Knit a Gorgeous Kerchief


Small and simple to knit, this sweet kerchief is the perfect project for knitters looking to work on their decreases, ribbing, and pattern reading skills. The finished kerchief is a fun accessory that can be creatively styled. Wear it around your neck for a modern look, or tie it around your hair for a retro vibe.


  • 1 skein Malabrigo Arroyo yarn or similar sport weight yarn
  • US 7/4.5mm needles
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

1. Knit a Swatch

Cast on 20 stitches or a larger increment of four. Work in 2 x 2 ribbing by alternating two knit stitches with two purl stitches until the swatch is a few inches long. Bind off, and wash and block your swatch. It’s important to always wash and block swatches because many yarns will stretch or grow when they’re first washed.

When your swatch is dry, measure to see the gauge of your knitting. For this pattern, you will need six stitches per inch and eight rows per inch when relaxed, and you should have four stitches to the inch when stretched.

If you have more stitches per inch, try using a slightly larger needle size. If you have fewer stitches per inch, try a slightly smaller needle size. When your gauge is different, your finished knit will be too big or too small and won’t fit correctly, so matching a pattern’s required gauge is essential.


2. Learn Your Decreases

This project features double decreases. The k3tog is a right slanting two stitch decrease, and the sk2p is a left slanting two stitch decrease.



To work a k3tog, insert your right needle through three stitches at the same time. Knit the three stitches together as if they were one.



To work a sk2p, insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to knit. Instead of knitting it, simply pass it onto the right needle. Next, knit the first two stitches on the left hand needle together. Pass the slipped stitch on your right needle over the stitch in front of it.


3. Cast On

Cast on 154 stitches. For this project, I chose the long tail cast on method because it makes an attractive and stretchy edge.


4. Shape the Kerchief

Step 1

Row 1 (ws): *P2, k2; repeat from * to the last two stitches, p2.
Row 2 (rs): K1, sk2p, *k2, p2; repeat from * to last six stitches, k2, k3tog, k1.
Row 3: P4, *k2, p2; repeat from * to last two stitches, p2.
Row 4: K1, sk2p, *p2, k2; repeat from * to last four stitches, p2, k3tog, k1.


Step 2

Repeat rows 1 to 4 until only six stitches remain.


Step 3

Next Row: P6
Next Row: Sk2p, k3tog.
Next Row: P2.
Next Row: K2tog.


5. Finishing

Step 1

Cut your yarn and pull the tail through the remaining loop to secure it.


Step 2

Using the yarn needle, carefully weave in all ends.


Step 3

Block your finished kerchief to even out stitches.

Style Your Kerchief

Tie your kerchief around your neck to keep cozy on a chilly day.


Or wear it in your hair to warm up a classic look.


Step 1

To wear it like a headscarf, start with your hair pinned up in back.

Step 2

Wrap the kerchief around your hair, bringing the long ends to the front.

Step 3

Tie the ends in a half knot on top of your head.

Step 4

Pull the short point from the back, and pass it underneath the half knot.


Step 5

Fold the short point over the knot, and tie a second half knot to secure everything.


Step 6

Fold the excess fabric under, and tuck it forward.


Now that you’ve completed your cute kerchief, you’ve learned the importance of knitting swatches, practiced following a pattern, and worked on perfecting a variety of invaluable stitches.

How will you style your finished knit?

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