Friday, 7 February 2014

"Bracken" Men's Scarf - free knitting pattern and colour change tutorial

Knitting a Chunky Scarf

I had great plans last year to make lots of handmade Christmas presents. I didn't make lots, but the few I did make were lovely and really well received, especially this stylish scarf that's super easy to make. 

What you need to knit a scarf

All you need is 100g of chunky yarn (US bulky) in a solid colour plus 100g of variegated chunky (bulky) yarn (so that's 200g in total). You can use either 5.5mm (US 9) or 6mm (US 10) knitting needles. 
I used 5.5mm needles.

I only had 200g of yarn in my stash, but it was the perfect length - great for tucking into a coat. Of course you could make it longer if you have more yarn.

How do I knit the scarf?

The houndstooth check appearance is made by knitting a broken rib pattern and working 2 rows in the variegated yarn followed by 2 rows in the solid colour. 

So it's really simple and great to work on whilst you're watching the TV or listening to the radio. Plus, the great thing about ribbed patterns is that the back looks just as good as the front.

I found 4 x 50g balls of yarn in my stash:
2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Chunky (Col 04) - this is Yarn A
2 balls of Bergere de France Magic+ (Shade 20868 Bivouac) - this is Yarn B

Noro Silk Garden chunky is a beautiful mix of silk (45)%, mohair (45%) and lambswool (10%). At the time of writing, I spotted a similar colour of the Noro Silk Garden chunky here

Bergere de France Magic+ is a mix of acrylic and wool and is still available to buy.

Instructions to knit a scarf:
Cast on 33 sts in Yarn A using 5.5mm needles (or 6mm needles).
Row 1: Knit the first stitch, *Purl 2 stitches, Knit 2 stitches; then repeat from * all the way to the end of the row.
Row 2: Purl the first stitch,  *Knit 2 stitches, Purl 2 stitches; then repeat from * all the way to the end of the row. 
Next, join  Yarn B  as follows: first, place the tail end of Yarn B underneath Yarn A:

Tie Yarn B around Yarn A:

and push the knot the the top of Yarn A.

Next, using Yarn B, repeat Rows 1 and 2 once more.
Drop Yarn B, pick up Yarn A and repeat Rows 1 and 2.
Drop Yarn A, pick up Yarn B then repeat Rows 1 and 2.
Continue in this way, working two rows in each colour until your yarn is used up (ending with 2 rows in Yarn A to match the cast on edge).

Cast off in pattern, which means you follow the pattern for Row 1 as you  cast off.

And there you have it - a cosy scarf that is perfect for a cold winter's day. Whilst I made this for a man, you could make one for any member of the family, or for a friend, in their favourite colours.

If you've enjoyed this project, you can find a similar scarf and lots more relaxing projects in my knitting book called "Knit Yourself Calm". You see inside the pages by clicking here

I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial - I'd love to hear what you think and I'd love to see your scarves.

Happy Knitting, Lynne x


  1. Hi I really want to try their pattern but would like a bit of a thinner Scraf how can I reduce the stitches, shud they be cast on odd number just? Thanks anna

    1. Hi, the number of stitches should be a multiple of 4, plus 1 extra, so try either 29, or 25 sts. Alternatively, keep the same number of stitches and use thinner yarn, such as aran or dk weight. Good luck :)

  2. Hi, this pattern 's on my wish list. . Gonna knit this soon but kindly tell me one thing does the pattern has a smooth edge if not slIping 1st st n knitting last stitch sud do.??? Can u pore in ur comment on this. TIA

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment, I personally do not slip the first stitch, I just pull the yarn nice and tight when I've knitted the first stitch, which keeps a neat edge. However, I know that some people do get loose stitches on the edges of their knitting, so you could slip the first stitch to avoid this - slip the stitch purlways (as if to purl). On Row 1 slip the stitch with the yarn at the back of work, then bring it forward between the needles ready to purl the next 2 sts. On Row 2, slip the stitch with the yarn at the front then take the yarn to the back ready to knit the next 2 sts. I hope this helps you, best wishes, Lynne

    2. Thanks a ton. From your comment above i guess it's all about the way we hold our needles n the tension of the yarn. Thank u once again for sharing this pattern and also for replying to my query. Happy knitting.

  3. Hi!
    So I just finished knitting this, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to cast off. You stated that you just want to finish your yarn, but I bought a bigger size yarn than what you recommended. So how do I cast off with this style of knitting?

    1. If you work the stitches in the same way as the row you are working, first work 2 sts, then lift the first stitch over the top stitch to cast off. Then work the next stitch and cast off - all the way to the end. So its the same as a normal casting off but you work the stitches in the pattern as set. I hope that helps.

  4. does this scarf lie flat when you are done knitting?

    1. Yes, it lies flat and doesn't curl. Hope that helps.