The Eleventh Hour Scarf

I wanted to come up with an idea that would answer the pressing need of the last minute gift without sacrificing quality, a gift that we can give without sheepishness or apologies. In fact, one that will be given with pride and received with gratitude, and one that, not insignificantly, you can start at the beginning of a movie and finish before the final credits roll! -Whitney


  • 3 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky, 50% alpaca and 50% wool. This color is "Grasshopper" #1212. (Alternatively, you can use 1 skein of Cascade's Magnum, 100% wool.)
  • Skacel's US size 36 knitting needles, either 32 inch circular or 14 inch straight


The Pattern


3/4 stitch = 1 inch in seed stitch

Finished Size

5 inches x 70 inches


The yarn is doubled throughout this pattern. For the first two balls, just pull one strand from each ball. For the third ball, you have a couple of options. One is to pull one strand from the center of the ball and one strand from the outside of the ball (my preferred method). The other is to wind the one ball into two balls as evenly as possible.

The How To

Cast on 7 stitches.

Row 1: Slip 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; repeat from * two times.

Repeat Row 1 for every row.

Bind off loosely in pattern.

Weave in the ends. (It's neater to weave each strand in separately rather than keeping the ends doubled.)

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54 Responses to The Eleventh Hour Scarf

  1. lucham says:

    Don't usually read or write comments–I've been knitting for 50+ years–but glad I am reading this. Now I know what to do with my very bulky unspun Cowichan yarn I've hoarded for years. I enjoyed reading the questions and answers. Wish blogs like this were around when I was first knitting– had to figure it out myself using trial and lots of error or wait until someone would drive me to Aunt Nellie's house. Of course there were no computers, so……Happy Holidays !

  2. Amy says:

    That is adorable! I don’t even have any last-minute gifts to make and I am still going to make one tonight! I have just the yarn… :-)

  3. Tami says:

    Can it be crocheted? I’m not too good with knitting… :S

  4. Liz says:

    I LOVE the hat, too. Will you post the pattern for it as well? Pretty please?!

  5. Gisela says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    You’ve totally saved me from insanity. (VBG)

  6. Deborah says:

    For dividing one skein of yarn into two an easy way, if you have a kitchen scale, is put the skein on the scale and wind away until the yarn on the skein weighs 1/2 of its weight before winding.

  7. Ashley says:

    Yikes! What does “slip one knitwise” mean? I get the rest, but I’ve never seen that before…help! Gracias!

  8. Meghann says:

    Slip one knitwise was new to me too! I found a helpful site that shows video. It’s under SL1K.

  9. CN says:

    Love the scarf! Will be making it for sure…and do you carry the needles? How about the hat does it have a pattern? The combo together is quite something.

  10. Karen says:

    Wow, I got this email this morning… printed it… went to the yarn store and bought the Twinkle Soft Chunky yarn and made *two* of these between 5 and 9pm. Amazing. And they are beautiful! Thanks so much. Btw, with the Twinkle, I only used two skeins to get the required length! Whoo hoo!

  11. catherine says:

    Ooh! Where’d you get the sparkly needles? Does Purl Soho sell them??

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi Catherine,
    The US size 36 needles from Skacel (circulars and straights too) are sparkly, and yes, we sell them! You can find them at this link:,16

  13. Valli says:

    This just became my new idiot knitting project for when I am tired but still need to knit. I just love it. Your site is amazing. Thank you. Valli

  14. Beth says:

    I just knitted this last night. Mine seems to be a more “open” weave, but I stll like it. I would love a simple hat pattern to complement this scarf! Thanks so much!!! Beth

  15. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous! I would love love love the pattern for the hat too!

  16. Ro says:

    Yikes! I’m new to knitting and confused.
    If the directions say:

    Cast on 7 stitches.

    Row 1: Slip 1 knitwise, [p1, k1] three times.

    **If you do row 1 three times then don’t you need to cast on 9 instead of 7??

    Please help!

  17. purl bee says:

    Hi Ro,
    The pattern should say, “[p1, k1] two times”. Thanks for pointing this out! I’ll change it now. It seems like you’re catching on to knitting quite well!

  18. Vanessa says:

    I need a bit of help understanding this pattern please…

    is the first row: SL1K, p1, k1 then SL1K, p1, k1, SL1K

    and I follow that pattern on the next row? If so, mine is not coming out very well…

    Thank you for your help!

  19. purl bee says:

    Hi Vanessa,
    Every row should be knit as follows:
    SL1K, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1

    you are only repeating the part in the brackets.
    Hope this helps.

  20. Vanessa says:

    Thank you! This is just like the “seed” stitch, no? I like the edge created by slipping the first stitch! I love your site and am learning so much! Never before have I been confident enough in pattern interpretation- you ladies make it so much more approachable! Many, MANY thanks!!!

  21. sheepdip says:

    Hi, I tried this pattern for a chunky yarn and it’s lovely =)
    Thank You very much for sharing with us!
    May I ask if I wanted to adapt the pattern with a less chunky yarn (anyone tried before?), how can I add the number of cast-on stitches (multiple of 7)? Any inputs or suggestion on how to work on the pattern using different yarn maybe?
    Anyways, awesome job! =D

  22. purl bee says:

    Hi Sheepdip,
    As long as you have an odd number of cast on stitches the pattern will work. The stitch is called Seed Stitch and Whitney has included a nice detail to make the edge look tidy which is to slip the first stitch as if to knit. To adapt the pattern, cast on any odd number of stitches and work as follows:

    Slip 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; repeat from * to end of row.

  23. sleepy says:

    I just completed the 11th hr. scarf using size 36 circular needles and 3 skeins of the Blue Sky alpaca (bulky). I doubled the yarn, per the instructions, and it turned out beautifully. My only concern was that the scarf was only 56 inches in length, nowhere near the 70 inches. What caused the shortage?

    thank you!

  24. purl bee says:

    Hi Sleepy,
    Sounds like your gauge might be a little tight which would cause the scarf to be smaller overall. You might want to try blocking it to see if it will relax a little and get a bit bigger.

  25. trish says:

    I saw several people asking for hats to go with this lovely scarf… has anyone come up with it yet. I bought some really pretty pink yarn to make the scarf, but need to find the needles. My LYS had the scarf knitted in a green and the pattern printed out.

  26. Jeri says:

    I think you mean for this to say

    Row 1: Slip 1 knitwise, [p1, k1] three times.

    to consume the 7 stitches that are cast on.

  27. purl bee says:

    Hi Jeri,
    Its funny because it used to say that and then we changed it. I think you’re right, but I’m going to change it to say

    Row 1: Slip 1 knitwise, *p1, k1; repeat from * 2 times.

    I think that should solve the problem!

  28. Jennifer says:

    I am new to knitting. Would it look different if I S1 purlwise? How would it look different? Thanks in advance.

  29. Marisa@make*happy says:

    I love this! And I would LOVE a matching hat pattern as well. Can’t wait to get my big, fat needles so I can try this.

  30. Cintia Pasini says:

    I just loved the pattern, its perfect for the yarn :)
    I got Merino Wool from Manos del Uruguay and started the scarf to gift a friend!!!
    Thank you so much for so beautiful things you produce and show to us!

  31. Kristen says:

    This is such a great pattern and makes a really beautiful scarf. Thanks for sharing it!!

  32. susan says:

    I’m writing with 2 questions about the 11th Hour scarf pattern.

    Your pattern calls for size 36 needles….

    1. I had a hard time finding needles this size. I bought size 35 instead. Even though they are a size smaller than what is called for, they look so much bigger than the needles shown in the photo on your page. Do I have the right needles?

    2. I used yarn that I thought was pretty thick, but the weave was still pretty loose, whereas the scarf in the picture looks light a nice tight weave. Did I just use yarn that was too thin?

    Thank you for any advice you can offer!!


  33. purl bee says:

    Hi Susan,
    Size 35 should be fine, they are very close to 36's.
    If your weave is still very loose then either your yarn is too thin compared to the yarn that Whitney used here, or you forgot to double it through the pattern.

    Please let us know if you need more help!

  34. mary-alice says:

    how do you handle the doubling if you are using one kine of of cascades magnum?

  35. susan says:

    Hi again.
    I finished this scarf (my first!). Like Sleepy, though, my scarf came out much shorter…55″. I tend to knit with a tight tension…I sort of pulled the yarn a bit to pick up the slack after every stitch. This probably explains it… But, when I tired knitting without doing that, the scarf looked much looser and “holier” than in the photo so I thought I should tighten the slack…



  36. susan says:

    Hello once more,
    I think I just realized why my scarf is shorter:
    I skein of Cascade Magnum is only 123 yards. 3 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca is 135. The difference of 12 yards is a likely explanation for the shorter scarf!

    Mary-Alice…I just doubled the Cascade using each end of the yarn after the yarn store wound it into a ball for me.

  37. mary-alice says:

    I will give it a try!

  38. Becky says:

    I love the scarf! I see several have asked about the hat pattern but I didn't find an answer! Love it! Love your blog too! Too bad I live in Missouri!

  39. purl bee says:

    Hi Becky-

    The hat isn't knit, it's a hat that Whitney bought years ago and it's sewn from plush material.

    Thank you for your nice comment!

  40. Anke says:

    Aaaw, I wish I could knit* – but I'll try to make one with a similar looking crochet pattern.
    *if there was an award for failures in knitting, I'd surely deserve it.

  41. Val Hall says:

    Thank You so much for all the patterns and projects you provide. I have just purchased from Soho the materials to knit this scarf. I have not knitted in many years and am just coming back. The instructions state to knit this with double yarn. Does that also mean to cast on with double yarn? Also, I noticed the first row, cannot see the other end of the scarf in photo, appears to be garter stitch. Is that for a border? Is the other end of the scarf the same?

  42. purl bee says:

    Hi Val,

    Yes, you do cast on with the yarn doubled. And, no, the first row isn't garter stitch. You just start right in with seed stitch!

    Thanks for your questions and welcome back to knitting!


  43. Betsy says:

    I love this pattern. Can it be adapted to a less bulky yarn using smaller needles, say size 10 or 11?

  44. purl bee says:

    Hi Betsy,

    You're going to need to cast on more stitches. To determine how many, first make a gauge swatch (in seed stitch), figure out how many stitches you get per inch, multiply that number by the width of the scarf you'd like, and cast on that number (if it's an even number add or subtract one so that it's odd). Here's a tutorial on measuring gauge that you may find helpful:

    I hope this helps get you on your way! Please let us know if you have any more questions and thanks for this one!


  45. Naomi says:

    I would like to make this all in circulars – joining the ends.

    Could you please tell me:

    - do I slip the first row – or knit one and slip one for the first and last row?
    - how many stiches would I cast on to make the length (width) you have?

    Many thanks!!

  46. Tree says:

    I was trying to work on another so-called quick knit scarf pattern which called for 4 strands and that was a disaster b/c my yarn kept twisting…driving me crazy. I soon found a helpful tip to avoid the twisting by rolling my 4 strands of yarn into one huge ball and then start my project. l dreaded fooling around with that much yarn…I thought it would take forever to form my ball of yarn – but I finished in no time!

    I ran across your site & decided to try this pattern instead, b/c it's prettier. I used my huge bowling ball of 4 strands of worsted weight yarn of different colors I liked & a pair of size US 35 needles.

    Took my huge ball of yarn & giant needles, in my tote bag, to the dog park. I had so much fun knitting this pattern! In one hour while my dog enjoyed her time outside – I had my scarf knitted the length of your average scarf! I came home to double that length!!! It's gorgeous! Can't wait to wear it!

    …and I'm thinking of making a few of these scarves as Christmas gifts. Thanks for sharing!

  47. purl bee says:

    HI Naomi,

    To make a 70-inch cowl at 3/4 stitches to the inch, you would cast on 92 stitches, place a marker, and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches. Then you would…
    Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.
    Round 2: *P1, k1, repeat from * to end of round.

    You would just work the first and last rounds the same way you work the other rounds.

    Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!

  48. Sheila says:

    Love the fast scarf – What I want to know is how to make the hat in the picture! THAT is adorable. Any clue?

  49. purl bee says:

    Hi Sheila-

    This is an vintage hat and it's sewn from a faux fur material but we don't have any information on it beyond that!

    Thank you for your question and sorry we can't be of any more help.


  50. Sha says:

    Would love to get the pattern for the hat. Did the scarf and it was quck and easy!! Love it.

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