How to Knit a Fisherman Scarf

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The fisherman's rib pattern is good for making a nice, warm scarf.
The fisherman's rib pattern is good for making a nice, warm scarf. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The fisherman's rib is a classic knitting pattern featuring large, prominent ribs. The fisherman's rib is a wonderful pattern to use for making a scarf, as it's a heavy pattern that provides plenty of warmth. The fisherman's rib is considered a beginner's knitting pattern because it's fairly simple to follow. However, it does take some concentration because you must do a knit below stitch on every knitted stitch in the pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Measuring tape

Find a pattern for your fisherman's rib scarf. There are many patterns available online and in craft stores. The pattern will tell you how many skeins of yarn you need.

Select the yarn for your scarf. Most fisherman's rib patterns call for wool yarn for added warmth. Refer to the pattern for the recommended knitting needle size, as that sets your gauge and rib tightness. The smaller the needle size, the tighter the knit.

Cast on an even number of stitches. For example, to make a 7 1/2-inch-wide scarf using U.S. size 9 needles, cast on 30 stitches.

Purl the entire first preparation row. To purl, hold the knitting in your left hand and insert the tip of the free right needle through the front of the first loop, making an "X" with the tips of the two needles. Moving the yarn away from you, wrap the yarn around the tip of the free needle in the front and pull the yarn to the front. Move the tip of the front right needle around to the back of the left needle without dropping the stitch. Slide the new stitch from the left needle onto the right needle.

Knit below for every knitted stitch in the pattern. To knit below, insert the tip of the free right needle into the loop below the next stitch on the left needle, bringing the right needle to the back as you would for a regular knit stitch. Move the yarn away from you, wrap it around the tip of the right needle and pull the yarn to the front. Move the right needle to the front without losing the stitch, and slide the new stitch onto the right needle.

Follow the fisherman's rib pattern for each remaining row. Purl the first stitch of every row. Then knit one stitch below, and purl one. Repeat the pattern of knit one below, purl one -- or K1B, P1 -- until you have only two stitches left in the row and purl them both.

Measure the length of the scarf as you go along. A good length for the scarf is 70 to 75 inches long.

Cast off in a purl one, knit one pattern on the final row to make a finished edge. You don't have to knit one below in the cast off row.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reverse the needle-holding directions if you're knitting left-handed. The knitting will be held in your right hand and the free needle will be held in your left hand.
  • Allow for some stretching when calculating the scarf's dimensions. The fisherman's rib pattern is a loose knit, so the scarf will probably stretch in both width and length over time.

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