Dropping stitches isn’t always a bad thing! If you are new to the knitting world, then you might be surprised to hear that some patterns will actually have you drop stitches on purpose. It’s actually a really fun technique, and you might be surprised at the benefits!
The first thing I really like about drop stitch scarves and drop stitch patterns in general is that they always look amazing. It’s really not too tricky once you get the hang of it, but it really adds a lot to the design. Even beginner knitters can make most of the drop stitch scarves on this list, but you can’t tell that these patterns are easy just by looking at them.
The second thing I love about patterns for things like drop stitch scarves is that they go so quickly. This is because drop stitches are much taller than regular stitches. You won’t believe how fast you’ll see your project growing on your needles!
The third thing that’s so great about drop stitch scarves and such is that they don’t take up very much yarn. So you can make a full length scarf using one smaller skein of yarn or a partial skein of yarn leftover from another knitting project.
The best thing of all about drop stitch scarf patterns is that they can be worn all year round! The lace detailing makes these scarves more lightweight than their clunky cousins and the extra space in between stitches allows cool air to pass through it.
So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and see for yourself just how adorable drop stitch scarves can be. We’ve got all different kinds of free scarf knitting patterns for you today from beginner knitting patterns to complex knitting patterns and everything in between!
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Tips for Knitting Drop Stitches
The good news is that drop stitches are NOT hard, so don’t be intimidated if you are newer to knitting. It really is a simple technique.
Basically you are wrapping the yarn around an extra time on a row and then dropping the extra wrap on the next row to give that light, open look. It will take a little practice, but it’s not hard to pick up at all.
The biggest challenge you might face when knitting with drop stitches is tension. Be sure to keep an even tension throughout or you will have drop stitches of different lengths.
25 Darling Drop Stitch Scarf Patterns to Knit
1. Beginner Garter Drop-Stitch Scarf
Let’s start off with one of our drop stitch scarves that can be made by anyone – beginner knitters and more experienced knitters alike. This fabulous pattern features an easy 6 row repeat and a handy video tutorial. Keep this design in mind when you are looking for knitting projects that make fast gifts!
Designer: Michele Maks for Yarnspirations
Yarn: Red Heart With Love Solids (Aran Weight #4)
2. Foggy Night Scarf
Here’s one of my favorite effects that I’ve seen when researching drop stitch scarves. Curtains of drop stitches form a gauzy background that’s somewhere in between opaque and transparent. Isn’t it just ethereal? You can learn how to knit this pattern by following along with the written or charted instructions.
Designer: Life is Cozy
Yarn: Alize Alpaca Royal (DK Weight #3)
3. Eternidad Scarf
Eternidad is the spanish word for eternity. Which is, of course, the perfect name for this fabulous infinity scarf. You’ll be working drop stitches of varying lengths to make the fascinating undulating stitch pattern. The scarf is worked in the round and the pattern calls for light fingering weight yarn. It should still be a pretty quick knit, though, thanks to the drop stitches!
Designer: Lisa R. Myers for Fairmount Fibers
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Fino (Light Fingering Weight #0)
4. Plum Crazy Scarf
You might think that drop stitch patterns would be too “busy” for variegated yarns but the Plum Crazy Scarf is here to disprove that notion! I think the varying colors really help make this scarf pop! The best thing about this drop stitch scarf pattern is that there are no purl stitches – only knit stitches and drop stitches.
Designer: Sassy Girl Knits
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (Aran Weight #4)
5. Aster Flower Scarf
I know this beautiful Aster Flower Scarf looks like it’s crocheted, but, trust me, it’s totally knit! Two colors of yarn and a clever combination of dropped and slipped stitches make the lovely flower motif you see before you. The bulky weight yarn really amps up the volume on this design for maximum drama!
Designer: Loopy Mango Knitting
Yarn: Loopy Mango Merino No. 5 (Super Bulky Weight #6)
6. Tangled Lines
Do you want to know another cool trick you can do with dropped stitches? You can make a super cute criss-crossed pattern like the one on this dropped stitch scarf! This fun design features a button enclosure so you can switch between infinity and regular scarf styles. It’s shown here in DK weight yarn in the colorway “Queen Victoria”.
Designer: Vanessa Ewing Knits
Yarn: Cape May Fiber Co. DK Merino (DK Weight #3)
7. Fascinate Scarf
Achieve effortless style with the simple yet stunning Fascinate Scarf. If you’ve been hanging on to a nice skein of fingering weight yarn, then this might be just the pattern you’ve been waiting for! I love that this elegant accessory can be worn in both casual and fancy settings. Wet blocking the finished scarf really helps open up those dropped stitches.
Designer: Berroco Design Team
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine (Fingering Weight #1)
8. Weekend Scarf
Bulky weight yarn keeps the stitchwork of this drop stitch scarf dense and snuggly. It also makes the stitchwork super fast. So fast, in fact, that you can make it in a weekend! I love how cozy and fun this design looks. I also love how much softer the single strands of yarn in the drop stitches feel compared to the typical nubs that stitches make.
Designer: London Leo
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Eskimo (Bulky Weight #5)
9. Chunky Drop Stitch Cowl
You can really get up close and personal with drop stitches when you work with super bulky yarn. Just look at that stitch definition! This chunky drop stitch cowl is so cozy and soft – not to mention super fast to make. The model for this design is shown here in a lovely alpaca yarn in a light gray color.
Designer: Peachtree St
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande (Super Bulky Weight #6)
While the bulk of this scarf is made in linen stitch, the design also employs a clever dropped stitch trick for making fringe. This trick is just genius and it’s super easy to pull off too. The result is fabulously even fringe without trimming – and without knotting! The intricacies of the linen stitch are also on full display – shown here in two colors.
Designer: Leslie-Anne Brook-Roberge for Knitty
Yarn: Mrs Crosby Steamer Trunk (Worsted Weight #4)
11. Slip Stitch Scarf
Add a touch of drama and style to your life with this wonderfully chunky drop stitch scarf pattern. Super bulky yarn is held doubled for this design to really maximize the chunky and cozy factors. Both dropped and slipped stitches are used in this design, and the bulk of the design is worked in easy peasy garter stitch.
Yarn: Stylecraft Weekender Super Chunky (Super Bulky Weight #6)
12. Scarf with Drop Stitches
If you are looking for lightweight summer accessories to knit, then look no further than this adorable drop stitch scarf! Cotton yarn is a great choice for summer knits because it is so breathable (and usually also washable). The yarn shown here is a very interesting self striping. I love yarns like this because the end result is always unique!
Designer: Schachenmayr Design Team
Yarn: Schachenmayr Fashion Tahiti (Lace Weight #0)
13. Moonrise Shawl
Here’s another fabulous see through shawl that can be made with dropped stitches. This design uses a crochet cast on and bind off. Interestly enough, the yarn used for the model scarf shown here combines metal with silk. The resulting sheen is a perfect match for the fantasy-like style of the scarf itself!
Designer: Fibre Space
Yarn: Habu Textiles A-20/21 1/20 silk stainless steel (Lace Weight #0)
14. Serene Sampler
With just garter stitch and dropped stitches you can make this Serene Sampler cowl. The original design uses a sampler set of 8 different colors that are worked in stripes for a unique blending effect. This is a really neat trick for smooth color transitions that could also be used with the scraps you have leftover from other projects!
Designer: Kristin Omdahl
Yarn: Kristin Omdahl Yarns Be So Serene (Sport Weight #3)
15. Drop Stitch Scarf
Although this beautiful yarn has since been discontinued, this scarf was just too pretty not to include in the round-up today! I think it’s a really great example of a drop stitch scarf that’s a little funkier and a whole lot of fun. The design uses garter stitch and dropped stitches and it features an easy to remember 5 row repeat.
Designer: Lion Brand Yarn
Yarn: (Super Bulky Weight #6)
16. One Drop Scarf
Once you complete this gorgeous scarf in 1×1 rib, you will unravel one column of stitches starting from the last row and going all the way down to where you started. And yes, it’s just as satisfying/ slightly scary as it sounds. I really like the effect this gives the scarf. It’s also a neat trick for making a simple stockinette scarf a little more special.
Designer: One Sheep Hill
Yarn: Mondial Oggi (Bulky Weight #5)
17. Glittering Party Scarf
Have you been holding onto a special skein of yarn? Maybe it’s glittery, maybe it’s shiny, or maybe it’s just plain expensive. Well, this drop stitch scarf is the project you’ve been waiting for! Decorative crossed stitches create a delicate open weave that looks really posh but isn’t hard at all to make.
Designer: Riikka Knits
Yarn: Katia Gatsby (Sport Weight #3)
18. Waterfall Scarf
Have you heard of the seafoam stitch before? It uses drop stitches of varying heights to form beautiful undulating waves of yarn. You can see seafoam stitch in action here in the Waterfall Scarf. It’s looking extra fabulous in a self-striping yarn with long color transitions. The bright colors and bold lines of this knit accessory are sure to make a statement!
Yarn: Hand Maiden Fine Yarn Great Big Sea (Worsted Weight #4)
19. Berry Lacey
Buttery soft merino joins forces with smooth silk in this delicately colored yarn from Malabrigo. The yarn looks right at home here in the Berry Lacey Scarf. I love how the single strands of yarn formed by the dropped stitches show off the subtle color transitions. It’s like wearing a watercolor piece of art!
Designer: Nisey Knits
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino (DK Weight #3)
Make a big statement with this oversized drop stitch scarf. The pattern uses two strands of super bulky yarn for twice the fun and all the volume. Both slipped and dropped stitches are used in the design. The model is shown here in 7 different colors of yarn that fade from light to dark.
Designer: DROPS Design
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Eskimo (Super Bulky Weight #6)
21. Shaded Feather Openwork Scarf
Dropped stitches are actually perfect for transitioning between colors because the lines between different rows aren’t as clearly defined. That’s the secret to the gorgeous ombre effect achieved here in the Shaded Feather Openwork Scarf. While it looks like 1 fancy dancy color changing yarn, it’s actually 4 different colors of yarn.
Designer: Shannon Dunbabin for Cascade Yarns
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace (Lace Weight #0)
If you don’t mind casting on a bunch of stitches, then working a drop stitch scarf lengthwise is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd. It’s also a really good way to show off a yarn with long color changes. The changing colors really make the undulating drop stitches pop and help bring distinction between rows.
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock (Fingering Weight #1)
23. High Tides
Did you know that you can work the seafoam stitch on the bias? It would almost be a shame not to, seeing as how it’s absolutely gorgeous and all! The playful tilt of the rows really enhances the dropped stitches. I think it replicates the gentle waves of the ocean even better than the seafoam stitch worked regularly!
Yarn: (Fingering Weight #1)
24. Pull-Apart Scarf
You might have a hard time wrapping your brain around this pattern. It’s constructed as a tube using 1×1 rib stitch and stockinette stitch. When you’re finished stitching, you might think that something went amiss because it won’t look right at all. But if you trust the pattern, and follow the finishing instructions you’ll soon be a happy knitter!
Designer: Confessions of a Wooloholic
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 (Worsted Weight #4)
25. Corsage 1-Ball Drop-Stitch Scarf
Say hello to this stylish and modern knit accessory. You might not think of dropped stitch scarves as a good thing to have on hand for a hot night out on the town, but the Corsage Scarf is here to prove you wrong! And since you only need one skein to make it, feel free to splurge on a nice one.
Designer: Rosemary Drysdale
Yarn: Tahki Yarns Ripple (Aran Weight #4)
Common Question about Drop Stitches
A drop stitch is a knitting stitch that gives more of an open, airy look. It is a method of intentionally dropping stitches (which is usually a bad thing!) so that the yarn has a longer open appearance.
When you are working the row with the drop stitches on it, you will wrap the yarn around twice for a drop stitch, then you will drop the extra wrap on the next row.
To make an even longer drop stitch you can wrap the yarn around the needle more than twice – the more wraps, the longer the stitch will be.
The most basic drop stitch scarf is a row of knit, row of knit wrapping the yarn around twice for the drop stitches, and then a row of knit, dropping the extra wraps. Repeat these three rows.
You can really add drop stitches to many patterns wherever you want the open, lacy look. As you can see from our pattern collection above, drop stitches can be used in many different ways.
I’m excited to hear your thoughts about drop stitch scarves. Have you made one before? Will you be making one of the drop stitch scarves included in our amazing little round-up? Do you have any tips you’d like to share for working dropped stitches? Let’s hear them in the comments!
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