How to Make Scarves From Yarn

    by Diane Steinbach

    About the Author

    Diane Steinbach has been writing for a variety of professional, educational and entertainment publications for more than 15 years. She has authored several books on art therapy, including "Art as Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas." Steinbach holds a Bachelor of Arts in art therapy and behavioral science from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee.


    Scarves are one of the most useful and versatile pieces of apparel a person can own. They are great for keeping warm when shoveling snow or casually throwing over a T-shirt while walking along a beach at night. Crafting one yourself makes it extra special. Affordable and versatile, yarn and scarf-making go hand and hand, and you have many options in terms of techniques and styles. If you are ready to make scarves out of yarn, there are a few ways to get started.

    Things You'll Need

    • Yarn
    • Knitting needles
    • Crochet needles
    • Old sweaters
    • Washing machine
    • Table loom

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    Knit a scarf. Knitting patterns for scarves range in the thousands and can be super easy to complex, including texture designs such as cables and color designs like intarsia and fair isle. The overall quality of the scarf depends on the quality of yarn you buy. Knit color combinations with several strands of different yarns or one continuous color-changing yarn. Knit a long, narrow scarf with straight needles, or an infinity scarf with circular needles.

    Crochet a scarf. Crocheted scarves are a beautiful alternative to knitting and offer the different pattern options. Crocheting allows you to make scarves that are densely thick or delicate and open. Crocheted scarves can be one continuous piece or can be pieced together such as in a granny square pattern.

    Felt a scarf. Felting is the "in" style for everything from purses to sweaters to scarves. Knit or crochet the scarf yourself first but remember to make it considerably longer and wider than you want the felted scarf to be. The felting procedure -- essentially hand washing in very hot water -- takes a knitted piece and purposely shrinks it, turning a loose weave into a dense fabric. Know that the felting process only works with natural animal fibers, such as wool, cashmere and angora.

    Weave a scarf. Whether you have a four harness loom or a table-top loom, weaving yarn into a scarf is easy. Start with yarn tied onto your loom at a width of at least 7 inches, then weave away until it is the desired length. Weaving allows skilled users to create a pattern as well. It's best to take a class to learn how to do it correctly.

    Braid a scarf. Cut yarn into strands that are 2 1/2 yards long. Create three "bundles" that are at least 20 strands thick. Tie the three bundles together at one end, leaving a 2-inch fringe, then braid the rest. Tie off with 2 inches at the other end. Add interest by combining colors and textures within each bundle or among the bundles.

    • Find free patterns for knitting or crocheting online.
    • If you are unfamiliar with knitting or crocheting, practice the basic skills first before you dive into a scarf pattern. An easy scarf can be a good introductory project for either craft.
    • If you're using 100 percent wool to craft your scarf, don't accidentally felt it by washing it in hot water.