If you have just taken up knitting, you should start practicing with simple projects like knitting a scarf and you’ll be proficient by the time you’re done. This shouldn’t take you long to finish. The time it takes you to finish knitting depends on a couple of factors:
- The complexity of the pattern
- The length and width of the scarf
- Your experience
- The time you set aside for knitting
- How thick your yarn is
- How big the needles are
Note: Thicker yarn and bigger needles make your work progress faster than thinner yarn and small needles.
When you’re getting started, expect to go slow in the beginning but after some time, you’ll get more experience and your pace will speed up. The level of experience makes all the difference when it comes to how long it takes you to knit a scarf.
If you’re a beginner, you may need to give yourself several days to work on the scarf for a few hours daily. The average time it takes to knit a scarf is about one week although it may take less or more time depending on the above-listed factors. It may take you as long as one month especially for beginners who aren’t really keen on finishing.
How to knit a scarf
At a glance, knitting looks intimidating. If you’re a total beginner, it’s a challenging task that’ll have you on the verge of giving up. But the truth is that knitting, just like any other skill, can be learned. All you need is a little patience and practice.
Some basic knitting skills that you should familiarize yourself with before you can get started include casting on, knitting, and binding off. With these three skills, you should be in a position to make anywhere between a simple scarf pattern to the most complicated.
Even with such a simple project like knitting a scarf, the options are limitless. As you gain more experience it’ll be very easy for you to make simple adjustments to add different textures.
Here are the materials needed to knit a scarf:
- A crotchet hook
- A pair of scissors
What yarn should you use?
You can work any yarn that you like but as we mentioned earlier, thicker yarn is much better as it’s easier to grip and manipulate as compared to thinner yarn. Thicker yarn is less fiddly so it knits up faster.
Again, you’ll take ages to finish your scarf if you work with thinner yarn. You’ll also need smaller needles to work with thinner yarn and these are very hard to control. Thinner yarn is better for professional knitters.
What needles should you use?
When buying yarn, check the yarn label for the ideal needle size to use with that particular yarn. This will guide you on the size of the needles to get. For example, if the label suggests a 5mm needle, it means that you can either work with a 4mm or 6mm needle.
Wooden or bamboo needles are great for beginners; their surfaces are less slippery so they grip the yarn way better.
How long should the scarf be?
A scarf does not necessarily have to be super long. Scarves are very versatile can be made into varying lengths depending on whom they’re meant for or the purpose of knitting them.
If your first time knitting and you’re just practicing, I’d say keep knitting until you run out of the yarn or until you’re tired of knitting. Otherwise, scarves should be roughly 50-82” long – these can be worn doubled in half and the ends tucked up and over the fold. Most short scarves are 55”, medium scarves are 70”, and long scarves for taller guys measure 82”.
The rule of the thumb is that the scarf should stretch from one fingertip of your right hand across to the fingertip of your left hand.
How long should children’s scarves be?
The extra length in a scarf can pose a safety hazard for your kids. The good news is that the length is adjustable as required.
You might even have to consider knitting them a cowl instead of a scarf. This way, your child will stay warm with minimal risk of the scarf getting caught in things and causing accidents.
How wide should the scarf be?
The width of a scarf is hugely dependent on a person’s preferences and the weather. Usually, skinny scarves are great for weather that is not too cold while wider scarves are ideal for very cold weather.
You should keep the width of the scarf in mind when you start knitting. Since the pattern of the scarf also affects its width, that’s something else that you should keep in mind during the planning stage.
Knitting mistakes that you should avoid
It’s normal for you to make some knitting mistakes along the way. That is how you learn – mistakes are part of the journey so you should embrace them. Some mistakes are unavoidable especially for beginners so we’ll show you how to avoid them:
- If you drop a stitch, keep going. The main agenda is to keep learning the basic steps of the knit stitch
- Don’t think of your practice rows as ‘wasted” as it’s all part of the learning process
Consider the first couple of rows as practice and once you start knitting comfortably, you can rip back your work and start afresh with a little more confidence.
When you’re comfortable with the knit stitch, your hands will somehow flow with the knitting so you’ll make fewer mistakes.
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Knitting is not rocket science – anyone can do it. If you need a new scarf, there’s no point in spending ridiculous amounts at the store to buy one. All you need are some basic stitching skills, needles, and some yarn. The best thing about knitting a scarf is that this is one project that is very easy to personalize. You can use any kind of yarn you like and in any color combination. Also, feel free to make the scarf as long and as wide as you wish.