Free Pattern – Plaid Scarf

Last year, at the Knit and Crochet Show, I took a class called “Mad About Plaid” taught by Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter. She showed us this brilliant way to create a plaid design with a combination of knitting and crochet techniques. Be sure to check out her site for some beautiful patterns, and an extensive library of tutorials. If you ever get a chance to take her class, I highly recommend it!

This scarf pattern is much easier to make than it looks, and does not involve complicated colorwork techniques. Each row is a single color, and the columns are worked later. The knitting part of the pattern is available as a chart and in written format, but the crochet part (vertical stripes) is in written instructions only.

Plaid scarf - a free pattern on

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Plaid Scarf

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Intermediate – I’m calling this intermediate only because it uses both knitting and crochet techniques. However, the actual techniques used are easy: knits and purls combined with some slip stitch / surface crochet.

Size / Gauge:

My gauge was approximately 17 sts in 4″ of stockinette, but gauge is not critical for this pattern. You can actually make this scarf in any yarn and with any gauge. You can repeat the striping pattern (or even any part of the striping pattern), to obtain the desired width / length. However, if you do make changes, remember that you will need to adjust yardage as well. You may find very light weight yarns more difficult to work with when doing the vertical stripes at the end.  My finished scarf worked out to about 6 inches wide and 7 feet long, and I used a little over 1.5 skeins each of 2 colors, in worsted weight yarn.

Abbreviations used:

  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • RS = right side
  • WS = wrong side


  • The pattern section of the scarf will seem a little narrow while knitting – it will actually cinch in a little like ribbing. This is normal. When you add the vertical stripes later, it will push the fabric back out to the correct width.
  • The 2 stitches of garter stitch on each side of the scarf (shown in bold on written instructions) are there to keep the edges from curling. This is a change from the sample pictured. In my original scarf, I just didn’t think to do this until I was nearly finished.
  • Carry yarn along edge of work for color changes. If your carried yarn looks messy in the end, you can cover it up with a crocheted edging. If you are able to carry it neatly, you can skip the edging.
  • When changing color, you will always start your next row from the side that the color you need is on. This eliminates lots of ends. However, this means that sometimes you will need to shift all the stitches from one end of the needle to the other. This is why circular needles are needed. When you do this, the stitches will be backwards on the needle, which is why those rows are worked through the back loops (as indicated in the pattern).

Recommended Resources:

Stitch Pattern:

RS rows: K2, P1, K3, P2, K5, P1, K3, P1, K3, P2, K2

WS rows: P2, K2, P3, K1, P3, K1, P5, K2, P3, K1, P2

Knitting (horizontal stripes):

Charted Instructions: 

Plaid Scarf knitting chart
Click image to enlarge

Written Instructions: 

With A, Cast on 29 sts (I used a long tail cast on).

Garter stitch starting edge:

Row 1 (RS): K  – mark this row as RS.

Row 2: P

Rows 3-4: Repeat rows 1-2.

Main pattern section:

Row 1 (RS): With A, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Join B

*Row 2 (WS): With B, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Shift stitches to the other end of the needle and pick up A.

Row 3 (WS): With A, working through back loops, P2, work stitch pattern, P2

Rows 4-5: With A, P2, work stitch pattern, P2

Pick up B

Rows 6-8: With B, P2, work stitch pattern, P2

Shift stitches to the other end of the needle and pick up A.

Row 9 (RS): With A, working through back loops, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Rows 10-11: With A, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Pick up B

Rows 12-13: With B, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Pick up A

Rows 14-21: With A, K2, work stitch pattern, K2

Pick up B.**

Repeat from * to ** (Rows 2-21) until desired length is achieved. End on a repeat of row 15.

Garter stitch ending edge:

Rows 1-4: P on WS rows, K on RS rows.

Bind off.

Crochet (Vertical stripes):

Hold scarf with right side facing, and starting edge in front of you. Hold color B behind the fabric. Beginning at row 1 of main pattern section, insert hook under first purl bump and pull up a loop of B from behind the fabric. Be sure to leave enough of a tail to weave in later.

Insert hook under first stitch of main pattern sectionPull up a loop (1st stitch)

Insert hook beneath purl bump of next row, directly above current stitch. Pull up another loop from behind the fabric. Pull loop through as for a slip stitch.

Pull up 2nd loop

Working vertically up the purl bumps, slip stitch in each row, bringing the loops up from behind the fabric as before. Try to keep your stitches even, and as close in size as possible to the knit stitches nearby.

First few stitches

When you reach the end of the main pattern section, simply fasten off. Pull this end through to the back of the work before weaving it in.

Top of stripe

Now repeat for the next column / vertical stripe. In this case there are two purl bumps next to each other, so you will work one column of slip stitches into each column of purl bumps (resulting in a 2-column wide vertical stripe).

2 vertical stripes side by side

Continue in this matter until you have slip stitched a vertical stripe over each column of purl bumps.  Here is what it looks like at the back of the work. As you can see, the purl columns form columns of V shaped knit stitches on the back of the work, and the yarn used for the crochet stitches is carried up right through the center of these “V”s.

Back of scarf


  • Optional edging: If your edges look messy where you carried the yarn, join either color with sl st in any corner and work (sl st, ch 1) into the side of each row across. Repeat for other side.
  • Weave in any remaining ends.

I hope you enjoy the pattern! Thank you to Marie Segaris of Creative Yarn Entrepreneur for tech editing the pattern!

A downloadable pdf of this pattern is also available on Ravelry for a small fee. The fee for the pdf format is to offset the advertising revenue lost when you print or download the pattern rather than viewing it online.

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