Speedbump scarf // free pattern
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
I am super-stoked to share this one with you, team. It's a design I've had floating around in my head for a while: a cool bold scarf with a repeating single-chevron design on it. With a pop of colour. Something kinda-edgy but totally wearable. The kind of thing to snuggle round your neck when you're heading to town in your fav leather jacket. And it had to be soft. Beautifully, luxuriously soft.
Hobbii, a yarn shop from Denmark, had just what I needed. They kindly sent me some of their Soft Alpaca yarn to play with. Friends, it was perfect. Light and airy and non-itchy and that drape! Good fun to work up, too. With that fuzzy alpaca halo we know and love. The dark grey has a flecky marle look to it which creates subtle variations in the fabric. Nice.
The Speedbump Scarf is the result. It's worked in simple stitches so it's a rewarding make for beginners but still satisfying for more experienced hookers. It has fun asymmetric ends and optional tassels.
There was some debate about what to call the design. It struck me as decidedly urban. My first thought was the Streetwalker Scarf, which had a delightful tie-in to the ol' hooker/crochet joke but might have put some people off. The Pedestrian Scarf was, well, a bit pedestrian. And then it struck me: it looks just like a a speedbump! Or speedhump? What's the right word? (I wouldn't know: we call them judder bars down here in New Zealand. A most excellent phrase but a bit obscure for the rest of the world.) Thankfully the mighty power of the Internet came to the rescue. On my Instagram poll 90% of you call them speedbumps. So against the urgings of my inner sniggering 12-year old boy, I went with bump.
And here it is! The pattern for my Speedbump Scarf!
NB: I know you're all dying to know the difference between speedbumps and speedhumps. Check out this fascinatingly niche blogpost. For all your traffic-calming strategy needs.
Prefer a printable pattern? The Speedbump Scarf pattern is available for purchase as a handy-dandy PDF on Etsy or Ravelry. It's an instant downloads and it contains comprehensive instructions and step-by-step photographs in 7 pages of helpful, beautiful, awesomeness. Or just scroll down for the free pattern below.
You will need
Hobbii "Soft Alpaca" (100% alpaca, 50g/1.76 oz, 165m/180 yds, 4ply), as follows:
3 balls of Dark Grey (05)
2 balls of Warm Yellow (14)
You can find the Hobbii yarn you need at their website here.
BITS AND PIECES
4.5mm (US 7) crochet hook
Tapestry needle and scissors
Level of difficulty
Easy peasy - suitable for beginners who know the basic crochet stitches.
Like all of my patterns, this one is written in UK crochet terms. There's a table below that gives the US equivalents of the terms you'll come across.
Your scarf will measure 28cm x 175cm (11in x 69in) once blocked. You can easily make your scarf wider or longer than mine, and there are notes in the pattern to help you do so. Be aware this will increase your total yardage.
Gauge: 18 stitches and 10 rows to measure 10cm x 10cm (4in x 4in) over trebles (US doubles) using a 4.5mm hook. Meeting my gauge isn't critical but if not it will affect the final measurements and yardage of your scarf. You may wish to move up or down a hook size.
ch(s) - chain(s)
dc - double crochet [US sc]
sp(s) - space(s)
st(s) - stitch(es)
tr - treble [US dc]
tr2tog - treble 2 stitches together (decrease) [US dc2tog]
Section 1: Working the width
In this section, turning chains count as a stitch.
When working a stitch into a turning chain, insert your hook into the gap between the turning chain and the previous stitch. No need to pierce an individual chain.
It’s really important to work the first stitch (i.e. the turning chain) and the last stitch of each row with a looser tension. They form the bottom edge of your scarf and a loose tension will keep that edge from pulling in.
The ch-1 spaces that form the top point of the triangle are not counted in the stitch counts for each row.
Using Dark Grey (05), ch4.
Row 1 In fourth ch from hook, (2tr, ch1, 3tr). Turn. (3sts per side // 6sts total)
Row 2 Ch3 (counts as a st throughout), 2tr in st at base of ch, tr in next 2 sts, (tr, ch1, tr) in ch-1 sp, tr in next 2 sts, 3tr in last st. Turn. (6sts per side // 12sts total)
Row 3 Ch3, 2tr in st at base of ch, tr in next 5 sts, (tr, ch1, tr) in ch-1 sp, tr in next 5 sts, 3tr in last st. Turn. (9sts per side // 18sts total)
Row 4 Ch3, 2tr in st at base of ch, tr in next 8 sts, (tr, ch1, tr) in ch-1 sp, tr in next 8 sts, 3tr in last st. Turn. (12sts per side // 24sts total)
See the pattern? Each side grows by 3 stitches (6 stitches total per row). The pattern continues like this; I’ll use shorthand instructions for the rest of this section.
Row 5 Ch3, 2tr in st at base of ch, tr in each st to ch-1 sp, (tr, ch1, tr) in ch-1 sp, tr in each st until 1 st remains, 3tr in last st. Turn. (15sts per side)
Row 6 Repeat Row 5. (18sts per side)
Row 7 Repeat Row 5. (21sts per side)
Row 8 Repeat Row 5. (24sts per side)
Row 9 Repeat Row 5. (27sts per side)
If you want a wider scarf, just repeat the pattern until you reach your desired width – BUT there is one proviso. The number of stitches per side needs to be an odd number. And remember that extra width will increase your yardage too.
Section 2: Growing length
Now that your scarf is wide enough, it’s time to work on length. To keep your scarf growing up and not out, you need to decrease a stitch on each side as you go.
In this section, you do not work a turning chain.
The dc st (US sc) you work at the start of each row does not count as a stitch throughout. It’s just a sneaky way to decrease your stitch count and keep your sides straight.
The decrease at the end of each row is worked as a tr2tog. To work a tr2tog: * yarn over and insert hook in st, yarn over and pull up loop, draw through first two loops on hook (2 loops left on hook); repeat from * in the following stitch (3 loops left on hook), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook. Tr2tog complete.
It can be helpful to put stitch-markers on the first and last tr stitches you work for each row.
The stitch count for each row does not change (27sts per side).
Row 10 Do not work a turning ch; dc in st at base of ch (does not count as a st throughout), tr in each st to ch-1 sp, (tr, ch-1, tr) in ch-1 sp, tr in each st until 3 sts remain; tr2tog, tr in last st. Turn. (27sts per side)
Rows 11-22 Repeat Row 10 (27 sts per side).
Section 3: The pretty bit
Woohoo! Now it’s time to mix things up. We change to a new colour and vary our stitches.
Work the colour change in the last stitch of Row 22.
To work a colour change, begin the stitch in the usual way but use the new colour to work the last yarn over of the stitch. You’ll now be working with the new colour. Cut the old colour, leaving a 10cm (4in) tail for weaving in.
We’re back to using turning chains again; they count as a stitch.
Change to Warm Yellow (14).
Row 23 Ch3 (counts as a st throughout), skip st at base of ch and next 2 sts, (3tr in next st, skip next 2 sts) eight times, (2tr, ch1, 2tr) in ch-1 sp, (skip next 2 sts, 3tr in next st) eight times, skip next 2 sts, tr in last st. Turn. (1tr + 8 3 tr-groups + 1 2tr-group per side)
The stitch count for each row in this section does not change (1tr + 8 3tr-groups + 1 2tr-group per side).
From now on, work into the spaces between the 3tr-groups.
Row 24 Ch3, skip sp at base of ch, 3tr in next sp and in each sp to ch1-sp, (2tr, ch1, 2tr) in ch1-sp, 3tr in each sp until 1 sp remains, tr in last sp.
Rows 25-27 Repeat Row 24.
Section 4: A nice tidy transition
This section is just one row to keep things looking neat between colours. We change back to Dark Grey but we work one last row of granny trebles.
Change to Dark Grey. Cut Warm Yellow, leaving a 10cm (4in) tail for weaving in.
Row 28 Repeat Row 24.
Section 5: Aaaaaand repeat
Rows 10-28 form the pattern repeat.
On Row 29 (the first row after the transition grey granny row), you are back to normal. Work your stitches into stitches rather than the spaces, until you get to the turning chain. It’s easier to work the last treble into the space rather than into the turning chain itself.
Remember your decreases too, when you are working the grey treble sections.
Repeat pattern until your scarf is your desired length. Mine is 1.75m long, or 7-and-a-bit pattern repeats. I ended on an orphan section of grey trebles but you can end your scarf wherever you like.
Section 6: Block that bad boy
Yep, you'll need to block your scarf. Blocking will open up your stitches, even up your edges and make your scarf bigger and better. You do it by pinning out your scarf on a pile of towels and spritzing it with water. Let it dry and voilà! Crochet perfection. I use a hot iron, holding it about 2-3cm (1in) above the scarf and pumping the steam button. Then a few sprays of water all over for good luck. You want it well-damp but not sopping wet. Make sure you leave it to dry fully before disturbing it.
This lovely yarn can handle aggressive blocking and aggressively block it I did. The width of my scarf went from a curly, dishevelled 22cm to a glorious 28cm once blocked.
Let's give it a whirl, shall we?
Section 7: Tassel time
Technically your scarf is now ready to go. But if you, like me, can't resist some extra pizazz then add some tassels. Use Warm Yellow yarn.
Find something about 13cm (5in) long. I'm using a random sticker book I found on the floor; if you have nothing to hand, just cut a piece of cardboard to fit. Wrap yarn lengthwise around the thing 8 times. Cut yarn.
Carefully slide the bundle from the book and snip through one end. Leave the other end intact.
Insert your hook into the scarf where you want a tassel, then pull the uncut middle of the bundle through. Wrap the loop over the cut ends, pulling it tight to finish the tassel. Trim ends to a uniform length.
I spread 9 tassels out evenly along each edge. You can make more if you like a more fulsome look.
And you're done!
As always, friends - I'd love to see how you get on with this one. Feel free to tag me @ponymctate #ponymctate on the social media channels below so I can squeal with excitement at your Speedbumps. Yay!
The good folk at Hobbii kindly supplied the yarn I chose for this project. All views are my own; I don't promote stuff I don't believe in.