Making Scarves: How To’s and Tips!

Interested in using your time and talents to crochet, knit or sew handmade treasures for the troops? Here are instructions and tips…followed by some inspiration from the troops themselves — they LOVE getting these gifts in their care packages!

 Denyse’s “Length-Wise Crocheted Scarf” Pattern:

This pattern gives you a nice smooth line along the sides and works up much faster. It is important to cast on loosely so that you have a little stretch when working up the first row and can straighten your work so it does not curl up.

Using L Hook and worsted weight yarn. (Suggestion: Caron one pound no dye lot yarn yields approximately 5 scarves per one pound skein. Save the leftovers and at some point there will be enough for another scarf. You can also make stripes or whatever design you would like from remnants using various colors).

Scarf dimensions 5 inches wide by 36 inches long.

DC= Double Crochet.
1 Row = 36 inches long
7 Rows = 5 ” Wide
Please check your gauge. You may need to adjust hook size or row count etc… if you are a tight crocheter or use different yarn. If you want your scarf wider, add one row.

With L hook, loosely cast on 110 + chain 2.
Row 1: Start in the second hole in chain (where your 110th cast ended) and work across 110 stitches in DC.

Chain 2 and turn.
Keep doing this until you have 7 rows and your scarf is 5 ” wide.
Rows should measure 36″ long.

Note: It normally takes Denyse 1 1/2 Hours to make one scarf.

“Simple Knit Scarf” Pattern from Kathy:

Using a “bulky” yarn, often indicated by the number “5” on the label, cast on 14 stitches using size 13 needles. Be sure to cast on loosely so the stitches don’t pull. Work in garter stitch (knit all stitches) for the entire length of the scarf until the yarn is almost gone; bind off loosely. Weave in ends to finish. Finished scarf will be approx 5-1/2″ wide and approx 46″ in length. This can easily be packed in our boxes. The yarn sold at Michael’s called Loops & Threads Charisma, makes a perfect scarf to be shipped. The yarn is all acrylic and is very soft and stretchy. Since it is a “bulky” weight yarn, there is no need to double it while knitting. It has 109 yards per skein. This is a very simple pattern. With the quickness of the all garter stitch, a scarf can be completed in a couple of nights.

FINISHED SOME SCARVES…NOW WHAT? Ship them to us for our care packages!


And now a few words from some thankful service members:

“We received the scarf and note you sent in a military care package from Operation Gratitude. Thank you very much for remembering us. They came at a good time since it’s actually cooling down in the desert. They will keep us warm and remind us of love and support from home. Remember to stay strong, stay motivated and have A Fine Navy Day!”

“I received an Operation Gratitude package the other day and inside was a hand-crocheted scarf. Now, at first I wasn’t sure what I could use it for – it couldn’t be worn while in uniform outside. But, this morning I came into my office and found it to be quite cold! I have enough cold weather gear to keep my body warm, but I usually don’t carry around anything for my ears and neck. Your scarf works perfectly! Right now, I have it wrapped around my neck and ears and its keeping me nice and warm. So, I wanted to say thanks for the scarf and for your support to the troops overseas. It is people and families like you that make being here bearable. Thanks, CPT B.Z.”

“I wanted to thank you very much for the beautiful orange scarf in the box of goodies you sent to Iraq. I love it! I work in the Office of Provincial Affairs in the Embassy and appreciate your thoughtfulness. It is very kind of you to think of us and take the time and expense to send lovely and thoughtful items. I will cherish the scarf. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to you and your families!  SM.”

(This is Part Two in a series of three blogposts from our wonderful Scarves for Troops project coordinator Elaine Campbell. Thank you for all you do, Elaine!)

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About Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home. Each package is filled with food, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, as well as personal letters of support. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Each package contains donated product valued between $45 and $100 and costs our organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1.6 Million Care Packages.
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5 Responses to Making Scarves: How To’s and Tips!

  1. Pingback: “The pain went away, and all I felt was joy…” | Operation Gratitude Blog

  2. Mary says:

    How long can the fleece scarves be? The “tips” above say half a yard makes a scarf four and a half feet long – Is this too long for the fleece scarves or do these need to be 48-50″? Does this include the fringe or is the fringe extra? Thanks, Mary

  3. Kay says:

    In your comments you say scarves can be crocheted, knitted or sewn. i do not see any information regarding the sewn scarves. How can I make sewn scarves. What are the requirements? Thank You for any information. Kay

    • Kay, there are a couple different options for sewing scarves….here’s a very simple scarf pattern:

      Instructions for Fleece Scarves
      What you’ll need:
      * 1/2 yard fleece fabric
      * Sewing machine
      *Thread to match fabric color
      * Scissors

      How to make it:
      1. Cut two pieces of fleece equal in length and width. Length will determine how long your scarf will be.
      2. Lay the two equal pieces with the right sides (the side that has the pattern on it) facing in each other.
      3. Leaving approximately a ¼” seam, sew the full length of the scarf. Repeat on the other side. You will end up with a long tube of fabric with open ends.
      4. Using a pair of scissors, cut the fringe by cutting ½” wide slits about 4″ up from each end.
      5. Turn scarf inside out so that the sewn seams are now on the inside, finished edges are on the outside.
      6. Sew a running stitch along the top of the fringe to “close” the ends of the scarf.
      7. Trim any loose threads and you are done!

      • Half a yard of fleece will make one scarf approximately four and a half feet long. Ask for assistance at your favorite fabric supply store.
      • Use good scissors. Cheap or old scissors that have dull blades will make this project much more difficult than it needs to be and can cause problems with cutting straight lines.
      • This is a fun and inexpensive project. Ask store staff where to find the fleece that is on sale. Our scarves cost $3 to $4 each to make.

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