Ruffle scarves are made by gradually increasing the number of cast stitches over a small number of rows, resulting in one longer edge that spirals or ruffles when cast off the needles. Ruffle scarves have relatively few rows, but the increased number of stitches per row can reach hundreds to over 1,000 depending on the desired scarf length.
Knitters need only know a basic knit stitch, also known as garter stitch, to make a ruffle scarf. Straight needles can work for making a ruffle scarf, but round needles connected with a cable make it much easier to handle the scarf, particularly as the number of cast on stitches increases.
Step 1: Casting on stitches
Cast on a set number of stitches onto the needle, such as 100 stitches for an adult scarf of about 5 to 6 feet long, or 50 stitches for a shorter children's scarf. The length, width and scarf thickness also varies with the type of yarn. Turn the work over and knit one or two rows with the garter stitch. The number of rows between determines the scarf width.
Step 2: Increasing the stitches
Increase the number of stitches by roughly one stitch for every one existing stitch on the next pass. This is done by knitting the existing stitch, casting on a new stitch, then knitting the next existing stitch. When finished, the result is roughly 200 stitches for an adult scarf or 100 stitches for a children's scarf.
Step 3: Increasing scarf length
Knit another one or two rows, depending on the desired width. Knit another row with double the stitches of the previous row. Continue in this manner, steadily increasing the stitches up to about 800 stitches for a children's scarf, or 1,600 or more stitches for an adult scarf, depending on the desired length.
Step 4: Casting off stitches
Cast the stitches off the needle to complete the ruffle scarf. The ruffle detail does not become apparent until the stitches are cast off the needle. Weave the excess length of yarn at the end into the scarf to conceal the end and prevent unraveling.