How to Make a Skinny Garter Stitch Scarf

Completed skinny garter stitch scarf

Sarah E. White

Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

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 how fast it works up. 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've finished, you'll have no problems with this most basic stitch, which you'll use in almost every knitting pattern in the future.

And you can wear it as a belt as well as a skinny scarf. Since it's knit in garter stitch (knit every row), the fabric 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. Plus, there's a little extra fun because you get to finish it off with a fluffy fringe.

Sizing / Finished Measurements

Width: 2 inches

Length: 48 inches long, not including fringe

Gauge

20 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US 8 (5.0 mm) knitting needles
  • crochet hook, I/9-k/10 (5.5-6.5 mm) for fringe
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Materials

  • 100 to 200 yard worsted weight yarn

Instructions

  1. Cast On

    Using long-tail cast-on, cast on 10 sts.

  2. Begin Garter Stitch

    Work in garter stitch until the piece measures 48 inches or desired length.

    All rows: knit.

  3. Finish

    Bind off. Leaving a 6-inch tail, cut yarn; fasten off. Weave in ends.

  4. Fringe (Optional)

    Measure and cut 30 pieces of yarn, each 12 inches long. Divide lengths into 10 groups of 3 pieces each.

    To attach each group of fringe: fold a fringe group in half, insert the crochet hook through a stitch on one end of the scarf, use the hook to pull the fold end through the fabric, then use the hook to pull the tail ends through the fold loop. Pull gently to tighten.

    Continue attaching fringe, evenly spacing 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. Or you can add stripes, either with a self-striping yarn or get practice changing from one ball of color to another.

Since gauge is not crucial for a scarf, this is an excellent pattern for bulky yarns. Choose a comfy yarn and 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 weigh more than you think, and the weight can put stress on your neck. They may be warm, but you might not want to wear them for long periods.

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 of garter stitch 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!