Beginner's question - curling up scarf

Hello all,

My one and only knitting project so far has been a striped football scarf. It came out quite well except that it curled up from the long edges so it made itself into a long snake shape. I washed it and tried stretching it out, but it stubbornly always rolled back up.

Can anyone suggest how I can avoid this happening again ?

Many thanks,


You probably knit it all in stockinette; stockinette curls. You can use a looser gauge, and also put some garter or seed st borders on it. A few rows to start, then 4-5 sts at each end. Or you can make it twice as wide and seam the edges together.

Thanks Sue,

Is stockinette knit a row, purl a row ? I am just using knit on every row - maybe that isn’t the best idea either ?


Yes, stockinette is knit 1 row, purl 1 row. Garter st is when you knit all sts on every row. If the scarf isn’t very wide, it can curl in garter too. You could try blocking it if it’s a wool or blend; if acrylic you could lightly steam it with an iron (don’t press down). That may helpf.

Knittedbrows, can you tell me the pattern for the football scarf? I’m always looking for a different scarf pattern.

Sue - pls forgive my ignorance once again - what is blocking ?

knittychick - afraid there is no pattern, this is a very simple scarf ! It is meant to be a very traditional English football scarf. Reasonably fine wool - a ball of red , ball of whilte (or just slightly cream, that’s for my team Manchester United) and just 6 inch long stripes of each until it’s about scarf size ! Then knot some tassles on the end. Everyone used to wear these to a soccer match, but you hardly ever see them now.

If you go to the How To forum, you’ll see a few “stickies” at the top of the list of topics, including one entitled something like “the solution to when your stockinette stitch is curling”. You might find that interesting to read through. Even though you did a garter stitch- which I’ve never had curl, although Sue says that it can happen if the scarf is very narrow.

But as to your blocking question-- first of all, no question is too silly around here:) . We all went through the process of learning all the bits and pieces! Blocking is when you apply moisture, and often heat, to something you’ve knitt to set the stitches. It’s often permanent, but not always. It will make everything look very nice and neat and professional, and it can also stretch out a piece. It’s amazing what it does for lace knitting. Most acrylics can’t be blocked, most wools and other animal fibers can. When Sue said don’t apply pressure, that’s because you don’t want to flatten your work. There may be a video here on the site about it, or pictures on line, in you Google the words blocking and knitting, or something along those lines.

If your scarf is made from a yarn which is wool, or mostly wool, you can do it-- just wet it thoroughly, roll it up in a Turkish towel and squeeze out as much water as you can, and then lay it out to dry. If you can pin down the edges on something such as an ironing board, that’s best. (Rust proof pins!) You can hold a hot iron an inch or so above it and just slowly go over the whole thing and then let it dry thoroughly, pinned down. Wool holds a lot of moisture, so let it sit for a few days. If it’s a very long scarf, you may need to do it in sections.

Welcome to the world of knitting, and to knittinghelp!:hug:

Thanks for the info. English football is soccer (right?) I’ve heard of Manchester United (only because of David Beckham!) Can you send me a picture of the scarf? It sounds really cool looking.

Most of the football scarves I have seen are knitted in rib (k1 p1).
A bit of a pain to knit but it doesn’t curl up and is double sided.

You can use that eyelash/feathers/flurry type yarn
It doesn’t roll up even when knitted in stocking stitch.