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« Lovely Leaf Lace Scarf | Main | Whit's Knits: Simple Pleasures Hat »

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.

Reader Comments (123)

Perfect timing - thank you! I just came to the site to try to find out about blocking/dimensions for almost exactly the same style of scarf, that I'm knitting for a much-loved friend in Plassard Meri-Cach8.
I'm going for something less chunky so I've cast on 36 stitches on European size 4.5 needles (size 7 US I think) and I'm knitting 4, purling 4.
My question: will blocking flatten the rib out? At the moment, the rib is looking more like ruffles and it's making the scarf a lot narrower than I'd intended. I'm wondering if I need to cut my losses, rip and start again...
Any help/tips much appreciated!
December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEl Jinx
Hi El Jinx,
Rib pulls in no matter what you do to it. So, you should probably measure it pulled in to find the gauge and then decide how many to cast on to achieve your desired width based on that. For instance, if your scarf so far is 6 stitches per inch in the rib pattern and you want your scarf to be 8 inches wide, you would cast on 48. For your rib pattern make sure the cast on is a multiple of 4 stitches.
December 2, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you so much for both these lovely patterns!
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarie
Thank you!
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEl Jinx
Thanks for the pretty scarf. I just casted it on this afternoon. I made mine a bit skinnier though to save time. :-)
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlureah21
Thanks for this! I think this is my new favorite stitch for a scarf. At first I was skeptical of that extra purl at the end, and the first few rows don't look like much, but it is so beautifully textural once it starts to come together.
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis
THANK YOU, PERFECT TIMING!! This is just what I was looking for!

Can someone more experienced tell me roughly how much of this yarn (below) I would need, and how many stitches to cast on, in order to make the scarf at the same size or maybe 10% smaller? My gauge is normal to slightly tight…

Lobster Pot worsted hand dyed cashmere; CONTENT: 100% cashmere, WEIGHT: 50 grams, LENGTH: 100 yards, GAUGE: 4.5 stitches per inch,SUGGESTED NEEDLES: US size 8

THANKS in advance for the help. Sure wish I (still) lived in NYC - happy knitting and happy holidays to all!
December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBluAholic
Hi BleAholic,
I would recommend knitting with a US size 9 needle, use 3 or 4 skeins and cast on the same amount of stitches. If it comes up too narrow you could go up to 43 stitches.
Good luck!
December 6, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you so much, Joelle!!

I am going to love making this scarf - gorgeous, classic - and in Black Cashmere, Lobster Pot… :) Cheers!
December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBluAholic
Just popping back to say that (after much hemming and hawing and starting and ripping and starting again...!) I ended up going with the mistake stitch. And I love it. :) It really does look rather dismal for the first few rows but then, as Alexis said, it suddenly comes together and it's just great. Very yarn hungry, but great. Thanks again for the inspiration and the education.
December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEl Jinx

I bought some Jade Sapphire 6-ply cashmere that you had on sale, and I was wondering if this would work doubled on the Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf.


August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGwen
Hi Gwen
Yes! It will be perfect.
August 21, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
what do you mean by "sew in ends"? Thanks!
December 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaula
What hat pattern would you recommend to accompany this scarf? Thank you, Molly
December 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
Could someone tell me how many stitches to cast on using Rowans tapestry, and what size needles. I am new to knitting,and afraid to to start without advice from a experienced knitteer
January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusie
This is interesting. I just knitted a scarf that called for an odd number CO when the pattern of the pattern was even-numbered (K2,P2 - a block of 4 stitches). I thought it made more sense to make the CO an even number so the pattern ended on the same note with which it began. This pattern, too, calls for that one lonesome purl at the end. Why?

I think I'm a little scared that I found your site! Way too many awesome projects and inspiration. Sure wish I could retire!

November 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
hi, what do you mean by
K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Repeat this row. That's it!

if i understood the 1st line correctly it means to k2,p2,k2,p2...etc until when i'm gonna end then i do k2, p1 right?

but i didn't get the part where us aid repeat this row. kindly explain thanks =)
January 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterscarletamber

You cast on an uneven number of stitches, so you're starting with a knit and ending with a purl ... for EVERY row of the scarf. You just repeat k2,p2,k2,p2 ... p1 for the entire scarf.

Hope this helps,
January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
Dear Scarletamber,

"Repeat this row" means that for every row of the scarf you will do exactly the same thing. You will k2, p2, k2, p2, etc. until 3 stitches remain which you will k2, p1. I hope this make more sense for you now. Please let us know if it doesn't!

Thanks for your question!

January 11, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I want to knit this for my dad for Christmas, but i need a cheaper wool version, would blue sky alpaca be an alternative or would you suggest an alternative for me? and would this get the right guage if I use 10mm needles?
Thank you
October 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
Hi Alex-

I think the Blue Sky Worsted would be a great alternative. It's available here:

But you would have to use a smaller needle, a 9 (5.5mm) or a 10 (6 mm ) and cast on 8 more stitches.

Or you could use any of the chunky weight yarns available here:[]=7

and use the needle that the pattern calls for, a US 11 (8mm).

A 10mm needle would probably be too big for either of these options,

Please let us know if you need any more help.

Thanks for your question, and good luck with the project!
October 31, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello again thanks!
Think i will go for the blue sky worsted in midnight blue.
however, it states that using 9 mm gives 4 stitches per inch and the pattern states that the scarf is 8 inches wide, so does that not mean I should cast on 32 stitches to get the right gauge? sorry I'm just learning!!
Alex :)
October 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
Hi Alex-

The gauge that they give you on any given yarn is usually for stockinnette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) and this scarf pattern is in mistake rib so you will get a different number of stitches per inch.

With a pattern like this you don't need to get too caught up in getting the exact gauge since it's a scarf and not a a sweater or something that has to fit in a precise way. So don't worry too much about making it exactly 8-inches wide. As long as it's in the ball park it will be beautiful!

Thanks for your question!
October 31, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
iam confused soory k2 p2 k2 p2 last 3 k2p1 does row two start with a p1 k2,p2, ect. ????
December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterannmarie
Hi Annamarie-

You just repeat that row for every row in the exact same way. So every row will be made in the same manner: K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.

Thanks for your question!

December 20, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi...I love how this is looking! However I must have gotten to thick of a yarn because it's coming out about 10 inches wide. If I want it to be more like 8 inches, how many stitches should I cast on? Will this pattern work no matter how wide as long as it has an odd number of stitches?

Thanks so much!
January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
Hi Sam-

Thanks for your question. This pattern works with a multiple of 4 plus 3 stitches, not just an odd number. With that in mind I would cast on 31 stitches to make it 8-inches since it sounds like you're getting about 4 stitches per inch.

Thanks!- Molly
January 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Wonderful finished product. I used a bulky wgt. varigated blue/green and used a second strand of lightwght wgt. white yarn. Worked up easily and looks great. Made it as a gift and couldn't have been happier. Used #11 needles but don't be afraid to experiment a little.
Was very happy with results.
January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli
Dear Purl Bee, I'm going to make this scarf as a gift, and would like to try it with Rowan Lima and #9 needles. Do you think this would work? I'd like it to be between 8 and 9 inches wide. Could you also kindly advise me as to how many stitches to cast on?
Thank you very much in advance.
January 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Hi Deborah-

You can adjust this pattern to any size and any yarn that you'd like. In order to figure how many stitches you should cast on you'll need to do a gauge swatch in pattern. Once you figure out how many stitches you're getting per inch in the pattern the math is simple: Multiply your stitches per inch by the width you'd like (8-inches for example), round up or down to the nearest multiple of 4, and then add 3. If you need help with this step once you figure out your gauge please let us know.

Thank you for your question.

January 17, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Dear Molly: Thank you so much for your quick response!
Best, Deborah
January 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
Like others, I was looking for easy pattern. Right now, I followed your pattern of 39 stiches on multicolour(fall leaves color) yarn and it is coming along very well. I think I will go upto 5 feet, instead of 4 feet stated in the article as I like little longer skarf. Thanks !!!
January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKavit
I love this pattern! I cast on with 33 sts and ended with P2 K1 at the end, but the pattern works just the same. I love the way its turning out. It's so simple yet it looks so elegant. Thanks for posting!
February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshleybobbi
I just love this pattern ! I made it for a christmas gift among others but I got more kodos from this one . Starting another for VD.
February 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnMarie2272
I started this project for my mom using a size 11, Bamboo circular needles and Lion Brand Yarn, Jiffy and followed the pattern as directed and for me, it was too wide which when completed would have made it too bulky for my mom. I ripped out and restarted casting on 19 stitches, which "appears" better, but since I'm new to knitting, perhaps I should just order the yarn you recommended instead? Please advise. Thank you!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinny63

How many grams did you use for the sample scarf? The cashmere yarn website you link to doesn't sell in "skeins" but in 55 gram amounts. Are you saying you used 5 times that 55 grams? $250 for this scarf?
April 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterriv
Hi Riv-

We do sell it by the skein, and each skein is 55 grams. We realize it is a very expensive project, and we are always happy to offer less expensive alternatives. Please see the response from October 2011 to "Alex" for links to some more economical yarns that would work great!

Thank you!

April 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
English sizes please for this scarf needle size and wool is it chunky type or Aran type Many thanks Jan
May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan
Hi Jan-

It is a chunky weight. The needles are a US 11 which translates to a metric 8mm.

Thanks for your questions!

May 7, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for this post! I knitted this pattern and made my first scarf. It looks gorgeous :)
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermk
another words the 2nd row goes on top of the end sts of the first row??
August 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercathy
Hi Cathy,
I am so sorry, I don't fully understand your question. Could you clarify so I can get you an answer! Thanks. -Laura
August 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello! I made this scarf for my hubby last Christmas...he got so many compliments! I'm making it for my brother and 2 nephews this's simple but very elegant and finished looking. Thanks for the pattern!
November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeannie D
Hi! I love this scarf, I've already made it once! I want to make another and was wondering if you think it would look good in one of the multi color yarns? Thanks! Love this site!
November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
Hi Jeannnie,

I used fall pattern multi-color yarn to make my scarf. It made a beautiful pattern !
November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKavita
is it possible to work this in rounds? i just can't figure it out at the moment ... im kinda stuck :(
November 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersleepyhead
Hi Sleepyhead-

I'm not sure I understand your question since this scarf isn't knit in the round. Can you let us know what exactly you're having a problem with so we can try to help?

Thanks for writing in!

November 20, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
oh sry of course! i want to use this pattern for a cowl or leg warmers.

thank you for the quick reply.
November 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersleepyhead
can this pattern be used as a brim for a matching hat?
December 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkait
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-

December 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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