Knitting Pattern: Bowtie Scarf

Photo by Alma BaumwollINTERMEDIATE

Size: 13 circular needles
Yarn: 80 yards
One stitch holder

This scarf has two tapered ends and loops through itself making a bowtie effect. It’s warm, comfortable, doesn’t get in the way, closes that gap at the top of your jackets, and fits easily in a bag for those cool early spring evenings. Most of the complexities of this pattern are in the decreasing within an established pattern and moving/picking up stitches to and from stitch holders.

For those of you who like pictures, this is the basic shape and approximate dimensions:

Bowtie Scarf Diagram


This pattern is written for size 13 needles. I suggest circular needles because there are frequent transitions from needles to holders and this allows you to ignore which side you’re starting.

I have also made this pattern successfully on size 10 needles/27 stitches and size 15 needles/21 stitches (3 more rows of decrease at tapering for size 10 needle pattern).


Yarn should knit well on size 13 needles, either as a single or double strand, with at least 75 yards for a single strand, at least 150 for a double strand.

This scarf is going to sit close on the neck, so a soft yarn would be best. Closely variegated yarn looks particularly nice, as does acrylic or rayon yarn with a mild, consistent fluff. The cleaner the stitch definition the more apparent the accordion-look of the basic stitch will appear. I’ve always found that thicker is better with this pattern, even to the point of doubling thinner, fuzzier yarns.


If you’ve ever made a scarf in stockinette stitch, you know the tragedies of curling edges. The following is a great little pattern, a simple combination of ribs, that is the basis for this bowtie scarf and great for straight scarf patterns as well.


  • Multiple of 6 plus 3
  • Row 1: *K3 P3* K3
  • Row 2: *K1 P1* K1

My hint for this pattern (and reason for multiple of 6 plus 3) is to remember that you always start on a knit stitch. Then look at the second stitch you are about to work and copy whatever it is. If it’s a knit stitch, you’re on a K3 P3 row. If it’s a purl stitch, you’re on a K1 P1 row. This REALLY helps when you put your project down and need to pick it back up again.


  • Cast on 21 stitches
  • Knit a row to establish visible, regular stitch (especially helpful with fluffy yarns) since you will need to pick up these stitches later.
  • Establish pattern:
  • Row 1: *K3 P3* K3
  • Row 2: *K1 P1* K1
  • Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 15 inches.


  • Remove every other stitch and place on stitch holder, total 11 stitches on holder. (This is where those circular needles come in handy-just transfer all the stitches off the needle they’re on, placing every other one on the holder and every other other one on the other side of the circular needle.)
  • Knit the 10 stitches remaining on the needle in K1 P1 rib until they measure 3 inches.
  • Snip end with several inches leeway and tie into last stitch (tuck in end now or when finished).
  • Transfer stitches from holder onto one side of the needle.
  • Move K1 P1 stitches just knit onto holder.
  • Continue with stitches left on needle, making K1 P1 rib until it matches other side at 3 inches.
  • (For the 10 stitches, start knit on both sides. For the 11 stitches, start knit on one side and
    purl on the other. The front and back of these do not matter.)
  • Place one stitch from 11-stitch needle onto the other needle, then one stitch from the stitch holder. Continue until all 21 stitches are back on one needle alternating every other stitch from the two 3-inch flaps; this will close the flaps into a “pocket.”
  • Return to established pattern and continue for 8 rows (approximately 3 inches).
  • Begin decreases (written to continue established pattern):
  • Row 1: k2tog p2tog p2 k3 p3 k3 p2 p2tog k2tog
  • Row 2: p2tog k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p2tog
  • Row 3: p3 k3 p3 k3 p3
  • Row 4: p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1
  • Row 5: p2tog p1 k3 p3 k3 p1 p2tog
  • Row 6: p2tog k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p2tog
  • Row 7: k2tog k2 p3 k2 k2tog
  • Row 8: p2tog k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p2tog
  • Row 9: k2 p3 k2
  • Row 10: p1 k1 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1
  • Row 11: k2tog p3 k2tog
  • Row 12: p2tog k1 p2tog
  • Row 13: p2tog k1
  • Row 14: k2tog
  • Cut yarn and bind off last stitch.
  • Return to the first row of stitches and pick up every other stitch onto the stitch holder. Then pick up the left-over stitches onto the needle.
  • Repeat POCKET AND TAPERED END as before.

Yay! You’re done! Put it around your neck (or someone else’s) and thread one tapered end through the loop on the opposite side. You look lovely.

Please post any questions, problems, comments, hints, or successes so I can help you out or congratulate you! (Also, let me know if you find a problem or confusion with the pattern itself.)

Photo © Alma Baumwoll
Tags: Fiber Arts, knitter, Knitting, knitting patterns, scarf, scarves

One Response to “Knitting Pattern: Bowtie Scarf”

  1. Marge says:

    I am looking for a patterns for my American grill doll The bow knot scarf. Some on had made it . But I can’t fine the pattern. May be you can Help. Thanks Marge

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