It seems to me that the most popular item for a beginner to make, and that can be knitting, crochet, felting or even macrame, is the humble and oh so useful scarf.
They can be skinny or wide, long or short, plain or fancy, light or warm and can be really simple and straight forward as well as really delicate and intricate. It all depends on the wool you have chosen.
Scarves can also be expanded on once you have the knack of the stitches and you will soon be on your way to adding a hat and even gloves to match.
How to Start a Scarf
Before you decide if you are going to knit, crochet or felt a scarf you need to decide what the scarf’s purpose is. Is it for decoration or to keep you warm. If it’s to keep you warm, is it for spring or summer to take off the evening chill or autumn into winter to keep off the cold. Based on the answers to these questions you can decide which method would be best for you.
For spring and summer a light flimsy lacey knitted or crochet scarf would be ideal. For autumn, you would need something a little more substantial and for winter something capable of keeping you a lot warmer.
The lighter more intricate lacey scarves I would recommend for someone who has a little more experience as the wool or yarn will also be a lot lighter to work with, almost a cotton and so more delicate and possibly not as easy to use.
For the others you would use a standard thickness of wool or something a lot thicker or more chunky. For autumn, you can go for more plain scarves with mostly ribbing stitches adding in a few patterns for good measure. For winter scarves you can go with more advanced ribbing stitches and throw in some cables and bobbles to create interest.
Felting is a little more difficult as for the spring and summer versions a nuno felted scarf would be the way to go and these take a lot of time and practice and are mostly wet felted. Autumn and winter versions would require thicker felting and would also be made using the wet felted method and you could add interest with needle felting according to the season as well.
Choosing wool for your scarf
Again the wool you want to use for your project will depend on a few things.
If the scarf is for spring or summer you would want to choose a lighter wool, almost a cotton weight. For autumn and winter I would recommend much thicker chunky wools.
Also take into consideration if you want just a plain color or if you want to go with wool that has varied colors and is self striping or just speckled for interest.
There are so many different wools out there to choose from and they have all been made with a variety of uses in mind. I would highly recommend looking carefully at the wool and reading the labels as some have recommended uses and patterns on the label around the ball.
Many stores will also have free online patterns available for the wools they stock as well as selling pattern leaflets and books in store.
Knitting Scarf Pattern Ideas for Beginners
There are a huge number of free knitted scarf patterns available for beginners online, in your local library and in knitting magazines which are available in most stores.
Once you have purchased your wool you can also look up patterns through the wool makers website as most wool suppliers have online patterns available.
Make sure the pattern you choose if for the thickness of wool you have purchased. Also check what size knitting needles are required for the pattern as this will be very important to make sure you get the correct tension. The patterns will also guide you and let you know the needle size required and what the tension should be.
Most websites also now offer tutorials for beginners that show the basics of how to cast on and do the basic stitches, of knit, purl and stocking stitch as well as a few of the easier ribbing and cabling instructions.
Crochet Scarf Pattern Ideas for Beginners
As with the Knitting Patterns, there are many free online patterns for crochet scarves aimed at beginners as well. Most libraries will also stock books with projects that are another resource as are crochet magazines.
As with the knitting, be sure to check what size crochet hook is required on the wool and on the pattern and check any guidelines regarding tension.
As with the knitting, very many sites have tutorials showing how to do the basic crochet stitches required to start your scarf as well as more advanced decorative stitches.
The thought of getting started with a project like this can be quite daunting if you haven’t ever knitted or crochet before. It needn’t be very stressful at all as there is so much help and support out there. Just ask at your local Craft store if they sell wool as there is bound to be someone there that will be able to assist.
If you purchase your wool online, their support teams are amazing and more than happy to help. Most online sites have social media pages where you can ask questions and get support which is really great for beginners. I have learned so much in this manner as they often post tutorials as well.
I’m also very happy to offer any assistance if needed so please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding anything I’ve discussed so far, I’m only too happy to help.
The most important thing to remember when you have started your scarf project, is to sit back and relax and enjoy the process. It’s not important to give yourself time limits if that’s going to stress you out especially if this is not something you have done before. Just try to set aside time each day and you’ll be surprised how quickly the time adds up and how quickly your project will start going.
Relax and enjoy!