Learn to Knit a Spiral Scarf

I wrote this pattern with a couple of goals in mind – first, I wanted a pretty way to show off really beautiful yarn. Second, I wanted to make a scarf that used just one hank of the beautiful yarn, and therefore knits up quickly and makes a great gift.

And here it is! The spiral is a traditional scarf shape, but I’ve put my own twist on it. (Ha – see what I did there?) The spirals in this scarf are broad and really show off the yarn, and we use wraps and turns in the knitting to keep the garter stitch fabric smooth and even.

This pattern is a FREE RAVELRY DOWNLOAD, and includes a link to a free video tutorial (video is also available at the bottom of this post).

Size: any length you like – using one hank of the recommended yarn will make a scarf that is about 52” long
Needles: Size 7 US (4.5mm), circulars or straights
Yarn: 1 hank of Hazel Knits DK Lively yarn (275 yards, 140 grams), I used the color “Vamp”
Additional Materials: a row counter is a good idea, you’ll also need a tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in garter stitch

Be sure to check out my other video tutorials.

And the video –

100 comments on “Learn to Knit a Spiral Scarf

  1. Staci,
    Thank you for a beautiful scarf pattern!! I have one question…if I skip row 11 (picking up the wraps) and just knit rows 11 and 12 will the scarf spiral? I have been playing around with it a little and it seems like it will still work. I agree with you that picking up the wraps gives a nicer finished look. However, the scarf is for me and I would like to wear it this weekend. So I am trying to cut a few corners to save time. Thank you for your assistance.

  2. Bonnie – yes, it should still spiral. Picking up the wraps makes the work look neater, but they do not contribute to the spiral shape.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  3. Staci, got my wool, needles, and supplies, ready to start and learn a new scarf. I will wait on the other scarf. I’m not advanced enough in my knitting skill. That’s your job to get me there. I can teach you needlepoint, cross stitch, and pottery. Just let me know. 🙂 Thanks so much.

  4. Traci, what is a tapestry needle? What are they used for? I am googling it to try to understand the use. I went to a knit shop, and they didn’t have them. They were low on supplies. Off to JoAnns?

  5. I just finished this scarf. I enjoyed it so much. I have learned so much from your site. Thank you!

  6. hello,i tried to make it and could go on smoothly up to the stage u have shown in the video.What to do next to continue it I mean do we have to continue the same procedure with 12, 10 ,8…?

  7. Qurrat – you want to follow the pattern. In the video, I demonstrate the technique, and the technique is the same throughout the 12-row repeat. Once you finish those 12 rows, you go back to Row 1 and work them again (and again), until you are nearly out of yarn, or desired length.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  8. Hi Staci. It has been great fun learning from the tutorial video. I’ve learned the wrap and turn and pick up the wrap, I think. I do have one question. One side looks different than the knit side at the point where the wrap and turns are. Is this normal…or correct? I would say is this the back side? I have a second unrelated question about the age of teaching children to knit. I am assuming you probably learned as a little girl. What is the best age and technique to teach my Granddaughter, 5, how to knit? Thank you so much for all you have done to make knitting fun.

  9. Nancy – it’s difficult for me to answer your question without seeing your work. Yes, one side will look different from the other…remember a knit stitch on one side is a purl on the back side. If you’re having tension issues, it will appear more than if your tension is even. That just takes practice.

    As far as learning to knit – I learned at about age 5. I think it really depends on the kid and their ability to focus.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  10. Hi Staci,
    Thanks for the awesome video and pattern. I’m doing great and I found out it takes a lot of time and work, but it’s worth it because it turned out great. ^_^

  11. Staci, I really want to do this scarf, but my very pretty wool is of a lighter weight. Can I increase the number of stitches in each row, and how do I calculate that? Or would it be easier to knit in two strands, which would provide the weight.
    Thanks for creating a wonderful site.


  12. Pat – I would double the strands to get gauge, without changing the pattern. There is a chance you’ll loose the tight spiral twist if you alter the careful balance I created.
    S t a c i

  13. Do you have to repeat the rows in order to get the spiral design? I’m honestly don’t know.

  14. Hi there Stacy, Thank you for your kintting tutoraials. Watching you videos has made it very learning to knit.

  15. Just wanted to say thanks for this. It knits up surprisingly quickly and once you get into it is very easy (thanks to your very straightforward and clear videos). I needed presents for two people and had no money but some pretty glittery leftover wool. The scarves turned out beautifully and my friends were were thrilled.


  16. I am crocheting a cowboy hat and the directions are telling me to spiral to finish the brim can you please tell me what that means

  17. Esther – sorry, I don’t know. That can mean a lot of different things. I suggest you contact the pattern designer with your question, or check the pattern on Ravelry.com to see how other people are handling this.

    S t a c i

  18. This was a very helpful video and pattern. Thank you for sharing it. I had been looking for a this exact thing for about a year now and stumbled upon it yesterday, when I saw potato chip scarf or corkscrew , then your listing appeared. I had been searching spiral scarfs and kept getting patterns to increase from 100 +++++. It was just too cumbersome and not the look I wanted. Thank you again. Joan

  19. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial. I made some lovely gifts and they look glamourously on any outfit!
    I would like to suggest a wrap and turn method base on what you taught to make it even easier for all.
    That is, to pick up the horizontal wrapping yarn before turning.
    Then the needle would show a cross stitch/double stitch hanging. It works well for counting and control of tension.
    And your designs for the overall knits are the best so far !

  20. Hi Staci, Thanks for the pattern and tutorial. I finished the scarf a couple of months ago and want to block it. Do you suggest rolling it back into its “bagel” shape and letting it dry that way? I’m not sure how to approach blocking this because of the spiral shape. Many thanks.

  21. Hi Lynn – When I blocked mine, I just shaped it into a long spiral, pretty tightly. Then after the top dried, I flipped it over and did the same thing. I’m sure a bagel shape would work fine, too!
    S t a c i

  22. Hi, Stacie! Thank you so much for posting the pattern; it’s really great. My friend asked me to knit her a bigger one though so what bigger number of cast-on stitches can I use? Please answer. Thank you!

  23. Lacey – you will probably have to test knit a wider scarf yourself to see what you like, because it probably depends on the width you want, plus the yarn and needles you’ll be using. When I wrote this pattern I tried out wider widths, and I found that the spiral shape worked best as I’ve written it in the pattern. There are different ways of working a spiral, and if you search Ravelry for other spiral scarves (also called potato chip scarves), you may find something you like there, that is written to be wider. Good luck!

    S t a c i

  24. i love your tutorial, but i can download the Ruffle Scarf instructions, because i do not have PDF. please could you email it to me. Thank you. norma

  25. Norma – I’m afraid it won’t do any good for me to email you the pattern, since the pattern will still be PDF if I send it to you. To open PDF files, you need Adobe Reader, which is a free program. You can also open them in Google Docs.

    S t a c i


  27. Hi Staci,
    I know I’ve been asking you a lot of questions– and thank you for taking out time to answer them 🙂 I really appreciate it. I was wondering if I can knit a flower pattern in this scarf or even to spice it up a little bit maybe bubbles to make it look like polka dots? If I can; is there a link where I can buy the pattern? For any general flowers or to knit a square/circle/heart etc. in middle of a scarf or blanket or any project. I learnt knitting like a month ago.. I just finished a scarf, a baby blanket and the coasters. I am loving to knit.. whenever I see a new pattern I become super excited & I cant wait to start it 🙂 Is there any place on your site or any other place which has the explained pattern to knit shapes? I really appreciate your help and tips 🙂 Thanks.

  28. Hi Staci. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. I was wondering if one could use Japanese short rows for the turning instead of the wrap and turn method? I love this pattern but as well as I try, those wrap and turns do a number on me and send me right to the wine bottle! Thanks so much for all you do for us knitters!

  29. Jessica – you can try Japanese short rows instead of traditional w&ts, and see how it looks. I would probably not recommend Japanese short rows for this pattern, however, since Japanese short rows look GREAT on one side only. The other side suffers a bit because of how good it looks on the right-side. And in this spiral scarf, both sides show.

    But it’s probably worth swatching it out!
    S t a c i

  30. Thank you for this great pattern and clear tutorial! I’m going to try making it for charity with some leftover fun fur, then make some for gifts. Great summer knitting! Ps- I love the birds in the background. So relaxing ????

  31. Dear Staci,

    First of all, thank you for the spiral/ potato chips scarf tutorial.

    IS it possible for you to make another spiral/potato chips scarf tutorial for the both side ruffle instead of just single side?

    Wish to hear from you soon.

    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,
    May Lai

  32. Hi Staci! I made this scarf and the runrig muffatees in Yarn Bee’s Diva yarn – it’s an ombre, textured worsted in jewel tones with random sequins throughout. Everything cam out gorgeous!!! 🙂

    Do you recommend blocking the scarf at all? The scarf and mitts will be a gift, and i want them to look perfect. After finishing the scarf, i coiled it into that pancake to let the yarn rest. I noticed that the older, beginning rows were slightly tighter and the recently completed rows slightly stretched out from the weight of the rest of the scarf, i suppose. I patted everything even and left it over night. Today, all the layers of the “pancake” look even, but should i apply a little steam?

    Thanks as always for your clear, fun, instructions!

  33. Hi Staci! I’ve avoided similar patterns in the past, because they look too scrawny. But, not yours, because the yarn is gorgeous! I usually use all of the yarns you recommend; however, in this instance I wonder if you can recommend a few more affordable options maybe in the 10-20 dollar range per skein with the same great “sproinginess 🙂 as the one you recommend? Thank you for teaching me to knit. I started with your dishcloth and have done a lot of other projects and just bought the tosh vintage to make the Saroyan scarf. I won’t try a new pattern without one of your videos..so we’ll done! Very grateful. Thank you!

  34. I love this scarf and decided to make one for my 2 grandchildren. The yarn was purchased solely based on color. It is Lion Brand Landscapes – it is a roving yarn and now I am concerned that it will be too thick…would appreciate your comments please. Thank you

  35. Bea – I haven’t used that yarn, nor am I familiar with it. You can try knitting up a few inches of the pattern to see how it looks, that’s your best bet for finding whether the yarn is a good match to the pattern or not.

    S t a c i

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