With a wave of a crochet hook and the spell of stichetus stockinette (ok, it’s really just a stockinette stitch) you too can have a scarf that looks like it was knitted but takes far less time.
This post really outlines the technique rather than a pattern (though pattern guidelines for both blocked and striped scarves are below). The technique doesn’t use regular crochet techniques but rather those from a style of crochet called Tunisian crochet. It’s easy to do, gives you a nice even result (despite somewhat uneven tension in the yarn), and gives you a beautiful stitch that mimics the softness and thickness of knitted items. There are animated gifs in the gallery at the end of this post that can also help illustrate how to work the forward and return rows of this Tunisian crochet technique.
You’ll need yarn in your house colors (this particular stitch drinks up yarn so it’s better to get a little extra than be short), as well as a crochet hook that’s about 2 -4 sizes larger than the yarn suggests. This Caron Super Soft yarn has a US 8/H hook listed (which is a 5mm hook) but I used 7mm hook. Tunisian crochet (which works in forward and return rows, rather than in individual stitches to build height) is worked without turning but does tend to curl if the tension is too tight so using a larger hook helps address that.
You don’t need a Tunisian crochet hook, though you can get them at specialty yarn stores or online. I grabbed a few at a garage sale, but before I had them I simply jammed straws onto the end of my crochet hooks and wrapped the ends of the straw with tape to make it a thicker bulb so my work wouldn’t fall off the end. You’ll also want some scissors and tapestry hook to weave in your ends.
If you do have a spare patch (available at local geek stores or online) you can also use a little fabric glue to adhere it to your final project.
STEP 1: Create a Chain The Desired Width of the Scarf
Don’t worry about counting the number of chains – you’ll work across these chains and you’ll know the number of stitches you’ll need every pass after you’ve worked the foundation forward pass. Be mindful of the tension – don’t make your chains too tight as it will be difficult to work into them.
STEP 2: Foundation Row – Forward Pass
Turn your chain so that the chain’s top is made of up 2 strands, and the bottom is the single strand. You’ll know it’s correctly oriented when you hold your chain and the thicker side is on the top. Skip the chain closest to the hook and insert your needle into the next chain, passing beneath the 2 strands that make up the top of the chain. Yarn over, and pull up a loop. Move to the next chain and repeat, yarning over and pulling up a loop. Work across the chain repeating this and keeping all the loops on your hook as you move across the chain.
When you reach the last chain, count the number of loops you have on your hook. Count the number of stitches you do on your return pass as you go back. That is the number of stitches you’ll have every row, so keep this number in mind as you continue to work to ensure you don’t lose stitches.
STEP 3: Return Pass
Every return pass will be the same, including this one. For the first stitch of the return pass, yarn over, and pull through one loop. After that first pass, yarn over and pull through 2 loops. Repeat until you’ve completed the pass. After completing a return pass, your row is complete. A forward and return pass combined is a single row.
The loop on your hook when you’ve finished is the first stitch of the next row.
STEP 4: Stockinette Stitch – Forward & Return Pass
There will be pairs of vertical bars that you will be working in. Skipping the set of vertical bars at the very edge of the work (just below the loop on your hook) and insert the hook between the first set of vertical bars. You want to go behind the front vertical bar and to the left of the back vertical bar. Yarn over, and pull a loop through. Repeat this across the row until the last stitch on the row. On the last vertical bar, insert your hook as you did when working in the foundation row, with the hook passing to the right of the 2 strands that make the top of the stitch (which resembles the chain) and to the left of the single third strand. Yarn over and pull a loop through.
Count your stitches, as you should have the same number of loops on your hook as you did on your foundation row.
Repeat the process of the return pass.
Continue this stitch and its return pass, changing colors as needed.
FINISHING: Add A Fringe
The fringe at the bottom helps address the curl from the stockinette stitch. Simply pull through a few strands into the bottom of each stitch.
Changing colors is very simple. At the end of the row, when there’s only 2 loops left on your hook, yarn over with the new color and pull that through. Work the color in as normal in the stitch, holding the end of the new color for tension until the stitch is stabilized. Weave in the ends as needed.
For a blocked scarf, do as many completed rows (forward and return passes) as number of stitches in the row. Change color and repeat the block until you have enough rows. Complete as many blocks until your scarf is the desired length.
For a striped scarf, complete as many rows as stitches in the row. Change color to your accent colour and complete 2 rows. Change color again with your base color, and complete two rows. Do to more rows in your accent color. Return to your base color and repeat from the start. Finish with a block of the base color.
Check out the gallery below for visual guides on each step, and leave questions in the comments!
All Image Credits: Teri Litorco
Teri Litorco is a YouTuber, past Geek & Sundry Vlogger, and all-around tabletop gaming geek. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s a Ravenclaw, but likes the colour red. Send her questions or photos of your projects via social media!