Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DIY regular scarf into lover scarves/cowl neck scarf

Bon matin, mes amis!
I have been realllyyy excited about this scarf project for a long time, but decided to let the weather cool down a bit before busting it out. However, that time has come!
I don't know about where you live, but it has definitely gotten a bit chilly here in Michigan (at least in the morning) so it's time to remedy that with a lover scarf!
Let me tell you where the inspiration for this project came from. For my family wedding shower, I received a beautiful green scarf from a very, very dear cousin. She had the wool specially dyed to a gorgeous shade of green and then knitted me a fantastically thick, warm scarf. I really loved it. And I really love her, she's such a wonderful and inspirational person. She's so comforting, warm, caring and beautiful. She's really something, so this was an important scarf to me. Combine that with the fact that I'm a slightly romantic person and this scarf became something that I really wanted to share with John. It was a present for both of us, after all, and I was hogging it. So, I got it in my head that it had to be cut and made into two cowl-neck scarves for both of us to wear. NOTE: I do NOT knit and had no idea that this was so risky- if I had, I would have never done it. I've since heard that cutting anything that is knit will make it immediately unravel. I had the sense that it could unravel a little bit, so I followed the process below, but I didn't realize how severe it would have been otherwise. However, I apparently did it the right way and the project turned out brilliantly. And now you can all learn from my experience.
I think it's a fun idea... do you remember those little BFF heart necklaces? Together they formed one heart but each person wore half around her neck? This is kind of the same idea but more grown up, stylish and practical (... we wear scarves more than half the year in Michigan). Plus it's incredibly easy, all you'll need for this project is...

A. A scarf that is long enough to cut in half, make circular and still fit over your head.
B. A pair of scissors
C. A sewing machine (there is no way to get around this, if you don't machine sew, it will unravel)
D. A sewing needle
E. Thread (THICK!)
F: Pins
G. Someone to share it with ;)

Take your scarf and figure out where the middle is. On either side of the middle, pin a straight line about an inch apart. In order to keep the knit from unraveling, you're going to sew a stitch on each side of where you'll cut.  Some how I didn't think to take a picture of how this would look with MY scarf, but I drew a picture and uploaded it.
So, pretend that the white paper is the scarf. The black line is the middle of the scarf. where you'll eventually cut, and the red dotted lines on either side are where you'll want to pin. I cut this one from top to bottom in a straight line, but another option is to cut on the diagonal a bit so that it ends up wider on the bottom and more narrow on the top. It will lay really nicely if you do it that way. Cutting straight turns out wonderfully as well.

STEP TWO:                                                                              Now, take your scarf to the sewing machine and sew down where you marked with a very, very tight stitch. I used yellow thread so that you could see it on my green scarf... but you should use a thread that matches your knit. After you have stitched on either side of the middle, go ahead and cut down the middle, taking care to stay within the borders of the stitch. You can see to the left how it looked after it had been cut. Parts of the knit will fall off- but it won't unravel. You now have two independent pieces of knit that are about to become cowl neck scarves.

(One scarf at a time now) fold the stitched side over to the other end of the scarf with the patterned/pretty (if it matters on your knit) side facing inward and the ugly side outward. Next, you'll loop-stitch from top to bottom over and over and over again until it is very sturdy. You will want to use very thick thread for this. I'm toying with the idea of using yarn and a huge needle and going over it a 7th time. You really do want to go over it several times so that your scarf will last a long time. There is a lot of wear and tear on the seam as it stretches over your head again and again. Make sure it stays really strong. A loop stitch is basically the easiest thing in the world and it won't take much effort or precision, so put the time in to make several layers of loop stitching.

You're done! Turn it right side out and try it on :) Now, repeat step 3 again to complete the second scarf. This would be a fun project, too, if you just want to breathe some new life into an old scarf. Cowl necks are extremely warm without being cumbersome. I already own two that I rotate nearly every day during the coldest months.

Enjoy your new scarf and have a fantastically warm fall! Down the road I'll put up another circular scarf tutorial as well as the jersey scarves that are so popular right now. check back tomorrow for more DIY goodness. 

TERMS OF USE (Modified from ISLY)

This project is free for personal use is not to be distributed/republished without my consent. If this inspires a project for your own blog, that is awesome! But please remember to link back to my original post. Please do not copy this text, use the images or steal this idea for any publications. Thanks for promoting the freedom to INSPIRE!


  1. I just found you through Pinterest and I love your blog! I just wanted to mention, with a knit, you only need to worry about unraveling if you pull on it before your seam is in. Especially with yarn like that, it won't just come undone by itself if you're careful, so don't be too afraid! (Technically jersey fabric is a very tiny knit, if it helps!)

    1. that DOES help!!! It's good to hear from a pro ;) thanks so much!!


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