So I am going to look at a few scarf patterns to see if I can offer some more suggestions, including the Elizabeth Scarf in the photo above, and my newly‐published pattern, the Beckenham Scarf, pictured below.
I tend to think of the Elizabeth Scarf as a ladies' scarf, and the Beckenham Scarf as one for the men‐folk, but of course this is rather a sweeping generalisation and both could be suitable for anyone on your gift‐list with the right yarn and colour choices.
So, how do you choose what length to make your next scarf? Well, the best rule of thumb is that you should make a scarf approximately equal to the height of the person who will be wearing it. This will give a nicely proportioned scarf without being too short for a tall person or swamping a more diminutive figure.
However, you can modify this "rule" by thinking of how the person usually wears their scarves.
The first category I think of as Senatorial or Executive. You see this style often at places such as Washington's Dulles airport on a Friday afternoon.
The scarf is neatly draped around the neckline and allowed to hang open with the scarf ends exactly aligned, then the blazer or overcoat is shrugged on over the top.
If the temperatures start to drop, then one end of the scarf can be folded neatly over the other and the coat buttoned up.
For this style you will want a reasonably narrow scarf, say 15‐20cm/6‐8 ins wide, preferably worked in a soft and fine yarn such as a luxurious merino.
For the ladies, continue until the scarf measures about 112‐120cm/44‐48 ins long. For a man's scarf, 120‐135cm/48‐54 ins would make a good draping length.
The next style of scarf is for the Active Set.
It is a bit longer than the previous version, so can either be flipped back over the shoulder or wrapped tightly around the neckline.
This is a popular style for walkers and cyclists. The wrapping gives extra warmth at the point where the wind usually finds a gap at the top of your coat, yet is not trailing to risk getting caught in the spokes of your wheel.
Knit these scarves with a width of 18‐22 cm/7‐9 ins using a cozy medium‐weight wool, and with a length of about 135cm/54 ins for a lady and 150cm/60 ins for a chap.
That brings us to the Regular Scarf. We all have some of these don't we? They are perfect for most uses – just a good average width and not too long or too short.
If you can't decide what length of scarf to make, then go for this one. It will find a happy home somewhere!
Keep the width as for the last scarf but make the scarf about 165cm/66 ins long for the ladies on your gift list, and 185cm/72 ins for the men.
The next style is for the Artistic people you know. Adding an extra 15cm/6 ins to the length of the scarf gives extra scope for more innovative wrapping methods.
One example of this would be the four-way wrap which you can see in the Elizabeth Scarf on the left, beautifully modelled by our daughter Anna!
So for the ladies, aim for 185cm/72 ins long for this style and for the men make it about 200cm/78 ins long.
Then there are the Fashionistas among us! And the trend this year is for super‐long wrapping styles and volume for both ladies and men.
Go for the same width as above but just keep knitting until it looks right for the seriously fashion‐conscious recipient. Just stop before Dr Who might consider wearing it!
For this type of volume‐wrapping continue knitting until the scarf measures about 200‐215cm/78‐84 ins in length.
(Oh, and in case you want to know, there were several Dr Who scarves, and the longest measured a cool 26ft! That's some serious knitting there...)
For more details about the all my various scarf pattern for men then please click here, and for the ladies please click here.
If you would like to explore some reversible stitches so you can design your own reversible scarf, then please read more details about our Reversible Knitting Stitches book here. There is also a gallery of sample pages to look through and the book is available for immediate download from the site.