Herringbone Knit Scarf
Knitting Pattern and Tutorial
Herringbone is such a beautiful, classic stitch that is often overlooked in knitting. It can be knit up quite fast on larger needles and makes a dense, fluffy fabric that looks absolutely gorgeous. Today, I’ll show you how to make your own Herringbone Knit Scarf!
I think that the perfect item to make using this stitch is a Knit Scarf. It creates a beautiful, classic accessory that you will cherish for years. One thing that I find in a lot of Herringbone Knit patterns is that they don’t have a nice edging and the stitches tend to curl slightly. With the technique that I’ll show you in this post, you will be able to create a stitch that has a nice, smooth edge and lays flat — as you can see in the photo above!
This pattern is easily adjustable to be made using any yarn and needles, you may just need to do a bit of experimenting to get your gauge and size to work how you want. I think the best scarves are around 70″ long and have a thickness between 6-10″ with the larger width creating more of a statement scarf.
I wanted to come up with the perfect herringbone knit scarf that would work well with winter coats, fall sweaters, and would look lovely both dressed up or worn casually. Grey is a beautiful neutral and a more traditional choice with herringbone.
Choosing a Yarn for your Herringbone Knit Scarf
The yarn that I used for this scarf has since been discontinued but any worsted weight, heathered, tonal, or variegated yarn will look amazing in this stitch.
Some yarns that I would recommend are:
- Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn (linked HERE) — this yarn in the color Silver Heather will probably give you the closest look to the yarn I used in the photos. I love how high quality this yarn is and its so easy to find, most craft stores carry it!
- Lion Brand Chainette (linked HERE) — a great affordable and luxurious option. This yarn also has a woven style construction which makes it super easy to work.
- KnitPicks Preciosa Tonal Worsted (linked HERE) — this yarn is SUPER luxurious single ply merino wool with some very beautiful colors. It is a bit delicate so I would choose it for someone who treats their clothing gently.
- Lion Brand Re-Tweed Yarn (linked HERE) — a more affordable tweed option. This yarn is also quite durable but not quite as soft as the KnitPicks version above. I really love this yarn, it comes in amazing colors too!
- KnitPicks Provincial Tweed (linked HERE) — this yarn has beautiful little flecks of color for a traditional look. It is tightly plied so it would be a great choice for a more durable scarf.
These are some great options but any yarn will work for this scarf — I would just aim for a worsted weight! I added fringe to my scarf which I definitely recommend because it helps the herringbone hang flat and avoid curling. You can use the same yarn as the scarf, or an accent color.
Herringbone Stitch Tutorial:
To learn how to make this stitch, follow the photo tutorial below. A printable version is also available to download for free at the end of this document. This tutorial is important — it shows you how to get that perfect selvedge!
Herringbone Knit Scarf Pattern
Size US 13 knitting needles needles
350-400 yards worsted weight yarn of your choice
Crochet hook (optional, for fringe)
Accent yarn for fringe (optional)
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
About 12 stitches = 2” in herringbone stitch
For this project, the pattern will be mostly be worked straight in herringbone stitch with a selvedge edge. For help with herringbone stitch, view tutorial above.
Cast on 35 stitches using long tail cast on.
Note: If you do not plan on adding fringe, skip rows 1-2 and begin working herringbone stitch, starting with a right-side row.
Row 1: Knit.
Work in Herringbone Knit stitch as shown above until scarf measures 70″ or to desired length. Finish with a wrong-side row.
If you are planning to add fringe, knit one more row.
Weave in all ends to finish. Block by soaking in warm water and lay flat to dry. Add fringe between every other stitch if desired. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE to Download Printable Herringbone Knit Scarf Photo Tutorial
I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and hopefully learned something new!
With Love, Kaitlin
Wow! Thanks for sharing that!
Of course! I hope it helps 🙂
Stunning!! I love it and can’t wait to try this! AND! You posted it on my birthday! 😀
Thank you! I’m so glad you like it, it is meant to be! 🙂
I have a question: How can I start? I mean how do I do it? (I do not want to do the fringe btw) 🙂
Hi Valentina! You can start by using any cast on method, my favorite for this stitch is long tail cast on! The fringe is added at the end so you don’t need to add any if you don’t want!
Maybe it’s better to cast on with a much smaller needle size? The herring bone stitch does make the work much narrower. I ended up with working with needles two sizes bigger than the one suggested on the label of the yarn. I do like the front look much better than the back. Thank you for this free pattern, lovely pictures, good no nonsense explanation of the stitch.
Love this pattern. Thank you so much for sharing.
How did you work the two colors o yarn into the scarf? Maybe I missed that.
It is actually one color of yarn, it just had a slight marbled color to it and knit up that way! I linked the yarn I used earlier in the post
Did you mix super bulky with Aran weight? I’m not understanding either why two colors and two weights are listed. I love the pattern and I would like to take this on trip. Thank you!
I used the aran yarn, the lighter grey, for the scarf itself. The super bulky was only used for the fringe!
Was the dark grey only used for the fringe?
Yes, only for the fringe 🙂
May I ask how the back of the knitting looks? It is not the same pattern, is it?
Hello! No, the back is not exactly the same. It is similar but more raised. If you look at the instructions for knitting the wrong-side you can see how it looks, especially in image 6. I hope that helps 🙂
love this thanks for sharing
I’m so glad you like it, thank you!
Are the needles 13 US or 13 UK?
13 US 🙂
What a beautiful scarf!
This is definitely one I need to make. Thank you!
What other yarn can be used? How about Marino wool. With 15% cashmere. Sorry but I never did. I just saw it now.
Definitely! Swatch it first to be sure you like it but I would say that would make a wonderful scarf! 🙂
Thank you thank you. Would a size 8 needle work?
I think that could work. The only concern is that it might get a bit tight with the stitch
Hi I love this stitch and am now having a go at it. One question I have is how do you increase and decrease with herringbone? Is it just the same as normal? I’m just not sure how to keep it balanced. The pattern I’m looking at says to increase at beginning and end of each row.
Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your tutorial xxxx
Hi Rosie! I thought this over and I think the best way to do it would be to increase after the first stitch on each row (so you don’t mess up the selvage stitch). To keep the increases even I would increase at the beginning of the next row as well. For example, on the first RS row where you want to increase, I would work one stitch in the pattern, M1L, then continue across. On the next row (a WS row) work one stitch in pattern, M1R, then continue.. Let me know if you have any questions!
Lovely and can’t wait to try this. I have a marbled handspun polwarth that I think will be perfect for this. I only wish that the wonderful herringbone instructions were also included in the downloaded PDF so that everything was in one place.
Ohh that sounds lovely! Thanks for your feedback, I will add it to the download shortly!
Does the scarf curl when it’s completed? Did you have to block it?
The scarf has a very slight curl to it but not much–I did not have to block it and it lays flat!
I have a question. When on a knit row, with 1 stitch remaining on the left needle, to slip it through the back loop will be the same as ‘slip it purl-wise. Shouldn’t it be to slip it as if to knit?
Thanks a lot.
Hi Jessie! Slipping it as if to knit would rotate the alignment of the stitch and throw off the perfect selvage edge. Normally, yes you would want to slip knit-wise on a knit row for a selvage but herringbone is worked without changing the alignment of the stitches (all through the back loops).
Slipping it purl-wise is essentially the same thing as slipping it through the back loop in this instance but since we have been working in the back loop it just makes more sense to slip it that way!
Hope that explains things,
Thank you so much for your quick response and explanation. Now I can start making my herringbone scarf. Than you again for sharing this pattern.
I read in the thread that the needles are 13 US. What is the circumference of the needle? Thank you.
Hello! Size 13 US needles are 9 mm knitting needles
I love this look. Thanks so much for sharing .
I do not get a herringbone pattern when I click on the download for it, I only get @ page with no pattern
It seems to be working on my end, could you try using a different browser? Or perhaps you have web downloads blocked?
Hi Rhonda, all seems to be good on my end. Perhaps try again and make sure your software is up to date, it should work 🙂
I’m confused by the first two rows being “row 1: knit and row 2: purl”…but at the end of the scarf there is only the plain knit row and not another plain purl row. Will this make the scarf look different on either end, or am I reading it wrong?
Hi Amanda, this is meant to be a row that you can use to add fringe into, not one that ‘shows’ in the actual design. The cast off row is tends to show as another row of knitting more so than the cast-on row so that is why it is written this way. If you do not plan on adding fringe, no need to work the beginning and end rows, simply start right into the pattern.
How do you make the fringe?
Hi Janice! I make the fringe by cutting pieces of yarn twice as long as I want the fringe, folding in half to create a loop, inserting the loop partially through the first stitch, and then threading the tails through the loop and tightening. I do this on every other stitch across the row 🙂
Does this work the same way as stockinette when knitting in the round?
It is actually a bit harder to work in the round as alternate rows need to be facing the other direction. Would you be interested in a tutorial showing it in the round?
Hello! What multiple of stitches should I cast on to make the scarf bigger and with the selvage edge?
Hello! Any multiple will work 🙂
HI I was wondering if you have the complete pattern available? I am new to knitting and would be willing to buy the complete pattern off of you with perhaps a youtube video or two walking me through the steps.
I want to make this scarf asap but I just need some more guidance the the instructions available.
Hi Lia, I have both a photo tutorial and a written pattern available. If you click the links at the bottom of the post labeled CLICK HERE, you will be guided to two printable PDFs 🙂
Ditto for me!
Have you tried a cowl and knit the herringbone in the round? I cast on 120 stitches using an icord cast (for a different project and it took a looonnnnggg time. I want to make a herringbone cowl now and am hoping that with the 13 needles, all will be well. (I have a small neck :))
You do need to modify the stitch some to work this in the round. There is a RS and a WS that give the stitches the ‘herringbone’ look. I haven’t found a way that I love to do this… But if I do I will be sure to post a tutorial 🙂
Just found your pattern and LOVE IT!!! Will CO as soon as I complete the socks I’m currently making. Thanx for the pattern!!!
I’m so glad you like it, thank you!
Hi, I think this is such a cool looking scarf. Having problems with the weight of the yarns you used. The only yarn you mentioned was the Lion Brand tonal which is no longer available. But I think that was a yarn weight of 5. In the Q & A you said you use and aran weight yarn for the body of the scarf. You used an aran weight yarn with a size 13 needle?
TIA for your help
Hi Linda! I would play around with different aran or medium weight yarns to get the stitch just how you want it but yes, a larger size needle is necessary for this stitch because it works quite a bit more densely than other stitches
Hi! Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern. How do you begin the right and wrong side rows to maintain the edging? Do you just simply begin the pattern or do you need to purl/knit/slip? Thanks again!
I fall in love with the herringbone pattern that you shared.
However, I am facing some issues with the edges
May I know how can I make a nice edges for this herringbone?
Hope you can help me on this.