How Long Should a Scarf be?

Knitting Patterns

As I am working on my new cabled design, I’m thinking “How long should a scarf be, actually? — It’s a common question for all knitters and crochet-lovers at some stage in their knitting career. :-) Let’s think through what would make a good width and length of a crochet or knitted scarf.

how long should a knit scarf be
How long should a knit scarf be??!

And the Answer is…

Anywhere from 55 to about 80 inches in length, but of course, , it all depends!

First up, it depends on who it is for and how tall they are. Typically a scarf length reaches from the fingers of one hand over the shoulders to the fingers of the other hand.

If it was only as simple as that!

I have scarves in just about any length and width. And so, yeah, there are more scarf length determining factors.

Other Scarf Length-Determining Factors

  • Store-bought luxury scarves tend to be larger, in more expensive, and often thinner yarn. So, you may wish to add a few inches/cm extra if you want it to look like a store-bought fashion brand yarn.
  • But all thinner yarn scarves are lighter weight and less bulky. So, that you can always add a bit of length and/or width.
  • Besides width and thickness, there’s also your body structure to consider. If you have broad shoulders, you may wish to go a bit wider, for example.
  • How you plan to use the scarf matters also. If you want to create one with pockets, as is rather popular right now, you might want to add another foot to you work. If, on the other hand you want to wrap it around your head like a snoot, then that would make for a much shorter but wider scarf instead.
  • Of course, we are excluding neckties, infinity scarves or cowls, and triangle scarves.
  • Your stitch pattern can also be a factor, as sometimes you need multiples of so many stitches and so many rows for the motifs to work.
  • Specialty / oversized ones: there’s that Harry Potter-style OTT long scarf – a bit of an exception. Or if you are my generation, the Dr Who scarf – Also ultra long, like 14 feet!
  • Cost is another factor though. If you’re working in very expensive cashmere, you may want to keep things more contained. Or at least, really think through your width as well as your length of your creation, vs the yardage of your skein so you’ll get the best shaped scarf out of the yarn you bought.

Tip

Use your swatch to figure out exactly how much yarn your chosen stitch pattern will use for a 4″x 4″ (10×10 cm) square. You can figure things out from there.

How Long are Your Scarves?

What’s your favorite scarf size? What do you do to figure out its best dimensions? Are you relying on your written crochet or knitting pattern itself, or do you make up your own mind? I’d love hearing from you with your view.