Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf

This Easy Mistake Stitch scarf is made with Jade Sapphire's gorgeous 12-ply cashmere in color "Green Tea". If you know how to knit and purl you can make this scarf! Mistake Stitch creates a deep and lofty rib that looks like so much more work than it actually is.

If you're curious about the orange scarf on the right, you can find the complete instructions at this link:



4.5 stitches per inch in rib pattern, slightly stretched

Finished Measurements

48-inches long by approximately 8-inches wide

Pattern Note

Mistake rib is a multiple of 4+3

The Pattern

Cast on 39 stitches.

K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Repeat this row. That's it!

Sew in ends, wash gently by hand, block and let air dry.

Click here to add a comment

100 Responses to Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf

  1. purl bee says:

    Hi Kait-

    It certainly could but you would have to convert it to be in the round unless you were planning on knitting the hat flat.

    If you need any more help please let us know. Thanks for writing in-


  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks so much for this pattern! I am a new knitter and i used this to make a manly scarf for my mr! Adore this site!

  3. Sandi says:

    Hi, I would like to use this pattern for a baby blanket. Will that work? Can you give me an idea of what size needles and how many to cast on. Thank you for your great web site!

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Sandi-

    This would work great as a baby blanket! To make a roughly 28-inch wide blanket I would cast on 131 stitches to a 32-inch circular needle in a size 11. Before you get started make sure you're getting the proper gauge, 4.5-stitches per inch, by doing a gauge swatch.

    If you'd like to make it wider or narrower just keep in mind that you need to cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3.

    Whitney's Forever Baby Blanket has a similar look if you'd like to follow a pattern without having to fiddle with anything:

    Thank you and please let us know if you have any more questions!


  5. Ann says:

    I have bought some zara plus wool and plan on using this pattern but I'm unsure what size needles to use. Its been a long time since i did any knitting.


  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Ann-

    We're not familiar with this yarn but usually it will give a suggested needle size on the label. Just give the suggested needles a try and see if you like the way it looks. If it's too tight move up a needle size, if it's too loose, move down a size.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions!


  7. nik says:


    I'm new to knitting and would like to try this project. But I'm wondering, after finishing the first row (K2, P2 repeat until last three stitches, K2, P1), and moving to the 2nd row, which if I'm not mistaken will then start from the 'bottom' of the project since it's now 'inverted', should I then start with P2, K2, repeat until last three stitches, P2 K1, or should i just repeat the first row?

    I hope you reply this comment. I'm really really keen on completing this project. Thank you! :)

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Nik-

    This pattern is complete and correct. You just repeat the same row (K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1) for every row. Once you get a few rows in you'll see the pattern emerge. Thank you so much for your question!


  9. Alyssa says:

    Hi! I'm a fairly new knitter, I learned about two weeks ago and this was my very first project. I absolutely love it and am honestly pretty proud of myself, I didn't think I would actually get the hang of it… and now I'm hooked. :)
    This site was so helpful! Thank you for this simple cute pattern and for my new hobby!

  10. Gloria says:

    I'm a newbie to knitting and I really want to try a make this scarf – it looks really pretty. Could you explain to me what you mean when you say 'its a multiple of 4+3'?


  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Gloria-

    The multiple of 4 + 3 equation lets you know how many stitches you can cast on in case you want to make the scarf wider or thinner. It's saying that the stitch pattern will work if you cast on a multiple of 4 stitches (like 40 just as an example) PLUS 3 (which would be 43 in my example.)

    But if you're a new knitter you should probably just follow the pattern and cast on 39 stitches!

    Thanks for writing in and please let us know if you have any more questions!


  12. Jessica says:

    What is your policy in regards to printing and handing out patterns? I teach a knitting class (for free) at the library I work at to 7-12 year-olds. I have a couple who are ready for pattern reading and I think this would be a great first project. Can I print the picture and instructions out for her (and/or the rest of the group?)


  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Jessica-

    Yes that's fine, as long as our website is clearly on the print and it is not for sale.

    Thank you for getting in touch!


  14. olivia says:

    hello, i knitted this scarf, then wanted to extend it. unfortunately i have unpicked the cast ON instead of the cast off edge. is there anything I can do to save this scarf (besides undoing the whole thing)??

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Olivia-

    Use the live stitches to cast off again, in stitch pattern and it should be OK!

    Thanks for getting in touch and good luck with it!


  16. AM says:

    THANK YOU again for such a cute pattern for free. Working, still, lol, on the 11th Hour Blanket from last summer – to be fair, I've been occasionally working on it ;)

  17. nancy says:

    Last year I made this very scarf for my nephew who is 6 feet 4 inches. He always complained that he could never find a scarf long enough. I made a 12 foot scarf in black and a 12 foot scarf in hunter green. I used 4 ply worsted and #11 needles. He loves the scarves and I love him.

  18. Barbara says:

    Could this scarf pattern be done on a round or long knitting loom? Because of hand surgery I can't use the needles very well any more. If not do you have any patterns for looms?
    Thank You

  19. Lynn says:

    Hi, I love this pattern. How many stitches should I cast on if I wanted to make it appropriately sized for a toddler? Thanks!

  20. purl bee says:

    Hi Lynn-

    You need to cast on a multiple of 4 + 3 so perhaps you might want to try casting on 23 stitches for a 4 1/2-inch wide scarf.

    Thank you!


  21. TSmith says:

    Great stitch! I was winding if there was any special way to cast off.

  22. purl bee says:

    Hi TSmith-

    You will want to cast off in pattern.

    Thanks for your question!


  23. Rita Bhatia says:


    Thanks for sharing. I recently bought DEBORAH NOVILLE'S CHUNKY YARN VARIEGATED IN CHOCOLATE COLOR. IT recommends using Size 9-11 needles, 3-3.75 Stitches per inch.

    I am making this scarf for a man and was wondering how many stitches I should cast on and what size needles I should use.

    Thank you very much.

  24. purl bee says:

    Hi Rita-

    We aren't familiar with that yarn but it sounds like a similar gauge to the one we used so you might just be able to follow the pattern as written with size 11 needles. To be extra sure we would recommend that you do a gauge swatch in pattern to figure out how many stitches you are getting per inch and figure out your cast number on from there. Just make sure that you cast on a number that is a multiple of 4 + 3.

    Thanks for writing in!


  25. purl bee says:

    Hi Jojo-

    When we say Mistake Rib is a multiple of 4 + 3 it means that this stitch pattern will work if you cast on any number that is a multiple of 4 plus 3. For example 23 (5X4= 20 + 3= 23) or 47 (11 X 4= 44 + 3= 47)

    K2P2 does mean knit, knit, purl, purl.

    The last 3 stitches will be knit, knit, purl.

    Thanks for getting in touch with your questions!


  26. Suan says:

    Hi – I would like to use Malabrigo Mecha for this pattern and use #10 needle. Do you know how many CO i would need. Also do I slip the first stitch? If so – do i just continue with K2 after that?

    Pls he[p!


  27. purl bee says:

    Hi Suan-

    We are not familiar with that yarn so you will need to do a swatch in the stitch pattern. From there you can determine how many stitches you are getting per inch and then determine how many to cast on. Just be sure to cast on a number that is a multiple of 4 plus 3 for both your swatch and the final scarf.

    You can follow the pattern as written, no need to slip the first stitch.

    Thank you!


  28. Charlpie says:

    Hi, This is my first attempt at knitting and it's going well apart from some of the purl stitches on the edge looking a bit loose, baggy and messy. How can I stop this happening? Many thanks

  29. purl bee says:

    Hi Carlpie-
    You can slip the first stitch of every row as if to knit and it should help the edges. Count the slipped stitch as a K1. Work row as follows: Slip 1 stitch as if to knit, k1, p2. *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 3 stitches. K2, p1.
    Thank you!

  30. Annie Dunn says:

    Hello, I love the look of the scarf pattern. I am from the UK but am in Saudi Arabia and no shops nearby for wool etc. I did bring back with me 2 large balls of James Brett Marble Chunky,think it is 200 grams each ball and also 3 balls of Robin Paintbox double knitting wool, total 300 grams. The needles I have with me are 1 pair 12mm, 1 pair 4 mm and 1 pair of 5mm. Can I knit this scarf using any of these wools? what would you recommend? many thanks for your advice. Annie Dunn

  31. purl bee says:

    Hi Annie-

    We aren't familiar with the yarns you list but you can do a few swatches to figure out what yarn and needle combination gets you closest to the gauge listed in the pattern. It doesn't have to be exact since this is a scarf and doesn't have to fit like a sweater would.

    Thank you for getting in touch!


  32. Shama says:

    Hi this looks like an amazing project ..
    Is this scarfs for a male or female?
    Also I am using metric needles, please confirm needle size in metric…
    Thank you !

  33. purl bee says:

    Hi Shama-

    This scarf is unisex, it works for both men and women! It uses an 8mm needle.

    Thank you!


  34. Shirin says:


    I have a very serious question. I have made this scarf and it is gorgeous. But I can't cast off. I read your comments and you tried to address it, maybe I am just stupid. I am trying doing it in pattern. But it just looks wider than the other end. Maybe because I am not a professional knitter and only do it on and off for my own projects, could you please tell me what I am doing wrong?

    For last row I take two loops on my right needle, knit once, put one loop back on the left needle, knit again with double loops, then do purl twice, then knit twice, and then when I have nothing left, it is as wide as can be with no pattern whatsoever. Maybe I am not casting off properly. I really want this scarf to be perfect as a finished product, not just look nice on my needles.

    Thank you for your great ideas on this website.

  35. purl bee says:

    Hi Shirin-

    Yes, you are casting off incorrectly. Here is a step by step guide on how to cast off in this pattern:

    K2, Pass the first knit stitch on your right needle over the second stitch and off the needle, * P1, Pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second and off the needle, P1, Pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second and off the needle, K1, Pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second and off the needle, K1, Pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second and off the needle, Repeat from * until the last stitch, K1, Pass the first stitch on your right needle over the second and off the needle.

    I hope this helps! Thanks for getting in touch!


  36. Carolle Robinson says:

    I would like to do this mistake stitch scarf. My 1st question: I bought 100% merino wool from a lady who has her sheeps and makes her own wool. It is a 3 ply, 300 yd. that makes 21 st/30 rows, 4 inc., she told me to take 5mm needles for a scarf. How many stitches should I cast on, I would like it to be 6 inches wide? 2nd question:The pattern says to cast on 39 stitches but does not say wich kind of cast on. I read the January 13, 2014 question regarding casting off. When you replied to cast off in ribbing, should we CAST ON in ribbing also to make it look the same at both ends? Thank you for your help, appreciate your explanations, anxious to start the scarf.

  37. purl bee says:

    Hi Caroline-

    You will have to do a swatch in pattern to determine how many stitches to cast on. Once you figure out how many stitches you are getting per inch in this pattern you can then multiply that number by 6, since you want the finished scarf to be 6 inches, then round that number to the nearest multiple of 4 plus 3 and that's how many you should cast on.

    For example: let's say you're getting 5 stitches per inch in the stitch pattern. 5 X 6= 30 rounded to a multiple of 4 gets you to 32 and then you add 3= 35 to cast on. If this is too confusing just let us know how many stitches per inch you're getting and we'll be happy to do the math!

    We recommend using a basic long tail cast on for this project.

    Thanks for your questions!


  38. Amber says:

    First, I would really like to say how awesome and helpful your website has been. I basically knit while watching your tutorial videos. I absolutely love this scarf, but would like to add a huge button to it. How would you recommend making a button hole for this pattern? I'm thinking I'd like to place it towards the right side of it as opposed to directly in the middle.


  39. purl bee says:

    Hi Amber-

    For a simple buttonhole we would recommend that you do a yarn over (often abbreviated as "yo") followed by knitting two together (often abbreviated as k2tog.)

    For video demonstrations of these two techniques please see our knitting videos page:

    Thank you!


  40. Kelly says:

    I'm just learning to knit can you please explain to me what gauge means. I can't find 12ply yarn anywhere around here, what other kind of yarn would work please? Thank you kindly,


  41. purl bee says:

    Hi Kelly-

    The Ggauge is how many stitches you are getting per inch in a particular pattern.For example, in this pattern the gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch. To get this gauge you'll need to use yarn which is the appropriate weight, meaning that it's not too thick and not too thin.

    Yarn labels often give a suggested needle size as well as a suggested gauge. This gauge is almost always in stockinette stitch. For example: The 12 ply yarn used in this project has a suggested needle size of US 11 and a suggested gauge of 3 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch. This is considered a chunky weight yarn. So if you are looking for an alternative yarn you'll want to look for something "chunky" that suggests a size 11 needle and a 3 stitch per inch gauge.

    I hope this helps!


  42. Kelly says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly yes you really did help, thank you!! :)

  43. Barbara says:

    I'm totally confused. Does 2nd row start with knit 1 purl 2 and then knit 2 purl 2?

  44. purl bee says:

    Hi Barbara-

    Every row is exactly the same. So…

    Row 1: K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.
    Row 2: K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.
    Row 3: K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.
    Row 4: K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

    Just keep going like that!

    Thanks for your question and let us know if you have any more.


  45. Monica says:

    I love this scarf! I made it in a very pretty "oatmeal" color and everyone wants it! My question is this, do you think I could make it using two different colors? I want to make a scarf for my son who has recently graduated from college and I want to use his school colors.


  46. Anna says:

    Hi! I'm planning to make this project but when I read to the bottom in THE PATTERN this part confused me: Sew in ends, wash gently by hand, block and let air dry.
    What do you mean by "block"? I'm just starting to knit and any help would be much appreciated!


  47. purl bee says:

    Hi Anna-

    Here is a link to our blocking tutorial. It should explain things!

    Thanks for writing in!


  48. purl bee says:

    Hi Monica-

    Yes, you can make this striped in two different colors but the transitions between the colors might not be as clean looking as you'd like. I'd recommend doing a swatch with the two different colors to see how you like it. If you don't like it you might try doing a regular 1X1 rib- (knit one, purl one) since that would give you a very clean stripe.

    Thanks for your question!


  49. Hansa KP says:

    I'm currently knitting this scarf in Rowan Cocoon yarn, and it's lovely! However I prefer a longer scarf, so I'm making it 60 inches instead of 48. I've found that 4 skeins of Rowan Cocoon are perfect for this.

  50. Barbara Ball says:

    I have just finished the scarf knitted in Sirdar Bonus Aran, colour Barley, and I am delighted with the finished scarf. It will be a Christmas present for my son living in Boston, U.S.A. He is 6’6″ so I made it just over 5′. He loves to receive scarves that are a good length on him.
    Very many thanks for the pattern :-)

    Barbara. Cambridge. U.K.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× nine = 63

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Subscribers receive a FREE premium Purl Soho Pattern of your choice (up to a $15 value!). learn more