Better Pocket Scarf

by Elizabeth Green Musselman

» model: Liam » photos: E G Musselman

If there is anything kids love more than pockets, it’s stuffing things into their pockets – heavy, pointed things that can stretch out and poke through knitted fabric before you ever have a chance to object. This cheery scarf is designed with that kid in mind. The scarf has pockets at both ends, each reinforced with a plastic CD sleeve for a lining.

Even if a marker with no cap makes its way into these pockets, the yarn will never feel the insult. If your child prefers jamming their hands into the pockets as substitute mittens, simply omit the plastic sleeves. The thick fabric created by the stranded knitting of the snowflake gives the pocket ample reinforcement.




50 inches long (or preferred length) x 6 inches wide


Berroco Vintage [50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon; 217 yards/200 meter per 3.5 ounce/100 gran hank];

5157 Paprika (MC); 1 skein
5112 Minty (CC); 1 skein

Recommended needle sizes

US #6/4 mm 24 inch circular needle
US #6/4 mm double-pointed needles
US #4/3.5 mm 24 inch circular needle
Do not hesitate to change needle size to obtain correct gauge.


2 plastic CD sleeves
waste yarn or stitch holder


20 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches in snowflake patt on larger size needles
28 sts and 36 rows = 4 inches in scarf rib patt on larger size needles

Pattern Notes

The sample scarf that appears in the photographs measures 56 inches long and is worn by a child who is 52 inches tall and long-waisted. This scarf used 195 yards (about 90%) of each skein, so any shorter scarf length can be produced by one skein of each color, while anything longer may require two skeins of each color.

Alternate looks: (1) Simplify the project by skipping the snowflake motif on the pocket, and instead work the pocket in plain st st or in stripes. (2) Work the second half of the scarf without reversing the color scheme on the second pocket. (3) Use a semi-solid or variegated yarn for one or both of the two colors. (4) Omit the plastic CD sleeves for the child who prefers a soft pocket.

Skills Required

Provisional cast on, knitting with dpns, stranded knitting, three-needle bind off, kitchener stitch



With larger double-pointed needles and waste yarn, use the provisional cast on method to cast on 62 sts.
With MC, knit one row.
Taking care not to twist sts, join into the round, placing stitch marker at beg of round.
Knit 3 rnds.
Work all 25 rnds of snowflake patt. (You will work 2 repeats of the patt in each round – 1 repeat on the front of the pocket, and 1 repeat on the back.)

Snowflake Chart


With MC, knit 5 rnds.
Move first 31 sts onto one needle and second 31 sts onto another needle. Flip pocket inside out so that right sides are facing each other. Join tog using 3-needle bind off.
Flip pocket right side out again.
Unzip provisional cast on from half the sts and place on smaller needle.
Work back and forth on these 31 sts in garter st for 5 rows, ending with a RS row. BO all sts on the needle.


Unzip provisional cast on from rem 31 sts and place on larger circular needle.
Beg with back of scarf facing you (the side not edged with garter st), work back and forth in Scarf Rib Patt, beg with Row 2, until piece measures 25 inches, or about 2 inches more than half the height of wearer. Finish with Row 1 of chart.
Place sts on waste yarn or stitch holder.



Opposite Side Of Scarf
Work the above instructions again, this time reversing the color scheme (MC becomes CC and CC becomes MC) on the pocket. Begin Scarf Rib Patt on Row 4, and end on Row 1.


Place the sts from the first half of the scarf back onto a larger needle.
Turn right sides of scarf halves toward each other and use kitchener stitch to graft the two sides tog.
Sew each pocket’s garter stitch edging to the scarf.
Weave in ends.

Optional step: Use a hole punch or scissors to punch holes at each corner of the CD sleeves, plus one additional hole at the top center of the sleeve – in each case, punch through both layers of the sleeve. Insert sleeves into pockets. Cut 6 short lengths (about 3”) of each yarn color. At each corner of the CD sleeve, use a tapestry needle to thread a yarn length (of that pocket’s MC) through the top layer of the pocket, then the punched hole in the sleeve, then the bottom layer of the pocket. Knot yarn ends tog (without puckering the pocket’s knitted fabric) and tuck the knot and ends inside the pocket. Use rem yarn ends to tie the top center of the CD sleeve in place: tie one side to the back of the pocket and the other side to the front of the pocket. This pulls the sleeve open whenever the pocket is opened. If you wish later to machine-wash the scarf, simply cut these ties and remove plastic sleeves before washing.


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Designer Photo

Elizabeth Green Musselman spent 13 years teaching history at Southwestern University and is now a full-time knitting designer, teacher, and writer in Austin, TX. She especially loves to design novel, functional garments for men and school-aged boys. She would like to thank the Big Top Candy Shop in Austin for permission to photograph there.



Pattern © 2012 Elizabeth Green Musselman. Contact 

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