Americana Keyhole Scarf
Cozy, practical, classic keyhole scarves and knitting patterns for them have been around for decades. Many free knitting patterns for keyhole scarves are available online. That said, enough people have asked me how I create my American Flag scarves, or Stars and Stripes scarves, or patriotic scarves that I have jotted my notes down as this pattern or DIY how-to guide. This is not a tutorial, therefore if unfamiliar with a term or technique mentioned, please look online for a video, knitting forum, or blog geared toward teaching.
This reversible scarf with one keyhole is knit flat in various sizes using Red Heart Super Saver “Americana” self-striping yarn (5 ounce skein, 236 yards).
Skills used: [INDENT]Cast on
Combinations of Knit and Purl stitches:[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2]- 1x1 ribbing[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2]- Seed stitch[/INDENT]
What you need: [INDENT]1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver “Americana” yarn (or 1 skein each: Red, White, Blue yarn of your choice; see photo #8)
1 set of knitting needles, US size 8 (5 mm) or size you are comfortable with for number “4” worsted weight yarn
1 stitch holder or small circular needle, for dividing alternating stitches for keyhole
1 small scissors
1 tapestry needle or crochet hook, to weave in ends
About 10 hours of time (will vary depending upon knitting skills, experience, speed, and size of scarf)[/INDENT]
Planning your scarf design: [INDENT]This scarf is knit beginning at the bottom edge of the first tail, working up to the keyhole, making the keyhole, then progressing around the neck, knitting the tuck (or optional second keyhole), and then finishing with the second tail.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]- Each hand knit scarf will be unique.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]- Gauge is not crucial.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Each repeat of the Red Heart Super Saver “Americana” yarn consists of:[/INDENT]
[INDENT]- a set of alternating red and white stripes (7 white stripes interspersed with 6 red stripes)
- a field of navy with white “stars”[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Example of planning your unique scarf design:[/INDENT]
[INDENT]- Tails: Matching number of stripes (or combination of stars and stripes) on the two tails of the scarf
- Keyhole: Recommended - Navy field with stars on the keyhole
[INDENT=2]Size of wearer’s neck?
Desired fit - Snug, a bit of ease, or a loose fit?[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2]Centered balance of stripes (or combination of stars and stripes) around the neck[/INDENT]
Planning Tip: To arrange combinations of stars and stripes according to your desired design when using Red Heart Super Saver “Americana” yarn, plan to cut and join in the middle of white stripes as needed. This achieves a fairly invisible join.To find the middle of a white stripe, pull the full length of the white stripe from the skein.Holding the two ends of the white stripe together, smooth the white strands together until the middle is found.Cut yarn in the middle of the white stripe.[/INDENT]
Knitting your Americana Keyhole Scarf:
Beginning at the bottom of the first tail:
- Cast on 24 (28, 32) stitches. Turn.
- S1, (P1, K1) to end of row, P1. Turn.
- Continue working in 1x1 ribbing, slipping first stitch in each row, for approximately 6 (9, 12) inches or desired length of first tail (from bottom of scarf to bottom of keyhole).
- Divide the field of navy yarn in half: Each half of the navy field will create one side of the keyhole.To find the middle of the navy field, pull the full length of the navy field from the skein.Holding the two ends of the navy field together, smooth the navy strands together until the middle is found.Cut yarn in the middle of the navy field. Wind the second half of navy field loosely around the skein and set skein aside.
- Using 1[SUP]st[/SUP] half of navy field, work one more row of 1x1 ribbing. Turn.
- Divide the 24 (28, 32) navy stitches, placing odd number stitches on your knitting needle and even numbered stitches on the stitch holder or small circular needle:
- 1st side of keyhole:
- 2nd side of keyhole:
- Close the top of the keyhole:
Knit to desired length, ending with second tail: [INDENT]Knit the rest of the scarf, which includes[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2]- length around the neck,
- a portion to tuck and cinch inside the keyhole,
- ending with the second tail.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Continue working in 1x1 ribbing, slipping first stitch in each row, to the end of scarf: S1, (P1, K1) to end of row, P1. Turn.[/INDENT]
Finishing: [INDENT]Bind off.
Weave in ends.[/INDENT]
Note: Scarves roll up for easy storage
Bonus page: Variations on the Americana one-keyhole scarf
Variety is the spice of life, and knitting variations of the classic keyhole scarf will spice up a wardrobe.
I’ve had success with the following and you may want to try them, too, as a starting point for creating your own variations.
Instructions for these stitches can easily be found online.
Balanced stitches that won’t curl up or roll are useful for the making the two sides of a keyhole.
As options to Seed stitch, these reversible stitches have made nice keyholes:
- 1x1 ribbing
- Garter stitch
- Moss stitch
- Mesh stitch [I]Row 1: (yo, K2tog) to end of row. Row 2 & all even rows: purl all stitches. Row 3: (K2tog, yo) to end of row.[/I]
Scarf edge variations:
These are a few of the stitches which I have incorporated at the beginning and ending of each row, along the edges of the tails and neck of scarves:
- 8-stitch reversible cable
- 4-stitch reversible cable
- 3-stitch i-cord selvedge (triple i-cord selvedge)
- 2-stitch i-cord selvedge (double i-cord selvedge)
- 2x2 ribbing
- Reversible honeycomb stitch
Cast-on and beginning variations:
Variations for the more experienced knitter:
- Cast on in 1x1 ribbing for a 1x1 ribbed scarf
- Cast on in 2x2 ribbing for a 2x2 ribbed scarf
- To create a ruffle, cast on in 4x4 ribbing and decrease to 2x2 ribbing or 1x1 ribbing over the first few rows.
- Cast on and begin the tail with 1 - 3 inch border of a simple reversible lace.
- Bind off in pattern.
- To avoid flare at the scarf’s ending tail, decrease ¼ of the stitches as you bind off (4 stitches become 3). [LIST]
- For a scarf in 1x1 ribbing: S1, *P1 bind off, K1 bind off, K2tog bind off, repeat from * to end of row.
- For a scarf in 2x2 ribbing: S1, *P1 bind off, P1 bind off, K2tog bind off, repeat from * to end of row.