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How to Knit a Chunky Scarf

Chunky wool scarf knitting patterns are seriously the coziest.

By: Dana Byerwalter, Editor, FaveCrafts.com
How to Knit a Chunky Scarf

Let's be honest: the reason most of us get into knitting is to make free scarf knitting patterns, and the chunkier the better. Learn how to knit a chunky scarf from A-Z with our helpful tutorial.

You don't need an occasion (or cold weather) when it comes to knit scarf patterns. This article on how to knit a chunky scarf includes patterns for a variety of traditional scarves as well as patterns for cowls. Each of these knit scarf patterns is unique and fun to make. Whether you're new to the world of knitting or have a ton of experience, you'll find the perfect pattern. With so many colors and styles to choose from, you'll never get bored with these chunky scarf knitting patterns.

Our popular collection of 21 Free Knit Scarf Patterns Using Bulky Yarn is your top resource for finding big knit scarf patterns, but you'll find the basics for how to knit chunky scarves in this step-by-step tutorial.

Once you learn how to knit a chunky scarf, you'll want to try dozens of different patterns! Scarves are the perfect accessories during the fall and winter months. Pick any of these easy scarf knitting patterns and get to work - you never know what's possible until you try.

Materials:

Chunky Yarn

It may sound obvious, but if you're going to learn how to knit a chunky scarf, you need to start with chunky yarn! Purchase bulky or, my personal preference, super bulky yarn to begin your knitting project. If you're designing a pattern yourself, it is prudent to purchase more yarn than you think you'll need so you can make sure it's all in the same dye lot.

What is a dye lot? This is a number to identify yarn that was dyed in the same batch. Sometimes purchasing yarns in different dye lots results in notable color differences throughout a project. Purchasing yarn in the same dye lot means you'll have the same color throughout because the yarn was dyed in the same batch.

If you are working off a pattern someone else wrote, simply follow the suggested yardage or number of skeins they list in the pattern.

Thick Needles

Avid knitters know that a thicker yarn will often require thicker needles. Tinier needles will result in smaller stitches and a stiffer knit fabric when you're done, while bigger needles will make your project work up faster and allow the project to "breathe" more. 

The Craft Yarn Council has an excellent guide on the suggested needle sizes based on yarn weight. This is a good resource if you are designing your own chunky knit scarf. If you are following a pattern, the knitting pattern should specify what needles you should use. The suggested needles might be different in a pattern than those recommended on the yarn label or the Craft Yarn Council's website, which is totally fine. This will simply affect the look of the finished project and produce tighter or looser stitches as planned.

More Materials You Might Need

A bulky yarn and a thick pair of knitting needles are the two most important materials you'll need, and here are some additional items that might be helpful:

  • Scissors
  • Large stitch markers
  • Yarn needles
  • Point protectors

Knitting Cast On and Knitting Bind Off Techniques [Infographic]

Knitting Cast On and Knitting Bind Off Techniques [Infographic]

Looking for a quick snapshot of the different knitting cast on and bind off techniques? Our helpful infographic shows you in an instant what the different techniques are, as well as the advantages of each. 

Click here for the PDF download.

How to Knit a Chunky Scarf

How to Start a Scarf: Cast On

How to Work a Knit-On Cast On

Casting on with a bulky yarn and thick knitting needles may be a smidge tricky if you're used to working with worsted weight yarn. Here are some tips:

  1. Try bamboo knitting needles. These needles are less slippery than metal ones and may be easier to work with when knitting a bulky scarf pattern. Our editor Natalie wrote a guest post for knitting blog Pattymac Knits, and she says of bamboo needles, "I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the bamboo needles." (Read more about her beginner knitting experience!)
  2. If you aren't following a pattern, cast on less than you'd expect to. A bulky yarn will require fewer stitches to achieve the desired width than a lighter-weight yarn!
  3. Follow this video tutorial from knitting expert Heidi Gustad from handsoccupied.com for How to Work a Knit-On Cast On. This is a super popular cast-on method that will work wonderfully well for your beginner chunky knit scarf.

Free Chunky Scarf Knitting Patterns

21 Free Knit Scarf Patterns Using Bulky Yarn

Explore our popular collection of 21 Free Knit Scarf Patterns Using Bulky Yarn to see what patterns you might like to try! These gorgeous big knit scarf patterns are nearly too pretty to pass up.

More chunky knit scarf patterns:

How to Finish a Scarf: Bind Off

How to Knit the Lacey Bind Off

After you've completed your chunky scarf, you need to finish the project by binding off! In this video tutorial from AllFreeKnitting, learn the Lacey Bind Off method.

What is your favorite chunky yarn to knit with?

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Bless this article! Chunky scarves are my go-to (and are among the only knitting patterns I can say I've successfully finished). They look amazing paired with the layers of fall and winter. Of course, the fact that they work up super quick doesn't hurt one bit. I'm just too impatient to commit to anything smaller than the bulkiest of yarns (seriously, the super bulky is my BFF).

I am sadly way too impatient for most lighter weight knitting projects. However, with chunky yarn and large needles, even I have the patience to knit a scarf. Plus, chunky yarn knits are so trendy and in style right now!

Thank you for this very informative article! I love wearing chunky scarves, because they keep you warm while still looking stylish.

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