Scarves are always in style, but it’s easy to take a perfectly cute scarf and ruin its potential. Like shawls, the key is in how it’s worn.
The easiest scarf to wear is probably the long, skinny scarf. Whether it’s a novelty eyelash yarn, or a simple worsted wool, the long skinny scarf is a dramatic splash. Your jeans and T-shirt will make you look like an off-duty fashion model: casual but never dull. Your strappy evening dress will look even more elegant with a simple double-wrap, with both ends hanging in back.
Multiple wraps look best if the scarf is less than 5” wide, and if there is still plenty of length for the hanging ends. An easy, never-fail option is the keyhole wrap: fold your scarf in half, wrap around your neck with the fold in front, and insert both long ends into the hole formed by the fold. It can be worn loosely or close to the neck. Just make sure that the fold is neat, and that’s it! It will stay put (I can’t guarantee this with 100% silk, but then it’s worth the slippage J)
Medium-length scarves are usually a little wider, maybe 5 to 7 inches wide. The keyhole wrap will still work well here, as will just letting it hang open. Weighted ends from beads or fringe will help it stay put. This scarf is only 60 inches long, which is a tad shorter than I usually like a narrow scarf. It’s the fringe that makes all the difference. This is an original design of mine, and this sample scarf is currently for sale at my Etsy store. I’m not charging much more than the cost of materials, so snatch it up (I rarely make the same thing twice, unless it’s a wedding shawl or custom order.)
A newer trend in scarves is the very practical unisex neck warmer. They’re great for beginning knitters, as they require much less time and yarn than longer scarves. Usually there is a design feature that indicates how to wear a neck warmer, like a button and loop at the overlap, or a slit to pull one end through. Make sure you don’t get fussy and fasten a neck warmer too tightly. It should be more like a cowl. They’re terrific for children, keeping the warmth where you need it without dangerous long ends to snag on things. You can use a brooch or shawl pin, giving you lots of room for expression. See my “Infinity With a Half-Twist” pattern for a unique way to wear a neck warmer. It’s a big hit with the guys!
This is a sneak preview of my next pattern download! It’s been road-tested, and every guy that’s tried it on has placed an order for one just like it! For all of you that have had a lukewarm reaction to sweaters that took twelve balls of expensive yarn and three months to make, take it from me: investing one ball and several evenings is a lot more fun! Less pressure on your guy too!
If a scarf is any wider than 7”, you may want to fold it in half longways, for a shawl collar effect. Never look like your scarf is strangling you; it makes others uncomfortable and kills the effect you were going for!
There is a retro warmer called a Smoke Ring that can be used to cover your head when it’s chilly. If you use a laceweight yarn, you’ll get a delicate Fascinator that won’t give you “hat hair”.
See my Rings of Noro pattern for a modern cowl that can be used like a Smoke Ring, but in a heavier weight. Like a wimple. Don’t let the word scare you. Think Audrey Hepburn and make sure to wear lipstick! This will fight any dowdiness.
This is another of my designs that will be available for download later this year. This one is a lot of fun, and can be altered completely by choosing finer yarn and inserting some eyelet lace rows.
RINGS OF NORO can be pulled up to form a cozy hood. It’s loose enough to be easy on your hair.
Finally, I leave you with the reminder that crocheted scarves are wonderful too. This pattern is by Doris Chan, the maven of designer crochet! This yarn is silk, and the technique is broomstick lace. Lots of fun and very quick:
Scarves are back in a very big way, and for those of us on a yarn budget, they’re great news! Pick any yarn you want, just make sure it’s soft, and you can make something glorious.