Horizontal Scarf

Sideways Knitting

Horizontal Scarf pattern
Horizontal Scarf. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Most people are familiar with knitting a scarf from one end to the other, casting on a small number of stitches and working many, many rows.

But it's also possible, and really interesting, to knit a scarf sideways, casting on a large number of stitches and working just a few rows to get your scarf done.

This scarf uses a different color yarn on each row (repeated randomly throughout) and uses the tails of each strand as fringe.


  • Six to 12 or more spare balls of yarn, similar or contrasting colors, tennis ball size or smaller, about 400-500 yards total (can be slightly varying weights)
  • One size 13 US circular needle with the longest cable you have
  • Scissors


11 stitches and 24 rows per 4 inches (2.75 stitches and 6 rows per inch) in Garter Stitch. Gauge is not critical.


Finished size is 4.5 inches wide and 7 feet long without the fringe.

Knitting the Scarf:

  1. Leaving a tail about 10 inches long, cast on 200 stitches using the wrap cast on, or another method of your choice that doesn't require a long tail. Cut the yarn at the end of the cast on, leaving a tail of about 10 inches.
  2. Join a new yarn, leaving a tail of about 10 inches, and knit 1 row. Cut yarn, leaving a 10-inch tail.
  3. Continue in this manner, changing yarn each row and leaving tails at each end, until width measures 4.5 inches or width of your choice.
  4. Bind off in another color, again leaving tails.
  5. Tie tails in bunches of 3 or 4 to secure edges. Trim to the same length if desired.

How I Made My Scarf:

My scarf is all different shades of blue, with some gray, purple and black thrown in. It's almost all medium weight wool, because that's what I have a lot of in my house, but there are a couple of heavier yarns and some thinner ones, which I knit with two strands held together.

The striping is random and most of the yarns repeat a couple of times through the scarf. I like the look of the "tassels" with varying lengths of yarn, but you can make them consistent if you like.

You can also knit this in a bunch of different colors rather than the all-in-the-color-family style I used.