Crochet a unique, “art yarn” scrappy scarf using novelty yarns you have at home using this free pattern. This tutorial will give you tips to create your own one-of-a-kind, beautiful “art yarn” inspired scarf on a budget. Find the free crochet pattern instructions and tutorial below, or purchase a print-optimized, ad-free PDF by clicking here.
Recently I’ve been looking at art yarn/scrappy scarves on Pinterest. If you love texture and color as much as I do, these are a must see! “Art yarn” is basically yarn that is custom made with all kinds of colors and textures of wool, and even fabric fibers. It tends to be uneven in the way it’s spun, which only adds to the charm. Because of the unique way in which these yarns come together, and the amount of time it takes a spinner to create it, these yarns tend to run a little on the spendy side at times, but if you have the funds, I definitely recommend purchasing some.
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Making a creative, DIY “art-yarn” scarf on a budget
Unfortunately, my budget for fancy new yarn isn’t real big right now, and this inspired me to come up with a new way of creating something similar, potentially with all those odds and ends of novelty yarn that are left over from various unique pieces, but are probably things that aren’t used on a weekly or monthly basis (fun fur anyone?). Novelty yarns are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but finding a project to use up the last few left-over yards can be tricky, and who wants to get rid of perfectly good yarn that might have a use at some point in the next 5-10 years? Amiright?
Ok good, now that we’re on the same page, let’s get in to what this project is, (and what it isn’t).
What this is:
This is a loose tutorial for how I created the scarf that is pictured. I’ve included the descriptions of the yarn I used where I was able to, but some of this was yarn that didn’t have a label, so I am not able to include everything.
Now for what this is not: It is not instructions for how to *exactly* recreate what I have. I didn’t draw a diagram for the loops and swirls, I don’t tell you exactly what to weave where-that is totally up to you. Your scarf probably won’t turn out exactly like mine, and that’s ok! This is the time to let your creativity soar! Don’t be afraid, you’ve got this. 😀
Use scraps and novelty yarn you already have on hand
Let’s dive in! First, you’ll want to dig out all of those scraps and un-used novelty yarns so you can see them all in one place (a brightly lit room is ideal for this step. Pick out colors that contrast or complement each other, and at the same time look for different textures that will add interest I used at least 6 different styles/weights of yarn in my scrappy scarf. If you want to make texture the focus of your piece, use colors that are similar. If you prefer your scarf to be all about the colors you may not need to use as wide of a variety of different yarn weights, though I definitely recommend using at least 3 styles. Feel free to also add bits of ribbon or strips of material. These look especially nice on the “fringe” part of your scarf. I’ve included some suggestions below, but you’re the artist and this is your scarf, so have fun!
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yarn needle with a large eye for weaving yarn through scarf
100-125 yards #3 light weight yarn (I used a maroon yarn that may have been re-purposed from a sweater. It looks like a cotton-acrylic blend)
50 yards #5 chunky yarn (I used Lion Brand Homespun in “Fiesta” which has since been discontinued). Note: You can choose to go with one colorway, or use multiple chunky or worsted weight yarns–the more you have woven through, the more luxurious and unique your scarf will look.
Additional suggested yarns:
–Fun fur/Foxy (I used Red Heart Foxy in “Aquarium”. This line is discontinued, but Lion Brand has a similar style, or you may find some on Etsy or eBay)
-A different #5 chunky yarn (I used Yarn Bee Tender Touch in “Amber”) Note: Again, this is only a suggestion, you can use any kind of yarn, chunky, worsted, dk, and as much of it as will fit through the spaces.
-A fun speckled, metallic strand, or otherwise interesting worsted weight yarn (I used an acrylic, purple fleck yarn, again, no label, but I suspect it may have been a Red Heart variety that has been discontinued).
-Leftover bits of ribbon, lace, or fabric scraps if you have those laying around
Small amount of worsted weight yarn in up to 4 colors of your choice
small amount of crochet thread in a complementing or contrasting color for the center of flower #1
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
Granule Stitch (also known as Picot Single Crochet): Insert hook, yo, pull up a loop, *yo, draw through 1 loop* 3 times to make a ch 3, then yo, and draw through both loops on the hook.
8 ft long, including fringe, by 5″ wide
Gauge is not extremely important
If you used a heavier yarn to begin with, you could turn this into a belt
This pattern can easily be made longer or shorter to fit your needs
Your scarf will be unique to your own yarn collection, and that’s what makes this pattern so special!
Art Yarn Scrappy Scarf Crochet Pattern (US Terms):
Click here to purchase an ad-free, print-optimized PDF of this pattern on LoveCrafts
In this section you will be making the mesh that you are going to weave your yarn through. I’ve included detailed notes further down in the pattern
Row 1: Ch 146, skip 3 chains (counts as first dc), dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each remaining st to end of row, ch 3 (counts as first dc of row 2), turn. (144)
Rows 2-5: dc in each st across, ch 3, turn. (144)
Once you finish row 5 your scarf should measure about 6′ long x 5″ tall, and be very loose and floppy with plenty of stretch. If you want a wider scarf now is your opportunity to add more rows.
The mesh is probably not especially pretty looking, but it doesn’t have to be. We will “pretty it up” in a moment by weaving bulky#5 yarn over and under the dc stitches (I used Lion Brand Homespun in “Fiesta”, but you can use whatever you have on hand) using a large-eyed needle (I used the larger of the yarn needles that came in my set).
If you ever made pot-holders out of stretchy nylon loops as a kid, you already know how to weave! Over, under, over, under, using the dc stitches as your warp (see image below). Switch to under, over, under, over on the next strand. I used 4, 96″ strands of yarn for each dc row, and after doing that, I wove the other kinds of novelty yarn (fur, other chunky yarn, and interesting worsted weight yarn) through the spaces at the top of the rows (noted with arrows in the picture below). If you made your dc stitches loose enough, these spaces should be very visible. Note: Do NOT weave all strands of yarn the same way for each row. Each strand must alternate with the one before it. This way your yarn will not work its way out as you wear your scarf.
Once you are done weaving, pick up a complimenting or contrasting color of worsted weight yarn, and slip-stitch a pattern of loops and swirls along your scarf. I used Caron Simply Soft in “Bone”. This part is rather time consuming, but there really is no right or wrong way to do it.
Once you have your slip-stitched pattern finished, you can start adding flowers to your scarf! Here are the 3 flowers on mine. You can use your favorite flower pattern instead, if you prefer. Small flowers will look best for this width of scarf, especially if you plan to put more than one or two on. I’ve labeled the color changes for each flower, but what colors you use, and what order you use them in, are up to you. I recommend sticking to no more than 4 colors for these flowers.
Adding flowers to your scrappy scarf:
Using a 3.25 mm hook,
Flower 1 measures 2 3/4″ across
Flower 2 measures 2″ across
Flower 3 measures 2 1/4″ across
Colors I used:
Lion Brand Heartland in “Yellowstone”
Caron Simply Soft in “Chocolate”
Patons Classic Wool in “Sea Green Heather”
#10 crochet thread in “Burgundy”
With first color,
Round 1: 12 dc in magic circle, join with sl st to first dc. (12)
With second color,
Round 2: 5 hdc in first stitch, sl st in the next *5 hdc in next stitch, sl st in next st; repeat from * around, final sl st counts as join. (6 petals)
Turn your flower over and work this next step across the back side. Don’t forget to turn it back over so the front side is facing you after you end the round.
Round 3: working into back of flower, *ch 3, sl st into bottom center of petal from previous round; repeat from * across, final sl st counts as join. (6 ch-3 sps)
With third color,
Round 4: with front side facing, *working in next ch-3 sp, (hdc, 5 dc, hdc, sl st); repeat from * around, final sl st counts as join. (6 petals)
With fourth color (crochet thread, in my case),
sew up through the center of your flower, and back through the top of each dc stitch
Fasten off, and weave in ends
With first color,
Round 1: 6 sc in magic circle, join with sl st to first sc. (6)
With second color,
Round 2: ch 1, [granule stitch, sc], move to next stitch, *[granule stitch, sc], move to next stitch; repeat from * around, join with sl st to first granule st. (12)
With third color,
Round 3: (ch 2, 2 dc cluster, ch 2, sl st, ch 2) in first stitch, *(2 dc cluster, ch 2, sl st, ch 2) in next stitch; repeat from * around, omitting last ch-2 in final repeat, final sl st counts as join. (12 petals)
Fasten off, and weave in ends.
Flower 3 (Sunflower/daisy):
With first color,
Round 1: 6 sc in magic circle, join with sl st to first sc. (6)
Round 2: ch 1, 2 sc in first st, sc in next st, *2 sc in next st, sc in next st; repeat from * around, join with sl st to first sc. (9)
Round 3: ch 1, 2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, *2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts; repeat from * around, join with sl st to first sc. (12)
In round 4 you will be creating the long thin petals of the sunflower (or daisy, if you prefer). Each petal starts out with a chain, then you will work back down the chain. Each stitch from round 3 will have a long, thin petal worked into it when you are done.
With second color,
Round 4: ch 4, sc in second ch from hook, sc in next chain, hdc in next ch, sl st in next stitch from round 3, *ch 4, sc into second ch from hook, sc in next chain, hdc in the next, sl st in the next stitch from round 3; repeat from * around, final sl st counts as join. (12 petals)
Fasten off, and weave in ends.
Sew flowers to scarf with a color of thread or yarn that will complement the colors you already have (I used the same maroon color that I started crocheting the scarf with).
You should already have a good bit of fringe left over from weaving your yarn through the mesh, but here’s the place to make it more interesting!
Loop extra bits of ribbon, lace or strips of material through the ends of the dc mesh to make your fringe more luscious.
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PATTERN TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
You are welcome to share the link to this pattern, using one image of your choice, on your site, but please do not share the written patterns themselves, this includes my Ravelry downloads or translations of these patterns, or use additional images. You do not have permission to use my images by themselves to create pinnable graphics for Pinterest, however they may be included in a roundup pin if there are 4 or more other patterns. If you sell finished items online, please do not use my pictures for your listings. I’m positive that your work is of high enough quality for you to sell the finished piece. Have confidence in your abilities! <3 Thank you!
This pattern was made to be used by individuals, and small business crocheters alike. Selling your finished pieces in boutiques, at farmer’s markets, craft shows, and other local events is encouraged! Please credit/link Kirsten Holloway Designs when selling finished products online. The only thing I require is that this pattern not be used commercially to produce hundreds of thousands of copies.
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I have made one of these scarves each year since I bumped into it in 2018. Everyone loved it but only one person loved it enough to purchase it. so I made one the following year and sure enough one person bought it much more quickly than the first. So i made one again this year. I have made them in different colors each year. I decided to only make one because it is so unique and so boho pretty that the person wearing would feel special and didnt need to turn every corner and see the same scarf on someone else. I all ready have the colors set for the fall of 2021 🙂 thank you again for such a special design.
You’re welcome, Olga! I’m happy you have been enjoying this design. I have a whole box of yarn set aside to make more of these to sell locally if I ever have time, haha! It takes a unique person to really appreciate the beauty of this design, but I think each and every scarf is a gorgeous one-of-a-kind treasure (as are the people who wear them). I hope your next season goes well and that you find the right person/people to buy your handiwork! 😀
Your scarf design is absolutely beautiful! Your choice of colors is so fun! I do have a question… does the slip stitch design help keep the scarf stable? If I do not do it, will the woven in strands loop/ lift up?
The slip stitching is just to be pretty. If you alternate each and every strand when you weave them through the dc mesh it should be nice and sturdy and not pull out.
I’m so glad you like the scarf, Diane!????
Oh my goodness! I just found this! It reminds me so much of the hippy clothing I used to wear in 60’s!! LOL I absolutely love it! Thanks so much for brightening my day!! <3
You’re welcome, Jan! I’m glad this scarf could brighten your day!
I made one for my cousin (who lives in Chicago and always needs warm things) for Christmas. It was the most fun I’ve had and the most proud I’ve been of anything I’ve done in a long time. Everyone who’s seen it has ooohed and aaaahed over it. I’m now trying to make one in a different set of colors for a friend. Thanks for the fun! This is truly beautiful.
That’s wonderful to hear, Natalie! You’re welcome!
I love this wonderful scarf you have created. Thank you. Also a big thank you for letting us know what yarn colors you use. It is so frustrating when a designer says they cannot remember which yarn they used. Can’t wait to start this scarf
You’re welcome! Some of the yarns may be old or discontinued now, but I’m so glad the material list helped!
Made one, everyone loves it!!!!! thanks
Awesome! I’m glad to hear that! You’re welcome!
Thanks for the idea & pattern
You’re very welcome!
Beth Vandergriff says
Can’t wait to start! One question, not sure how to slip stitch on the scarf- am I over thinking it?
It’s really easy–just time consuming. If you have ever slip stitched over a couple of stitches to begin a round in a new location it’s the same motion, only you’ll be creating swirls on this scarf. You can search Youtube for video of surface slip stitching if you get stuck. 🙂 Good luck!
I’m making 2 of these for my beautiful daughters who are 7 & 9! They love what I make them and I’m so excited to give them these! I’m actually writing out their names on cursive with the slip stitch step (where you did the loops and swirls) on their individual scarves to personalize them. Thank you for this amazing pattern! It allows such an awesome platform to individualize an accessory and create something no one else has!
I love your work!
Thank you, Lisa! I’m so glad you’re having fun with this project and giving it your own unique touches! I hope your daughters love their gifts!
Olga Torres says
Such a unique looking scarf, love it, love it! Im getting ready to add the loops and swirls. Since it is a slip stitch, I am thinking this is done on top and doesnt go through to the other side?
It does go through the fabric to the other side, but if you can figure out a way of slip stitching where it doesn’t show through, you are welcome to do that! I’m glad you’re enjoying the pattern. 🙂
Where did you use the granule stitch?
I use it on the second flower. It’s the one that is mostly cranberry colored.
We are on a month long road trip. I have been picking up yarn, buttons,etc that would look good made up as this scarf! It’s going to be my souviner scarf! I’ve already made some flowers for it! Thank you for the inspiration!!!
That’s wonderful, Lisa! I’m so glad it’s inspired you! Enjoy working on it and making it yours!
I work doing coat check for a casino. With lots of down time they allow me to crochet. Working on this project right now and must say everyone is so intrigued. Found lots of funky yarn for weaving at the thrift store for $5. People are making a point to stop by to check my progress. Thanks for posting. Super fun.
That’s so awesome, Cheryl! Thank you for sharing that with me! Enjoy the rest of the creating process! 😀
DI can’t figure out how to do the chain stitch design. Do you chain and then attach?
Hi Marlene, you will slip stitch into the fabric. It’s like chaining, but going through the material you just made by weaving. I will demonstrate how to do that part in the upcoming CAL (crochet-a-long).
YouTube has some videos that may also help if you want to search for surface slip stitching. 🙂
Vivien Cooper says
Thank you for the beautiful scarf pattern, it’s a gorgeous design – so artistic. Love it. xx
You’re very welcome, Vivien! 😀
This is amazing!!! I love everything about it! Gorgeous!!! thank you for sharing
You’re very welcome, Amy! 🙂
What an inspiration for using all those crafty yarn bits I can’t resist then don’t know whatdo with them Ido now and I have a grandaughter who will fall in love with this. great to brighten a wet and windy British day.
You’re welcome, Yvonne! Have fun being creative! 😀
Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for reminding me about how easy and fun being creative can be! I just LOVE your scarf!
You’re very welcome, Lynn! I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed it!
Becky heath says
Love this scarf! I’m at the weaving stage now and I have a question….did you weave all the colors in each of the D.C. Spaces or did you just add them randomly . I guess my question is how many different yarns /ribbon did you weave in each row? Thanks so much for sharing!
Hi Becky, Thank you! I wove 4 strands into each row of dc, plus I wove an additional 3 strands between the rows (there should be a picture that shows where this is). I hope that helps!
After I did the s surface cjain stitches, my scarf puckers up a bit, ive tried to make looser stitches but it still does that. Id that normal?
There may be a very, very slight amount of puckering, but it should be so slight that you hardly see it. You may try going up a hook size or two if it is noticeably puckering, as this would indicate too tight of a slip stitch. I hope that helps!
Debby Manette says
Thanks for the clear instructions. So many patterns these days are so complex that I don’t even attempt them. This one looks doable as well as beautiful!
You’re welcome! It’s time consuming, but the result is definitely one of a kind!
Leslie H says
Thank you for this inspirational project! What a fun way to use up odds and ends and wonderful colors!
You’re very welcome, Leslie!
Kim Logan says
Oh my goodness!!! You are brilliant. Absolutely loving this. What an inspiration you are!!!
I’m glad to hear that this inspired you so much! 😀
Hello! This scarf is awesome!! I also am picturing multiple presents to make ( and a couple for me!) for the coming cooler months. Thanks so much for sharing this!
You’re welcome! I hope you have lots of fun creating with this pattern! 😀
Patty May says
How creative! That is just beautiful and it looks like so much fun. I am going to give this a try!
Thank you! Have fun with it!
Laura Waterfield says
What a really cool scarf.
Thank you for sharing it.
You’re welcome, Laura! I’m glad you like it!
This is just what I’ve needed to re-energize my love of crochet. I’ve been doing it for 50+years now and had run out of the fun of it. Thank you so much.
Deb, I’m so glad to hear it has helped rejuvenate your love of crochet! You’re very welcome!
Alison Hall says
Absolutely love your arty scarf Kirsten! Shared with my crochet group.
Thank you, Alison, and thank you for sharing it with your group! <3
I already started this for a member of family who needs cheering up, but would love something like this and I am really enjoying it. I think what you have done is a work of art. Love it, thank you for sharing.
I’m so glad youre enjoying the scarf, Linda! Thank you for the sweet words!
Thank you for this lovely boho scarf, I am so excited to start a Christmas project with this pattern, my head is reeling with ideas for what to use for the weaving!
You’re welcome, Vicki! Have fun with your imagination!
I’m follen in love with your project! Thanks for share and kisses from Spain.
You’re welcome, Rosana! 😀
Marie Evans says
Can’t wait to make this one!!! I have so much ‘scrap’ yarn, I could make dozens of these!! Thanks for sharing…
You’re welcome! Have fun!
This is fantastic! I’ve been looking for a boho-type scarf to make for my daughter and the yarns I was finding just didn’t please me. But this! You’ve got my imagination running wild! It’s gorgeous and there are so many possibilities! Thank you so much for sharing and especially for the detailed tips and techniques and yarn information!
You’re very welcome, Barbara! I’m so glad this has inspired you! 😀
WoW!! I am in LoVe with this eclectic boho look! I’ve started the scarf and can’t wait to get the yarn to weave in!!! So much fun, cause I LoVe this Shtuff!! Thanks for the pattern!!
You’re welcome, Lyn! Have fun finishing it!
Awesome! I will dig through my stash and give this a try. Thank you for sharing this great idea.
Christy Lynn says
This is brilliant! I love a project that encourages creativity!!
Thank you, Christy!
Christie Crompton says
Wowsers!! This is gorgeous and so much fun!! My daughter isn’t quite there with the crocheting part, but she would LOVE to do all the weaving. I see a mother-daughter project in the works!!
That’s great, Christie! I’m sure it will be special when it’s complete! 😀
Harrietta Wright says
Just super duper. I’m a hippie dippie kinda gal. Love this scarf. Thumbs up!
Thank you, Harrietta!
I have so much great yarn and fibers, this has inspired me put some of it together! Thanks so much! You are awesome!
Wonderful! You’re welcome!
I am totally inspired. I am starting right now! Thank you for sharing this. May you have a lovely day! 🙂
You’re welcome! I’m glad this has inspired you!
Thank You, your scarf is a work of art. Thank you so so much for sharing.
You’re welcome, Gillian! I’m glad you like it!
Fun! A question about the fringe, did you add the fringe, or was it the ends of the yarn you had weaved through the scarf that you left long? Thanks.
Hi Christy, the fringe is made up of the ends that are woven through. It is possible to add additional fringe to the ends though. 🙂
Ok that’s what I thought, thanks! I will have to try it sometime, the pattern looks a lot easier than you would expect. 🙂
Oh you cute smart girl! This is fabulous! Thank you so much for what I envision to be gorgeous Christmas gifts!
You’re very welcome, Dottie! 😀
I am in love.. thank you tons
I’m so glad! You’re welcome!