Amy Clark

Seven Easy Scarves & Cowls to Knit This Fall

I was madly in love with scarf knitting when I first began to knit. Knitted scarves are a fabulous way to learn pattern, try stitches you have never tried before, and can be an elegant  (and frugal) gift to give when the holiday season rolls around.  I love to knit scarves and I want to share with you five fun patterns to add to your knitting projects. Each of these is uniquely special and the patterns are free!

It may not feel like scarf season just yet, but for knitters, it is time to start our engines for holiday knitting. Each year I try to knit a scarf for our teachers, friends, and family. I already have my eyes on a few new patterns to try for this year, but wanted to share with you a few of my favorite scarves I have done in years past and how to package them for gift-giving this year.

Are you my friend on Ravelry? If not, I would love to be friends! My username is momadvice on there and I am always looking for new friends to knit with and share project ideas!

I knitted three of these ruffled scarves last year and all of them turned out so pretty! These ruffled scarves are definitely a statement piece, meant to add a punch of femininity to your winter coat! I made one in this light gray for my best friend, one in a charcoal gray for my sister, and one in ivory for my mom.  I am determined to knit one of these in a fun jewel tone this year for myself.

Beautifully Ruffled Lace Scarves

Pattern: Ruffle Lace Scarf by Suzie Blackman

Needle Size: US 10 Needles (40″ circulars)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Heather Gray

Notes: If you want a scarf that is wildly impressive, can be created with a single ball of yarn, and looks like a million bucks than this would be the perfect gift to give this holiday season. It is a very mindless knit, but is an INSANE amount of stitches, especially in the last two rows (over one thousand stitches!). The beauty of this scarf though is that you only need to know how to knit, purl, and yarn over to create it.

The twisting is created by knitting the scarf length-wise, rather than width-wise and through the series of yarn overs. As pictures above, you can see that it is really hard to see your stitches, let alone if it is actually going to twist. The good news is, as you cast off, you will see that scarf naturally twists, making that beautiful ruffled twist.

This one is definitely a statement piece and is also a statement of your absolute love for whoever you might make it for!

I followed the pattern that is linked above, but added four more rows to give the scarf a fuller appearance. I repeated rows 11-14 two times before I started rows 15-16. I am really glad I did and love the lush fullness of this scarf.

Gorgeous Gathered Scarves

Pattern: Gathered Scarf by Maryse Roudier

Needle Size: US 4 & US 7

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lime

Notes: I knitted two of these beautiful scarves in a soft lime green and in ivory for my sister and best friend as holiday gifts and they both wore them often with their winter coats. This was the first time I attempted anything that ruffled or gathered, and would be a fun pattern for someone who just wants to start trying a pattern with some texture in it.

This pattern is so easy for a beginner and was a gift that was loved by both of them.  You actually use two different needle sizes to create the gathered effect on these scarves which added beautiful detail and a bit of ruffling to the scarves. I loved that the cotton is so stretchy and soft. I would definitely recommend this pattern especially to a beginner who is looking to add a little variation to the traditional scarf!

Merci Scarf

Pattern: Merci Scarf by Susan Rainey

Needle Size: US 8 Needles (I used size US 9 needles, which created a little bit wider scarf, but you could use the US 8’s that are recommended)

Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky Weight in Molten Lava (2.5 skeins)

Notes: This scarf is so simple and fast to whip up that it would make the perfect gift to give to any man in your life. The pattern is one that you can complete while watching your favorite shows on television and is almost impossible to get off track.  This yarn was also perfect for creating a really warm scarf, perfect for our Midwest winters.  This pattern is perfect for a beginning knitter or for a last minute gift for someone special in your life!

I made these for my husband and brother in last year’s holiday crafting marathon and they both wore them every day. It made me so proud to see my knits were loved by them and to know they were wrapped in something that I made just for them.

Anthropologie-Inspired Scarflets

Pattern: Anthro-Inspired Scarflet (available as a free Ravelry download with your free Ravelry membership) by Kim Seio & Lydia Flowers (optional, for embellishment) or cute buttons.

Needle Size: US 8 Needles (straight) for both the flowers and the scarflet

Yarn: Premier Yarns Chunky Weight in Pristine (scarf) & Yarn Bee Boucle Traditions in Black (for the first scarf) & Premier Yarns Chunky Weight in Brown with simple ivory button threaded with pink embroidery thread (for the second scarf)

Notes: I followed the sizing and increases that ilikecookies(another Ravelry member)  had shared in her pattern. She said, “Increased until 30 stitches, worked 15 rows even until ribbed section and knit 15 rows of ribbing to make a slightly larger scarflet.”

I added a black Lydia Flower (size small) with a red button center to finish it or colorful buttons with contrasting embroidery thread to finish! For more pictures of these, please visit this post.

For a sweet and simple gift idea, create one of these scarflets and tuck a small denominator gift card in the pocket where the scarf slides in.  I made a stack of these for our teacher gifts last year and each one had a $5 Starbucks gift card tucked into the pocket that was created in the scarflet. Next time I make this, I will have to write on the label though that these were scarfs. The teachers thought they might be hats…which I guess you could do too!  Regardless, I got such wonderful compliments and tried to make each of them unique with flower embellishments or different unique buttons and colored embroidery threads on each one.

Dolce Neck Cozy

Pattern: Dolce Neck Cozy by Fiddle Knits Designs

Needle Size: US 9 Needles (straight)

Yarn: Bamboospun Natural Bamboo (purchased at Hobby Lobby)

Notes: This was one of my first projects when I learned to knit and would be a perfect project for a newbie knitter.  At the time I had no idea how to do buttonholes or how to knit with two strands of yarn so this was what I was able to do with my limited knitting knowledge. I completed the Dulce #2 (Browns) Pattern. This took almost all 148 yards, but I knitted loosely so I would not have to make the buttonhole. I opted for one button instead of two and chose a black wooden button to bring the cowl together.

This would be a great pattern to take on a trip because it has only one row of real pattern and alternates only between two rows one of purling and one of pattern. It has a herringbone type of look to it and looks far more complicated than it is.

I made this in bamboo which was so soft, it felt just like a blanket.

This is a great project for instant gratification! Wonderful pattern for a newbie knitter in understanding yarn overs.

Rainy Day or Snow Day Scarf

Pattern: Rainy Day Scarf by Beth Collins

Needle Size: US 9 Needles (straight)

Yarn: Bernat Cottontots in Strawberry

Notes: I remember being so darn proud of these scarves because these were my first scarves that I had ever knitted and gave as gifts to our kid’s teachers. This is a great pattern because it is easy and straightforward for a beginning knitter because  you only need to know how to do the purl and knit stitches.

This scarf was packaged with my homemade cocoa and vanilla chai mix in a green and lovely way… in those old Crystal Light containers. I used some holiday gift wrap to cover them and tied a gift tag with some raffia around the drink mix containers. These are ideal, particularly for teacher gifts, because I don’t have to worry that my children will break the jars in route to school. Waterproof and airtight, it keeps the drink mix nice and safe. With a handmade or store-bought scarf, it makes a perfectly cozy gift to give.
I finish all of my knitted gifts with fun homemade gift tags. I used my Silhouette Craft Cutter and used the rounded rectangle template to make these simple tags out of ivory card stock or you can simply buy a package of tags to add to your handmade gifts. As a holiday treat to myself last Christmas, I bought myself a personalized stamp from Babyjewels (an Etsy seller) and I have to say, it really added that professional touch to my gifts!  They have one for knitters and one for crocheters too.
If that isn’t enough patterns for you to kick of that fall knitting, be sure to visit my Knitting Trendy Gifts of Warmth or my holiday craft factory that I ran out of my house last year.
Happy knitting, friends!

Looking for more knitted projects?  Be sure to visit our Crafting section and Gifts section of the site for more inspiration!

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Published August 30, 2011 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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