How to Make a Skinny Garter Stitch Scarf

Completed skinny garter stitch scarf

Sarah E. White

If you're looking for a great first project, this simple skinny scarf is a fabulous way to go. It's perfect for teaching a child to knit and adults who are new to knitting will enjoy it as well. Even if you're just looking for a super quick scarf to knit as a gift, this is an ideal pattern.

If you knit with an easy working wool yarn on decently sized needles, this scarf will knit up quick, even for a new knitter. It can be used as a thin scarf and works just as well as a belt. You can also make it whatever length you like. Plus, there's a little extra fun because you get to finish it off with tassels.

A 1-Stitch Scarf

The beauty of this pattern is that it provides lots of practice on the knit stitch. All you have to do is repeat that single stitch! By the time you're finished, you'll have no problems with this most basic stitch, which you'll use in almost every knitting pattern in the future.

Since it's knit in garter stitch (knit every row), the scarf has a bumpy texture on both sides and is reversible. You also don't have to worry about the edges curling as you do with stockinette stitch.

Materials Needed

  • About 100 yards medium weight wool yarn of your choice, or similar weight yarn of any fiber. Cascade 220 The Heathers in color 2433 was used for the example scarf.
  • One pair size 8 U.S. knitting needles
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle
  • Crochet hook similar to the size of yarn


Gauge is not critical for this scarf. With a medium weight wool yarn, you might expect to get 5 stitches per inch in garter stitch.


The scarf is 2 inches wide and 48 inches long before adding the fringe. You can make it as long as you like, though.


  1. Cast on 10 stitches.
  2. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) until the piece measures 48 inches or the length of your choice.
  3. Bind off, cut the yarn, and weave in the ends.
  4. Measure and cut 30 pieces of yarn 12 inches long (or length of your choice; finished fringe will be about half as long as the pieces). Divide into 10 groups of 3 pieces each.
  5. For each group, fold the yarn in half, hook the crochet hook through the last row of knit stitches on the scarf, catch the loop, pull it through, and loop the ends of the tassel through the loop. Pull tight.
  6. Continue making the tassels, evenly placing five sections on each end of the scarf.

Customize the Scarf

This pattern is a lot of fun to play with and one of the easiest ways is to vary the yarn and needles you use. It can be something as simple as choosing a variegated yarn with a rainbow of colors. You can also add stripes, either with a self-striping yarn or get practice changing from one ball of yarn to another.

To make the scarf wider than 2 inches, simply cast on a few extra stitches. Knowing your gauge will tell you how many stitches to add for each extra inch you want in the end.

Since gauge is not important, this is also a great pattern for bulky yarns. Choose a comfy yarn and simply switch to bigger needles—the recommendation for that particular yarn is a great place to begin. Do be careful about the length, though. Long scarves knit from a bulky yarn can become heavy and the weight can put stress on your neck. They may be warm, but you might not want to wear them for long periods of time.

For a belt or thin fashion scarf, switch to a lightweight yarn and smaller needles. Ribbon yarns and sock yarns offer some fun fashion choices.

While you'll lose the texture with eyelash (or fun fur) yarn because of all the furriness, this pattern is a great way to create a scarf that lays flat. Plus, since its skinny, it's a great fashion accessory!