How to Knit a Garter Stitch Scarf for Beginners

New to knitting? Here's a perfect first pattern

The Garter Stitch Scarf is a great first knitting project
© Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

Many new knitters start with a basic garter stitch scarf as their first knitting project because it's quick, easy and a project you're sure to be proud of when it's done. If you're wondering how to knit a scarf, all you need to know is right here in this simple scarf pattern.

  • If you are familiar with casting on, knitting, and binding off, then you already know everything you need.
  • If any of these techniques is still new to you, don't worry because you can learn each while doing this project.
  • You can even use the knit cast on and learn how to knit as you're getting the stitches on your needle. It doesn't get any easier!

And even when are no longer a new knitter, a garter stitch scarf is a great go-to pattern. It knits up quickly and you get quite a different look with the smallest adjustments. You can add different textures or use various weights of yarn, bigger needles, make it skinny or wide. The options are limitless even with a simple project like this.

Materials Needed

Pattern Gauge and Size

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this project. With the suggested yarn and needle combination, you should get around 2 1/2 stitches per inch in ​garter stitch.

If changing yarn weight, use the needles to get that yarn's recommended gauge.

Size: The finished scarf is about 5 inches wide. The length will vary depending on the yardage of your chosen yarn and exactly how long you want to make it. 

Garter Stitch Scarf Pattern

This scarf pattern is made up entirely of the garter stitch.

It is nothing more than repeating the basic knit stitch over and over again. That's why it's the perfect beginner's project! By the end of this scarf, you will have the knit stitch down and be ready to learn the next stitch.

  1. Cast on 12 stitches. (You might also try the simple wrap cast on.)
  2. Knit every stitch and every row until you have about a yard of yarn left or the scarf has reached your desired length. Want to use more than one ball of yarn? Here's how you add in a new one.
  3. Bind off.
  4. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
  5. Use your crochet hook to weave in the ends at the top and bottom.

Make the Project Your Own

This is a wonderful all-purpose scarf pattern. You can make it with any kind of yarn or with two different kinds of yarn held together.

If you want to use a different weight of yarn, check the label to see what size needles are recommended and use them instead. You might also need a few more stitches if you're using lighter weight yarn in order to get a nice width. Or you can make a super-skinny scarf.

Once you have a few projects under your belt, you can also knit a striped scarf with the leftover bits of yarn. A basic Garter Stitch scarf is no doubt a project you will keep coming back to again and again throughout your knitting career.

When you're comfortable with garter stitch, learn how to purl and you can try some ​stockinette projects as well!