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« Laura's Loop: Knit Elbow Patches | Main | Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers + Kids. Now in Three New Sizes! »

Joelle's Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf

I've written several books with the words "Last-Minute" in the title, so you can imagine that I occasionally relish the exact opposite! Especially in the depths of winter, I love to sink my teeth into a project whose gratification may not be immediate but whose pleasure is deeply satisfying. My Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf is just that!

Not only does this scarf represent a month or two of on-again-off-again knitting, but its pinstripes actually serve as a record of my production. I wanted the stripes to be syncopated and unexpected, but have you ever tried to be intentionally random? It's hard! So instead, I devised a rule that would ensure arbitrary line-placement: If I put the project down for more than eight hours I would start the next knitting session with a stripe. I figured my available knitting time was the most random thing I could chronicle!

For a three-season decandently soft scarf, I used our very own Line Weight. It creates such luminosity with its fine halo of downy merino, and in Heirloom White with fine lines of Dark Loam, the effect is like a graphite drawing on cotton rag paper, loose and mysterious.

For long-term knitting, I almost always choose garter stitch. I love its rhythmic certainty, its simplicity and lofty warmth. And knit on the bias, garter stitch has a fresh, graphic impact that satisfies my inner aesthete! I hope you enjoy the mesmerizing cadence of my Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf as much as I did! -Joelle


The Materials

  • Main Color: 3 skeins; I used Heirloom White.
  • Stripe Color: 1 skein; I used Dark Loam
  • US size #3, 24-inch circular needles, or size required to achieve gauge (Note: I used a circular needle in order to have enough length to accomodate all 120 stitches; this project is NOT knit in the round).

The Pattern


7 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in garter stitch

Finished Measurements

Approximately 11-inches wide x 74-inches long

Pattern Note

Do all slip stitches knitwise with the yarn in back.



Note: There are no stripes in the increase or decrease sections of the scarf.

With Main Color, cast on 3 stitches.

Set-up Row: Slip 1, knit into front and back (kfb), k1. (4 stitches)

Increase Row: Slip 1, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1. (1 stitch increased)

Repeat Increase Row until there are 120 stitches.


Row 1 (right side): Slip 1, k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

Note: If you want, place a removable stitch marker (or safety pin or scrap of yarn) on the right side of the work to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1, knit to end of row.


At the end of a wrong side row, cut Main Color yarn.

Stripe Row 1 (right side): Switching to Stripe Color, slip 1, k2tog, pick up tail end of Stripe Color and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

Cut the Stripe Color yarn.

Note: When working each of the next 2 rows be sure to knit the nine double stranded stitches as only one stitch each.  

Stripe Row 2 (wrong side): Switching to Main Color, slip 1, k1, pick up tail end of Main Color and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to end of row.

Stripe Row 3: Slip 1, k2tog, pick up tail end of Main Color from 2 rows below and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

Stripe Row 4: Slip 1, knit to end.

Trim tail ends that have been knit in. Carefully weave in tail of Stripe Color from the end of Stripe Row 1 through the stripe stitches. For the most invisible results use Duplicate Stitch for garter stitch. Trim tail end.

Continue with Rows 1 and 2 of the Main Stitch Pattern, working the Main Stitch Pattern and Stripe Row as desired, until work measures approximately 74 inches from the cast on to the top left corner (with right side facing you).


Decrease Row: Slip 1, k2tog, knit to end of row. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat Decrease Row until 2 stitches remain. Cut yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches.

Weave in beginning and end tails.

Reader Comments (67)

I love this scarf and the fact that the stripe placement method creates a chronicle or journal. What a fabulous gift it would make for someone very special, like my busy daughter. She would appreciate the large number of stripes it would end up with. A knitted gift with its own story.
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVicki S
Wow, what a beautiful scarf!! ♥ Great idea. Thanks for sharing the pattern!
Happy 2014 and have a nice Sunday :-)
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNata
I was wondering I f there is any reason you couldn't carry the Heirloom White (main color) instead of cutting it every time you add in a stripe of Loam? Thx, Gwen K
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura's Loop
What a simple and elegant looking work of art! I love how delicate and feminine the edges look, with the random stripes on the bias adding impact. The colors are soft and neutral, so easy on the eye. Thanks so much for beautiful patterns, Gwen K
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura's Loop
Love! When I'm done knitting my Brioche Scarf (my not so immediate gratification but highly pleasurable winter project) then I want one of these!
I absolutely love this yarn. Thanks for always providing inspiration Joelle.
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Hi Gwen,
Because the Dark Loam is a single row stripe the Heirloom White is not available to pick up at the end of the stripe row (it is still back at the beginning of the stripe row).
Hope this clarifies it for you!
January 5, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a beautiful scarf...I bet this design would look lovely in a dishcloth also!
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShari
Another work of art that I must make this year! I too choose garter for large projects...and some small ones. Thank you, Joelle for your amazing talent and generosity....for being you!!
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjulietremain
This is a beautiful scarf, simple and very elegant. Can you recommend a substitution yarn that would give the same effect, for someone who is extremely allergic to wool? Thanks so much for offering this pattern. Lori
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori
This scarf is divine and such a clever idea.
Am I correct in reading that there is an increase in stripe row 3? In this row there is a kfb but I can't find a corresponding decrease stitch. ( It is more than likely there and when I start knitting it will be obvious )
Thank you for the lovely pattern.
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
I'm thinking if you change the dimensions it would make a great blanket!
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElena Corral
Stunned by how beautiful this is, Joelle.
January 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
I love this, but I don't think I have the patience for size 3s. Maybe I'll try it with a worsted weight yarn and less stitches.
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
Gruezi from Switzerland Joelle - as usual your inner aesthete delights. I have not done a test - but to avoid the cutting of Heirloom with every Stripe - would the overall beauty be ruined if one worked 2 rows of the Dark Loam? I do hope to actually visit your store one day... best wishes for 2014 Louise
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
Hi Louise-

I feel it would be very different. I tried it that way and did not like it as much, and I felt it made it feel far less delicate. Note that the ends are knit in as you work (except for 1) to minimize sewing in - see stripe section.

Good luck with the project!

January 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Nikki-

You are correct! Joelle is adding it to the pattern. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.

Thank you!

January 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Lori-

This pattern will work with any lace weight yarn:

The 2 ply cashmere would probably be the most similar in loft and drape, but might not work for someone with a wool allergy. Find it here:

If not cashmere then perhaps the Anzula Mermaid (it would be very different in loft but the right gauge and it would be very pretty).
Find the Anzula Mermaid here:

All of our lace weight yarns can be found here:[]=2

Thank you so much for getting in touch about this!

January 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Absolutely gorgeous! I picked up some purl soho line weight last time I was in NYC, and I love it. This scarf looks nice and light, and the stripe adds class. Beautiful!
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Love this & must make one! Will be visiting NYC next month & will drop in to Purl Soho pick up the yarn. Save some for me!
January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanie
So lovely! I have been working for ages on my Brioche scarf, but this is an equally beautiful and elegant project that I foresee in my knitting future.
January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda
What a beautiful scarf. Could you possibly post an image of the entire scarf so we can see the shape. Or describe it? Fr some reason I am not able to visulize the scarf. Thank you!
January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLudmilla
I love this beautiful scarf! I'd love to get the whole effect by seeing a picture of someone modeling it. It's always hard for me to grasp the project without lots of visual aides!!! :)
Thank you for the inspiration! I was finally able to cross a visit to Purl Soho off my bucket list last month when we made a trip from Indiana to pick up our daughter from her internship in NYC. It was a dream come true! Lovely store with wonderful people helping the Saturday before Christmas!!!

Lisa from Indiana
January 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I absolutely love this design! I have been looking for the perfect design for a hallway runner rug and think I will adapt this pattern for just such project (with heavy-weight yarn and #16 needles of course)!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChelly
Greetings from sunny South Africa - my daughter in law who has just moved to NYC - sent me your web address today - love your stuff! Please can you tell me why I cant print this awesome scarf pattern - do I have to sign up first...? Look forward to knitting this scarf Candy
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCandy
I agree- in the depths of winter and the holiday rush is over, it is satisfying to do a long-term project. I love this pattern- I think this is next on my knitting list. I am working on a long- term chevron scarf now that I haven't picked up in a couple of weeks. Maybe I will start on this one next!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargo
This is a perfect alternate pattern to a linen stitch project I just don't have the patience for. Do you mind making recs for adapting it to a DK yarn?
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRuby
Hi Ruby-

This pattern will work with any size yarn! Do a swatch to determine what needles you would like to you use with the yarn and then just get stared! Then do the increase section until your bottom horizontal edge is approximately 11-inches wide and from there you can do the main stitch pattern. Once you've reached a length you like you then do the decrease section.

Thanks for getting in touch!

January 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Candy-

To print our patterns we recommend that you copy the text and photos and paste them into a Word or Text doc.

Sorry it's a bit of a hassle, we're working on improving it in the future!

Thank you!

January 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Rather than weaving in yarn ends, do you think it would work to leave them a uniform length - say 3 or 4 inches - and then knot them together for a random fringe?
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHarbormom
Hi Harbormom-

Unfortunately I think this would end up being rather messy looking since there is only one tail every several inches. However most of the ends in this project are knit in, not woven in, so it isn't as hard as it might first look!

Thank you!

January 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is such a lovely scarf and it has made me want to knit it NOW! :) I was wondering about the amount of yarn used for the stripes. Did it take the entire skein of the Line Weight? I am considering making it for myself and for someone else and I wondered it I needed to buy 2 skeins of the yarn for the stripes or if 1 was enough for both. Many thanks for your help.
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTlobner
Hi Tlobner-

You can make several scarves out of one skein of the stripe yarn.

Thanks for getting in touch!

January 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
It's beautiful! I want to knit!!
can we see a picture of it on?
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterlisaO
Hi, if I wanted to knit this as a baby blanket, do I just knit the increase section until the bottom edge is the width that I want, knit the main stitch section and then start the decrease section when it's the length that I want? (as per Molly's instructions to Ruby above) Thanks!
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
Hi Donne-

Yes, you've got the idea! We would love to see your blanket when you're done!

Good luck with it!

January 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
It is such a modern design yet charming and old worldly. Love it and thanks for sharing the design.
January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKnittens
Hi! As I've come to the end of my first stripe I'm confused: the pattern seems to say you have to pick up the main colour's end twice. Is it correct that in the second row you shoul pick up the contrast colour's tail and in the third row the main colour's tail? At that point the main colour is not two rows below but otherwise you would get a 9 stitch second stripe, right?
January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnika
Hi there,
I am trying out the stripe before I get into making the scarf and am having some issues. When I follow the pattern the stripe isn't going all the way across. Also in step 3 where you pick up the main color again it doesn't seem to line up and I am unsure of when to use the main color and when to use the stripe color. I'm also using straight needles, so I don't know if that might make a difference? Any suggestions?

Thank you.
January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Hi Annika-

In rows 2 and 3 you are only picking up the Main Color's tails, not the Stripe Color. In row 2 you are picking up and knitting the tail that was formed at the start of row 2. In Row 3 you are picking up the previous tail from two rows below, the tail that was formed when you cut the Main Color at the beginning of the Stripe Pattern section.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any more questions!

January 12, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Charlotte,
Here are a few suggestions, please let us know if you need further help.

First, straight needles should make no difference at all.

Note, before you work the stripe color, you will cut the main color (leaving a tail to knit in later).

Stripe Row 1: Pick up the stripe color. Slip the first stitch, k2tog with the stripe color, and then knit the next following 9 stitches with both the working yarn of the stripe color and the tail of the stripe color. After 9 stitches, drop the tail and continue to the end with the working yarn (working a kfb in the second to last stitch). When you get to the end of the row, cut the stripe color (leaving a tail to weave in later).

Stripe row 2: Pick up the Main color. Slip the first stitch, k1 with the main color, and then knit the following 9 stitches with both the working yarn of the Main Color and the tail of the Main Color. After 9 stitches, drop the tail and continue to the end with the working yarn.

Next row, continue with Main Color and slip 1, reach down and pick up the tail end of the Main Color from 2 rows below and knit the following 9 stitches with both the working yarn of the Main Color and this tail end. After 9 stitches, drop the tail and continue to the end with the working yarn.

Work Row 4 of stripe section in Main Color.

We hope this clarifies the directions for you, thanks for your question!

January 13, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Yes, that clears things up! Thanks so much.
January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Hi there,

thank you for this nice pattern. But I have a problem with the stripe section. On the pictures I see three rows with the stripe colour. In the pattern there is just one row with the stripe colour. I have a problem to imagine how it will look like on the picture with just one row with the stripe colour.

I hope you can help me.

Thanks a lot,

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia
Hi Claudia-

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by your question- so please let me know if this doesn't answer it for you.

The stripe section is actually only produces one colored stripe row and is meant to be worked at random intervals throughout the scarf. Our version actually has several stripes. It's up to you where you place them!

Please let us know if this answers your question!

January 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you Molly, that answers my question.
So if I would like to get the same result as on the picture, I would knit more rows with the stripe colour before changing back to the main colour.

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia
Hi Caludia-

No, you always knit just one row of the stripe color. You do the stripe section at random intervals. So mostly you will just be knitting with the main color. Then whenever you want to place a stripe you do the stripe section. Then back to the main color until you want another stripe.

Please let us know if you have any more questions!

January 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,
This is so beautiful. I have also been admiring the whit's knits cotton striped cowl, but wanting something lighter/thinner. I am wondering if you think this yarn and diagonal stitch might work well with working in the thread like the striped cowl? would it be really hard to knit in cotton thread with a wool yarn because the cotton wouldn't stretch and give like the wool does? Also, are you currently out of this white yarn in the diagonal scarf pattern? I was thinking of randomly knitting in a few rows with the colored thread here and there, and not using the white thread like was done in the cowl pattern.
Any advice would be appreciated. I love this blog and am so inspired!
Thanks, Willow
January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWillow
Hi Willow-

I think that would be lovely! We are currently sold out of the white used in this project but are expecting more soon. If you'd like to be informed when we get it back in stock please email customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com

Thank you!

January 20, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I will try again to get my question answered before I have to scrap this beautiful scarf. How do you slip the first stitch when adding the new color for the stripe? Mine does not look right. I really, really want to knit this scarf for my son. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for any info you can impart!!!!
January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJudy
Hi Judy-

I'm so sorry I missed your question before! You just slip the first stitch in the stripe section as you would for the rest of the work, meaning that you slip it knit wise onto the right needle. You then start using the stripe yarn. I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any more questions!

January 22, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks for your answer, Molly, but when I do this, I do not get a straight line edge; it juts out to the right. And I still do not understand how you slip a "stitch" that is not yet on your needle (the stripe color yarn). Would it work to do the last stitch in the row before in the stripe color and then I would have a "stttch" to slip?
January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

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