look at the top of a row of crochet stitches, you’ll see that the stitches form little V shapes. Hold a piece of crochet fabric with the V’s on top – the part of the V closest to you is called the front loop, and the part of the V furthest from you is called the back loop.

Usually, you would insert your hook under both the front and back loops to make a new stitch. In most of the stitches in this pattern, you’ll skip the front loops and insert the hook only under the back loops.

Pattern Notes

  • This pattern is written in US terminology.
  • The scarf is worked flat, back and forth in lengthwise rows.
  • The turning ch-2 does not count as a stitch.
  • Although almost all hdc stitches will be worked through the back loop, I find that working the first and last hdc stitches of each row under both loops can give you a cleaner edge.

Scarf Pattern Instructions

The first step is to tie a slip knot. You’ll use the slip knot to attach the yarn to the crochet hook.

loop of cream colored yarn around an orange crochet hook to make a slip knot

How to Tie a Slip Knot

  1. Make a loop of yarn, leaving a 6″ yarn tail. 
  2. Insert the crochet hook through the center of the loop, from front to back.
  3. Grab the ball-end yarn, and pull up a loop.
  4. Tighten the slip knot by pulling on both yarn ends.

Crochet the Starting Chain

The next step in making a crochet scarf is to make the starting chain. A starting chain – also called a foundation chain – is a series of crochet chain stitches that forms the foundation for the rest of the crochet scarf.

To make a chain stitch:

  1. Insert the hook into the slip knot, yarn over the hook, and pull up a loop.
  2. Repeat this process to make more chain stitches.

If you tend to chain too tightly, you can use a 10mm or 12mm hook to make the chain stitches, and then switch to a 9mm hook to crochet the rest of the scarf.

For this pattern, chain 126 stitches.

Beginner Tip: When counting how many chains you’ve made, do not count the loop on your hook or the slip knot as a stitch. 

Row 1

You’ll make the first row by crocheting into the starting chain. To crochet into a starting chain, insert the crochet hook into the chain stitch from front to back. The tip of the hook will pass through the center of the V.

Or, if you prefer, turn the chain over and make the first row of stitches into the back bumps of the chain. It’s your choice – some people find that working into the back bar gives a project a cleaner edge.

photos showing where to insert the crochet hook to work into the foundation chain stitches - either under the top loop or under the back bump

Row 1: Starting in the third chain from the hook, make 124 hdc. Turn. (124sts)

Remember: In this pattern, the turning chain does not count as a stitch.

cream yarn and orange crochet hook on a gray background

Alternate Start: More experienced crocheters may want to start with foundation hdc stitches, instead of a long starting chain. If you prefer to start with foundation stitches, make 124 fhdc.

Row 2

For the second row, you’ll make a regular half double crochet in the first and last stitches, and hdc-blo in all other stitches across the row.

Row 2: Chain 2 (does not count as a stitch). Starting in the first stitch, make 1 hdc. Make 122 hdc blo. In the last stitch, make 1 hdc. Turn (124 sts)

finished two rows of half double crochet back loops only to make an easy crochet scarf

Rows 3-10

For the next rows, repeat Row 2 until the scarf is as wide as you like.

Row 3-10: Chain 2 (does not count as a stitch). Starting in the first stitch, make 1 hdc. Make 122 hdc blo. In the last stitch, make 1 hdc. Turn (124 sts)

Note: You can increase or decrease the width of your scarf by crochet more or fewer rows.

Finishing

After you’ve finished the last row, cut yarn and fasten off. Thread a crochet needle or blunt-tipped tapestry needle the yarn tails, and weave in the ends.

And there you go! You’ve just completed this simple scarf pattern!

finished crochet scarf made with bulky cream colored yarn on a soft gray background

Tips for Finishing your Scarf

Here are a few ways to finish your scarf for a polished look.

Option 1: Add Fringe to the Ends

If you like, you can fringe to the short ends of your scarf.

To make fringe, cut at 40 lengths of yarn that each measure 12″ long. Fold each piece of yarn in half, forming a folded loop. Match the ends so that they are even.

  1. Insert a crochet hook through a stitch, from back to front. Use the hook to grab two pieces of yarn at the folded center point.
  2. Pull the yarn pieces partway through the stitch.
  3. Draw the ends of the yarn pieces through the folded loops.
  4. Pull on the yarn ends to tighten the fringe.

Option 2: Infinity Scarf Variation

If you would like to make a crochet infinity scarf, you can seam the two short ends of the scarf together to make a loop. Match up the short ends of the scarf, and seam them together with a mattress stitch.

Weave in the ends.

chunky ribbed crochet scarf looped into an infinity scarf

More Crochet Patterns and Tutorials

If you like to crochet, you may be interested in these related articles.

What’s Next?

Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards so that you can come back to it later.

Leave a comment: I love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!

Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker. I love to see what you make!

Have questions? Join the Facebook Group!

I hope this article was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. I created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each other out.

How to Crochet a Scarf for Beginners

How to Crochet a Scarf for Beginners

Yield: 1
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: 15

Do you want to learn how to crochet a scarf? If so, this free pattern is a perfect choice - especially for beginners. It's a simple and easy ribbed scarf pattern that will teach you all the basics of crocheting.

Tools

Instructions

  1. Row 1: Chain 126. Starting in the third chain from the hook, make 124 hdc. Turn.
  2. Row 2: Chain 2. (Does not count as a stitch.) Starting in the first stitch, make 1 hdc. Make 122 hdc blo. In the last stitch, make 1 hdc. Turn (124 sts)
  3. Rows 3-10. Chain 2. (Does not count as a stitch.) Starting in the first stitch, make 1 hdc. Make 122 hdc blo. In the last stitch, make 1 hdc. Turn (124 sts)
  4. Finishing: Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in ends.

Notes

If desired, you can add fringe to the short ends. Or, seam the short ends together with a mattress stitch to create an infinity scarf.

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