Men’s Mini Herringbone Scarf

I have accumulated quite a bit of neckwear over the years. Some bright, some bulky, some sleek, lots ecru, but hands-down, what earns me the most compliments is my Big Herringbone Cowl, scooped off these pages of the Purl Bee!

It is undeniably wonderful. After making one for myself, I was hooked on herringbone. It creates a flat, woven-like fabric on one side while remaining quite lofty and full on the other. It has a fascinating texture with a hypnotizing rhythm, and its drape is just  beautiful. Considering this unique combination of characteristics, I had to have more herringbone!

My scarf counterpart to Whitney's cowl showcases a mini-herringbone pattern, bordered by slip stitch rib edges. To highlight the timelessness of herringbone, I knit this scarf with Swan's Island Worsted, a sumptuously soft organic wool inspired by the rugged traditions of coastal knitting. I hope you find this pattern as classic and handsome as Whitney's cowl is modern and chic!




7 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern


7 1/2 inches wide by 62 inches long


All slipped stitches are to be slipped purl-wise.

The Mini Herringbone Stitch is always worked over an odd number of stitches.

Mini Herringbone Stitch

Wrong Side (WS): * P2tog and leave stitches on needle, purl the first stitch again and drop both stitches together from left-hand needle, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Right Side (RS): *Slip 1 with yarn in back, k1, then with left-hand needle raise up the slipped stitch as if to bind off but before dropping off right-hand needle, knit it and then drop from needle, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.


Cast on 55 stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 wyif (with yarn in front), p1, k1, work in Mini Herringbone to last 3 stitches, k1, p2

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 wyib (with yarn in back), k1, p1, work in Mini Herringbone to last 3 stitches, p1, k2

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 row until scarf measures approximately 61 1/2 inches or until desired length. Repeat Row 1 once more.

Bind off in pattern with RS facing. To do that... once you have bound off the three selvage stitches and are working the Mini-Herringbone stitch pattern, instead of knitting the slipped stitch as you slip it up and off the right-hand needle, as you have done previously, just drop the slipped stitch of the right-hand needle without knitting it.

Weave in your ends and block if desired.

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118 Responses to Men’s Mini Herringbone Scarf

  1. purl bee says:

    Hi Alice,
    Unfortunately we do not have this particular herringbone pattern written for working in the round. We do have a different herringbone pattern for working in the round though. It might be easier to adapt. You can see it here:
    Thanks for writing in. Glad you like this scarf.

  2. Kate says:

    I used this pattern idea to create a set of boot cuffs! AWESOME! Thank you so much for your wonderful and inspirational projects! I have made several items from baby to adult from your ideas on here and they have been lovely lovely gifts!

  3. truefeather77 says:

    Purl Bee usually has lovely photo illustrations of any special techniques required for a stitch pattern.

    I'm having trouble with the components of this stitch pattern, especially on the RS row, knitting the stitch being passed over. I saw a video of this on the internet, but the cloth that resulted from the way she was doing it did not resemble your lovely scarf, and I'm confused.

    Any chance you could include a photo or video of this stitch?

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi TrueFeather77.
    Thank you for writing in. We do always aim to communicate our patterns as clearly as possible. Adding photos to this pattern is now on our "To Do" list. We have lots of stuff in the works, so I am not sure when I will get them posted, but I will try to do it as soon as possible.

    In the mean time, is there any way I can talk or write you through the issue you have with the RS row? I believe I know what step you are referring to… pretend you have picked up a stitch with the tip of your left needle as if you were going to bind off… just before you left that stitch drop off the right hand needle, take your working yarn and wrap it around your right needle and then let the stitch drop off and pull the working yarn through. Does this help at all?
    We're here if you have more questions!

  5. Sara says:

    Lovely pattern! I used a merino and cashmere blend to knit it and because my husband likes his scarves extra long it took me ages! I loosely blocked the scarf (nearly ran out of floorspace!) and let it dry but it seems to be curling inwards on the ws on both long side. Should I block it again, more tightly this time? Help!

  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Sara.
    What a lucky husband. I'd love an extra long, cashmere blend version of this scarf! I can't believe it's curing up, especially after blocking. I experienced a tiny bit or curling, but steam blocking it relaxed the yarn and stitches and the curling stopped. I would definitely try blocking it once more. And with the wrong side facing up.
    Let us know if it works. I'm quite puzzled by this.

  7. Shuli says:

    There's a video of this stitch on
    It really helped me figure it out.

  8. Kmbold says:

    The stitch pattern instruction is WS: do the HB stitch until last stitch, p1.
    The scarf pattern is: WS: p to last THREE sts,k1, p2. How do I handle this?

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Kmbold,
      Thanks for writing in. The first and last 3 stitches of each row are selvedge stitches. On the right side you slip 1, k1, p1 to start the row and you end the row with p1, k2. On the wrong side, you slip 1, p1, k1 to start the row and you end with k1, p2.

      Between the selvedge stitches, you work the Mini Herringbone Pattern. So that means you…

      Row 1 (WS): Sl1 wyif, p1, k1, * P2tog and leave stitches on needle, purl the first stitch again and drop both stitches together from left-hand needle, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, p1, k1, p2

      Row 2 (RS): Sl1 wyib, k1, p1, *Slip 1 with yarn in back, k1, then with left-hand needle raise up the slipped stitch as if to bind off but before dropping off right-hand needle, knit it and then drop from needle, repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k1, p1, k2

      I hope this helps clear things up! Please let me know if you have any questions!

  9. Kmbold says:

    Makes perfect sense.

  10. Linda says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful scarf pattern! I finally finished today!! It took me about ten or more times of ripping out until I finally got my knitting tension even. I had for a while called it the “The Nightmare Scarf” ecspecially when I dropped a stitich and had to figure out how to rip out a row which turned into several :( This scarf was a challenge for me and I wasnt going to cave in. I knitted it in the same yarn from Swan Island but in Teal, gorgeous!! I love all your patterns because they look so cool :)

  11. Linda says:

    Hi, I just wanted to add if anyone is interested. I knitted the scarf a bit longer up to 78 inches so I had to order one more skein. It give you a nice one wrap around your neck and theirs enough to through one end back over your shoulder. It will be perfect for my brother since he lives in a cold climate. Thanx again for your awesome pattern!!

  12. Lins says:

    Hi Purlbee, I just wanted to ask you what type of cast on you used for this scarf? I used the Continental cast on but when I bound off it didn’t look alike. I heard that if you use a Cable cast on your bind off will look identical. Have you heard about this? Thanx for any input.

  13. Linda says:

    Hi again, I just realized I don’t think I understood the bind off on the Mini Herringbone scarf. Am I sopose to drop every slipped stitch when binding off or just the first slipped stitch? This is probably why it doesn’t look anything like the cast on. Could you explain it in a different way? Thank you

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Linda.
      I will gladly expand on the bind off! Bind the first three stitches off in pattern. You will bind off the first two stitches in knit and the third stitch in purl. From there, you continue in pattern, so, you will slip one, then knit one, bind off that slipped stitch, but rather than knitting it, as you have done in the previous RS rows, you will just drop it off the needle. Continue binding off in pattern, the last three will be bound off in purl, knit and knit.
      Please write back if you want further help!
      Thanks for writing in.

  14. Laura says:

    I’m so eager to try this pattern… However, I was looking for some advice. I’d really like to make the piece wider so as to be more of a shawl than scarf. I stink at figuring out gauge. Can you offer any advice as to how many to CO for such a project? Thanks in advance!

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks for writing in.
      The Mini-Herringbone Stitch is always worked over an odd number of stitches. To make this scarf I added 3 selvedge stitches to each edge making 6 selvedge stitch in total. So if you’d like to make this wider… simply cast on an odd number + 6 selvedge stitches.
      Let me know if you have any questions at all!

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