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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)

I would like to use this basic pattern for a toddler's hat. I have done a rib (K1, P1 for the beginning. Wouldn't this pattern work the same with K2, P2 as long as you do the opposite stitch above. In other words, P2, over the K2 and K2 over the P2?
December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Hello, I have a question. Due to a specific colour I need in my son's scarf ( hockey team colours), I have bought 2 colours of Caron simply soft says it is a "4" medium weight. I also bought 1 black Patons Astra says it is a "3" light. What size needles would I use for this type of yarn? I tend to knit tight to quite tight. Thank you in advance for your help. :-)
December 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
Hi Cheryl-

The great thing about a simple scarf like this is that it can work with any gauge of yarn. If you like the chunkier feel of this scarf I'd go with your larger yarn (size 4) and maybe try a #8 needle. You might want to try knitting a gauge swatch first to figure out how many stitches you'll get per in inch and make sure that you like that needle size.

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

December 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm a beginner
I'm using Patons Classic Wool, it is 4 medium. Using a 10.5 needles. I put on a total of 19 stitches, will this work?
Thank you.
December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo
Hi Jo-

If you want to make something similar in scale to the pictured scarf I would recommend using a size 8 needle and casting on more stitches (perhaps 51 stitches.)

To be sure you should knit a swatch in the pattern and then decide from there if you want to switch your needle size or cast on more stitches.

Please let us know if you have any more questions-

December 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I had a few questions. First off, i'm definitely a beginner. I've been trying to teach myself to read a pattern but I think i'm just confusing myself. I understand there is an uneven amount of stitches and how the k2,p2 k2,p2...p1 goes. But...doesn't this mean when they won't line up when I switch to the other needle?
Thanks for the help! I hope that all made sense.
December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlin
Hi Kaitlin-

They don't match up perfectly as they would in a regular 2X2 rib, which is why this stitch is called mistake rib and why it creates a slightly more waffled texture. If you give it a try you'll see what I mean. Often I find that patterns make much more sense as I knit them than as I read them.

Thank you for your question and please let us know if you have any more!

December 11, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
hi. I love it this scarf.
I like to know if I can do this with Knitting Board?
if your answer is yes, please, how can I do that.
December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeymy
Hi, thank you for this wonderful pattern. I made this as my first knitting project. It turned out beautifully. Hubby loved it :)
December 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvy
Hi I'm making this scarf for my daughter and it looks great except for the edges. How can I make it look like your photo? What do you mean by sewing in the ends?
January 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMyrna
I am new to knitting and need to know how to bind off once I have gotten the length I want? I tried it once before from a video and I must have done it wrong because my scarf came all undone....can you explain how to bind off, or point me to a good instructional video? Thanks and I am looking forward to trying this scarf soon :)
January 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdrumlady7
Hi drumlady7-

We're so sorry to hear that you've had this problem. We don't have a bind off tutorial although we hope to in the future. Our favorite resource for stuff like this is the TNNA How to Knit booklet. It's inexpensive and easy to follow:

Thank you for your question!

January 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Myrna-

Sewing in the ends just means weaving in the tails of yarn that are left when you begin and end a ball of yarn. We have a "weaving in ends" tutorial that might be helpful here:

We're sorry to hear that your edges aren't looking neat. The only thing we can suggest is to make sure you're not pulling the last stitch tight at the end of the row.They may look loose as you're working the row but as you keep going they will even out.

We hope this helps! Thanks for writing in!

January 14, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have completed the scarf and have bond off twice - both times leaving the end with more flair than the rest of the scarf... any ideas? The two ends did not look the same. I used a knitted cast on.
February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
Hi Cindy-

Are you binding off in pattern? If you're just binding off in knit it will make the edge flare like yo'ure describing.

Hope that helps!

February 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
could i use a chenille for this pattern??
February 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlinda b
Hi Linda B-

Sure! You can use any yarn you like as long as you're getting the same gauge. Chenille will give it a very different look so you might want to do a swatch first to see if you like it.

Thank you for your question!

February 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love all your patterns and am keen to try this one too! I have some lovely grey yarn just waiting for a project but it's for 4mm needles, could you tell me how many stitches I should cast on please!
Thanks so much for all the inspiration!
February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
It looks amazing and is simple to knit as well! Thanks. Just had 1 question though, is the pattern reversible- ie, can the scarf be worn on both sides
February 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterknit beginner
Hi knit beginner-

Yes, it looks the same on both sides.

Thank you for your question!

February 17, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kelly-

You should do a gauge swatch by casting on 23 stitches and knitting in the stitch pattern until you have a square. From there you can figure out how many stitches you're getting per inch and that will determine how many you should cast on, keeping in mind that it needs to be a multiple of 4 + 3.

For example: if you end up getting 6 stitches per inch in the mistake rib pattern you would multiply 6 X 8 (the desired finished width) to get 48. 48 is a multiple of 4 so you just need to add 3. 48 + 3= 51 stitches to cast on.

Please let us know if you have any more questions!

February 17, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Simplest pattern ever! Great gift idea! Thanks a bunch!!!
February 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBernie Blum
Hi, thanks SO much for this pattern. I've made 2 wonderful scarves as gifts - just in time for our looming wintery months. I really want to make matching hats, knit in the round, and have tried and tried to work out if it can be done, but no luck or not enough skill ;-( to work it out
I wonder if one of you wonderful extraordinary knitters can HELP!

PS love love love Pearl Bee
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoddessence
Hi Goddessence-

We don't have plans to use this stitch in a hat pattern but we will keep it in mind going forward. Thank you for your kind words about the Bee and for the suggestion!

March 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!
April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
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!
May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandi
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!

May 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
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!

May 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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! :)
June 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternik
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!

June 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!
August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa
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'?

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGloria
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!

August 27, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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?)

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
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!

October 22, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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)??
October 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterolivia
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!

October 23, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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 ;)
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAM
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.
November 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternancy
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
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Hi, I love this pattern. How many stitches should I cast on if I wanted to make it appropriately sized for a toddler? Thanks!
November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLynn
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!

November 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great stitch! I was winding if there was any special way to cast off.
November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTSmith
Hi TSmith-

You will want to cast off in pattern.

Thanks for your question!

December 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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.
December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita Bhatia
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!

December 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi i never knit before ever in my life and i just started watching how to knit videos on youtube learning how to cast on and knit and purl etc..

I was wondering what do you mean by
Mistake rib is a multiple of 4+3

and is K2P2 mean knit knit purl purl?
or is there two different type of knit?

and when you say 'K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.'

K2 p2 K2 p2 K2 p2..........K2 p2 k2 p1?

meaing last three stitches going to be p2 k2 p1?

many thanks!!!

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjojo
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!

December 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuan

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