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Here you'll find tales of my domestic adventures and my mostly free knitting and quilting patterns. My most popular patterns include monster baby booties, ski hat with ear flaps, Lotus baby blanket, and men's cable hat.

Men’s Scarf Pattern

Published by Shana | Filed under Free, Knitting, Patterns

I like to pretend that I’m a selfish knitter, meaning I only knit for the ‘knit-worthy’ – those that would both help you move a body and truly understand the craft and time and love that go into hand-knits (and quilts, for that matter). The idea rose as a backlash against that jerk acting like they are doing you a favor by requesting that you make them something and that other jerk that informs you that you can buy socks already made at Walmart. Very helpful.

scarf texture

No, this isn’t for me.

I lack the discipline to be ‘selfish’ and instead foist projects that took me days, weeks, months on completely unsuspecting people. The obvious amount of energy that goes into the projects lays there like threat – reject this and you reject me. It’s gift-giving emotional one-upping. “Oh, it’s no big deal. I just spent 30 hours working on this, stitch by stitch. Thinking about what you’d like. Fretting that you wouldn’t want this. Reflecting on how you’re important in my life. Nothing major. It’s no Best Buy gift card or anything.”

It’s a bit unfair, really, because even I would rather get the Best Buy gift card. My interest in wearing the things I make dies about four days after I complete them. Perhaps, the truly selfish approach is to leach inspiration from those around me, so I can induldge in a hobby I enjoy while pretending I’m giving a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that will be cherished for decades.

This emotional bombing is not too dissimilar, in fact, from foisting my navel-gazing posts upon readers just coming here for free scarf pattern to knit for a man in their life (or lady, I suppose). So, with only a little more adieu, here we go -

This pattern was the request of an old friend to replace a scarf I’d made him years and years ago, when I’d just started knitting/crocheting. I have always been a little ‘meh’ about that scarf (though apparently he loved it – always a sign of the knit-worthy) so I jumped on this as an opportunity to redeem myself. His request was “long, dark red and textured”. It all fell into place from there. Red yarn that just happened to be named “Pagoda” when he’d just so happened to spend some time in China and a stitch pattern that just so happened to look like roof tops, and here we are – Mao’s Little Red Scarf.

This pattern is ridiculously easy and a pretty quick knit for a scarf. You need to know how to knit, purl, cast on and cast off, so it is very beginner friendly.

Mao’s Little Red Scarf Pattern

knit scarf pattern

Request: “Long, dark red and textured”. I think it delivers.

This pattern gets its name from Mao’s Little Red book, the Western moniker for Quotations from Chairmen Mao. It’s worth learning about as a reflection upon how easily smart, good people can be manipulated by political leaders.

Or, you could just knit a scarf.

Materials

2 skeins Malabrigo Worsted weight in Pagoda (100 gr, 210 yards; 100% merino wool)

US size 8 14″ needles

Tapestry needle and scissors

Stitch marker

Notes

K- knit

P – purl

PU - pick up strand from 2 rows down and slip it over the next live stitch. (You don’t work this stitch. It is held into a point by the live stitches)

Cable cast on description

Directions

Setup

Cable cast on 35 sts.

Knit five rows.

Pattern

  1. *K3, slip next 5 sts with yarn in front*, repeat from * to * until last 3 sts, k3.
  2. *K3, p5*, repeat from * to * until last 3 sts, k3.
  3. K5, *pu, k8, repeat from * to * until last 6 sts, pu, k6.
  4. *K3, p5*, repeat from * to * until last 3 sts, k3.

This video may help explain rows 1 & 3

Repeat pattern until scarf measures 60″ or length desired.

K 5 rows.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Optional: Ship to Asia.

knit scarf

My coat buttons are unfortunate.

Men's Scarf Pattern, 3.5 out of 5 based on 13 ratings
November 20th, 2011
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46 Responses to “Men’s Scarf Pattern”

  1. Crafting Incognito Says:

    I lack the discipline to be 'selfish' and instead foist projects …

     

    Once I took a newly knit scarf from around my neck and gave it to a bank teller I'd never seen before and haven't seen since. In retrospect,that seemed a little too close to the sanity edge. Now I try to keep more distance between a compliment and giving something away. … anyway, enjoyed reading this.

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  2. Susan Says:

    I really want to make this beautiful scarf, but I can’t figure out the instruction for picking up the stitch (stitches?) in Row 3 of the pattern. Would you mind providing some additional instruction, or pointing me towards a site that might have this info? (In the meantime, I’ll keep googling.) Thanks for any help you can provide.

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  3. Shana Says:

    I’m not aware of any out there. It’s super simple to do, but difficult to explain. I’ll see about taking some photos or doing a video, but the earliest I’d be able to get to it would be this weekend.

    In short, on line 1, you are leave a strand unworked in front of the stitches. On row 3, you pick that strand up and slip it over the stitch, then work the stitch as usual.

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  4. Sara Says:

    are 10″ needles ok, or will the stitches be too cramped?

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  5. Mindy Says:

    If I want to make it a little wider and add another repeat of the pattern, how many stitches should I add?

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  6. Shana Says:

    The repeat is 8 stitches.

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  7. Cerene Says:

    Yay, I’ve just found my next project! I am just finishing a patterned scarf that’s a similar skill level, but uses ssk’s and yo’s, so now with this pattern I’ll learn the “pick up” stitch. I may graduate from “beginner” level yet! Oh, and I love your description of “knit-worthy (or not!) people! Thanks for posting this pattern :)

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  8. beatriz Says:

    I agreed with Shana, it is difficult to figure out line 3 and in the video the audio does not work, is so much easy to understand with sound, perhaps someone can correct this issue?
    It seams pretty easy except for line 3.
    Thanks

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  9. Shana Says:

    The sound was intentionally removed as all it was was needles clicking and breathing. If I were to narrate, I’d just be saying what the captions read. I’m sorry if its not clear enough but I have done my best to explain how to do it.

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  10. Brenda Says:

    Nice scarf! I will have to try it with some expensive yarn I have saving for something special!

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  11. Dorothy Says:

    Saw the scarf on “All Free Knitting” and thought “think I’ll try that..like the way it looks.” So click and a story begins. Now I’m wondering where this is going. By the end, you had me hooked… Thanks for sharing the pattern; but most of all for sharing “your thoughts.” I think it’s really neat!

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  12. Coreen VanDerWoude Says:

    When I watched your video, it looked like sometimes you were knitting in the front of the stitch and sometimes in the back. Were my eye deceiving me? (Sometime they do!) I ask because I know that that can change the look of the knitting.
    Thanks for your video. It always helps me to see something being done when I haven’t done it before.

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  13. Masayaka Says:

    I love this pattern and it will be my next project. I watched the video and it gave me a good understanding of how to do the pick up. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to the next one.

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  14. Brenda Says:

    I just found two balls of yarn I had on hand that are bamboo and wool, perfect for this pattern and just started it. This pattern is so easy I just looked at it and knit away. I wasn’t sure about the line 3 at first either but just went ahead and got going. I am a visual person so that helps.
    Thanks, finally something new that isn’t full of holes and long instructions!

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  15. Shana Says:

    They are normal knit stitches. I have been told that since I hold my yarn in the left hand, instead of the right, the stitches sit differently on the needle than they do for others. It’s the risk of being self-taught, I guess.

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  16. elen Says:

    having trouble printing out these patterns??? Thanks ahead of time

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  17. caroline Says:

    it looks as if you are knitting through the back of the stitch. watched this several times and it is definitely not the usual way to knit a knit stitch. your instructions do not indicate to knit through the back. please specify. thanking you in advance for the clarifying and for the pattern.

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  18. Shana Says:

    as I stated in the comment above, it is normal stockinette stitch

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  19. Peggy Says:

    I seem to be collecting scarf patterns lately. They are such a nice way of trying out new patterns and stitches. I just worked up a swatch with this pattern and as soon as I get home I have some lovely wool I am going to use to make this up. Really enjoyed your blog comments. Bahaha sounds like me! Why is it that I work til I sweat blood on something and then I never ‘like’ it on me. My family loves to have me knit and crochet haha I swear sometime I will keep something! And your right I think of it as a reason to knit and I know the giftee has got to love it or be guilty of horrendous unappreciation LOL!

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  20. Nancy Says:

    Hi,
    Very attractive.
    What is the finished width of this scarf? And what is the multiple, in case I want to change it?

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  21. Nasty Habit Says:

    Enjoyed your blog. You might want to think about writing as more than an outlet or a space filler on the ‘puter – but don’t stop knitting or writing patterns. You have a knack for that, too. As for not liking what you have knit, I’ve found that if I put my creation in a drawer for a couple of years and then “happen” upon it while “searching” for something else, I sometimes discover a new-found appreciation for it. Well, it works for me. But then I like playing games with myself, too.

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  22. Jennifer Reid Says:

    Omg, as usual I thought I was the only one who felt this way. “Emotional bombing!” That is so me! Your writing skill is mesmerizing and your patterns are adorable. If you ever need a new best friend, keep me in mind. :)

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  23. Noni Says:

    Love the pattern and the patter… a pleasure to read and a smile returns each time. Thank you.. as JENNIFER REID
    says above in her closing…!!!

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  24. Dorothy Says:

    Beautiful work. Have you considered donating to charities to auction off?
    It does no harm to attach a note saying how many hours and type of yarn used and whether it was crocheted or knitted for the ignorant. You are right too many do not appreciate the loving, thoughtful care put in hand made creations. Just have to take a bit of time to educate them where ever possible. But no matter the exercise for your finger is wonderful especially for those who will come down with arthritis or some such thing for it will enable one to continue using the aching fingers as well as strengthen them. There always are positive ways to look at things so do not be discouraged for any reason. The day may come when you will have to seriously consider “selling” your work and without an educated public to make the purchases we will be out of luck.

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  25. Shana Says:

    I will never auction off handmade things, unless it’s one of those fancy ones where celebrities pay huge amounts for things. I learned this lesson at a young age when my mom’s baby quilt she spent hours on (not to mention supplies) was listed at $10 at a church auction, even after she tried to correct them. I’ll happily donate yarn to be auctioned off, but never, ever anything I made. I promised my Mom :)

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  26. amethystlady Says:

    You know, it took me a while after looking at the video, to figure out where I got that one stitch to ‘pu’….LOL….I then realized the stitch that is picked up is simply the yarn that is held in front as you ‘slip 5′ … I finally figured that out, but printing this pattern was causing so much more frustration. I finally gave up on getting a good shot of the scarf on the beginning page, but the one showing you wearing the scarf is more than ok.
    I felt so bad after hearing what that church bazaar did to your mom’s work…how they devalued her and the work she put in to that baby blanket. How cold and mean people can be.
    I haven’t run across your blog or your patterns before…I will be saving your site as I agree with others about your writing ability.
    Thank you for this scarf pattern…truly very easy, and I am just a little advanced beginner.

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  27. Courtney Says:

    Men seem to appreciate hand-knit items more than women. I give most of my gift-knitting to men actually because of that. They seem to lament the loss of things made with love and seem really uplifted to know that knitting isn’t a lost art.

    Looks like a fantastic scarf! I hate scarves since they take so long but like the look of this.

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  28. Elizabeth Says:

    Dear Shana, It’s difficult to find “Easy” patterns that aren’t dull and I really like this one. As for the person who made the “Walmart sells socks” remark: now you know that for the next special occasion to go to Walmart, buy a cheap pair of socks, wrap (funny papers work nicely), and give. Or just cross name off list. I think you rock.

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  29. Judy Delfosse Says:

    on row 3 the yarn was pu and put in front on knit st do you drop it again or knit together

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  30. Kristy Says:

    Shana,
    Add my voice/vote for you to keep writing!
    When I clicked on MEN’S SCARF I expected to get some dry pattern instructions. Instead I got an affirmation of my own ideas about who is “knit worthy!”

    I am a beginning beginner and look forward to tackling this pattern in the near future. Thanks for providing the wonderful photos and the video.

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  31. Nancy Says:

    I’ve watched you knit & it looks like you are knitting in the back loop of stitches, (just saying)…..Watched it again & you definetly are knitting into the backloop of the stitch, I’ve been knitting for 55 years & also hold my yarn in my left hand, you are supposed to go under(pick-up)the front loop. You are twisting your stitches, which by the way, creates a different look. Your scarf is beautiful.

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  32. Shana Says:

    I do knit through the back look, but my stitches are not twisted. Different method, same result.

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  33. Shirley Says:

    New to knitting and Hubby has asked for a scarf. Panic set in …Then I found this pattern and as there was a video so I took out some yarn and knitted along with the video, pausing and restarting many times. I love the ease and simplicity of this pattern. I agree understanding the steps made it sound harder than it is:) Love it.,,,Don’t tell hubby it would ruin the surprise Lol…Thanks for the pattern.

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  34. Margaret Howard Says:

    Hi….I made a man’s hat from one of your patterns, and now I would like to make the Mao scarf, but am having no success with the 3rd row pickup of the slipped stitches. I pick up the strand with the right needle, but then what to do with it? The video moves so fast I can’t make out what you do with it. Putting it behind seems to be like a yo….anyway, sorry to be so inept. It would help if you could say what to do with the left and right needles, maybe? Thanks.

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  35. Shana Says:

    You put it behind the stitch and don’t work it. The stitch holds it up. With the right needle, you pick up the yarn from below and set it behind the first stitch. on the left needle. You work that first stitch as usual, and let the picked up yarn drop.

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  36. Margaret Howard Says:

    Thanks! I have tested the pattern for a few rows before I commit to it….it looks very handsome, so I’m going to buy some gorgeous soft yarn and make if for my son in law. That 3rd row is fun….I like the chevron shape the strand makes, Another winner from you.

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  37. Vicky B Says:

    I enjoyed reading your article as much as the scarf itself! You have such a funny way of wording things, things we all wish we could say… the scarf is gorgeous, but too advanced for me at this point in my knitting career! Thanks for the laughs though!

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  38. Laura Says:

    Such a lovely pattern! Thank you so much for posting; I have a hard time finding good options for men’s scarves. Awesome!

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  39. Carolyn Smith Says:

    Love this scarf. Question: On row 3 do you pick up the stitch as if to purl or knit? Thank you for this wonderful pattern.

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  40. Marilyn Says:

    I LOVE THIS SCARF PATTERN!
    Thank you so much for sharing it. The 4 row pattern is easy to memorize and the scarf was done in no time at all. It is a Christmas gift for my brother.

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  41. Shana Says:

    Glad you liked it and I’m sure your brother will love his gift!

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  42. Victoria Says:

    Thanks for this pattern. It makes up a lovely fabric that could be used for many things. It has a very nice drape.

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  43. Margaret Magill Says:

    I loved knitting this scarf. It was quick and easy and gives a truly interesting texture. I made it in Wool Ease Worsted an 80% acrylic, 20% wool mix, in their Cranberry color. I belong to Gallery Saratoga, a coop gallery and just sold it there to a fellow member for $40. Considering how much I enjoyed making it, I thought that was reasonable. I shall make another now. Thank you so much for the pattern.

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  44. Margie Says:

    I am half way through the scarf. I started it yesterday. It is moving quickly and I love the pattern. Quite unique and very easy once I watched the video and worked my stitches with the video. Not only do I like it, but I love to learn new patterns and stitches.

    I am making my scarf for charity. We have a group of folks at the office who knit and/or crochet and we donate to local cancer centers / programs.

    thank you

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  45. Shana Says:

    Whoa, you are a speedy knitter! Glad you’re liking the pattern.

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  46. Anna Says:

    What a fun pattern– thank you. I modified it to make a skinny scarf knit up in a think ‘n thin silk/linen blend yarn in a beautiful blue color. It looks great. Thank you again! Anna

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