Pearl-barred Scallop Scarf

You can download a printable .pdf version of this pattern (which includes a simple little chart not shown on these instructions): pbs_scarf.pdf
It’s also available on Ravelry.

A lacy scarf that looks more complicated than it really is – surprise! there’s only one line of pattern stitches to remember. Suitable for the beginning lace knitter.

The scarf shown here was knitted with 5mm/US 8 needles, using one skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot wool/mohair sock yarn in Rich Red. This made a scarf about 20cm (8”) wide and 140cm (55”) long, with a bit of yarn left over.

Yarn: Any fingering weight yarn that can be blocked to display the lace pattern well. You’ll need roughly 320 meters (350 yards), depending on the gauge you choose and the length of scarf you like. This scarf pattern was originally designed to use about 100 grams of 14 wpi wool-blend sock yarn.

Gauge: About 16 stitches to 10 cm (or 4 stitches to one inch) in stockinette stitch. A specific gauge is really not important to this project; use the needle size and yarn combination that makes a scarf pleasing to you.

Stitches and abbreviations used in this pattern:

Knit (k)
Purl (p)
Yarn Over (yo)

Centered Double Decrease (cdd) This decrease reduces 3 stitches to 1 in the following manner:

  1. Insert right needle into the next 2 stitches as if you were going to knit them together, and slip them both to right needle (also referred to as “slip 2 together knitwise”).
  2. Knit the next stitch.
  3. Pass the two previously slipped stitches on your right needle over the stitch that you just knit.



Cast on 43 stitches using a stretchy cast-on suitable for lace.

Row 1: k3; *yo, k4, cdd, k4, yo, k2*; repeat from * to * once; yo, k4, cdd, k4, yo; k3.

Row 2: k3; p to last 3 stitches; k3

Rows 3, 5, 7, and 9: Repeat row 1

Rows 4, 6, 8, and 10: Repeat row 2

Row 11: Repeat row 2

Row 12: k43

Continue this 12-row repeat until your scarf is as long as you wish, or you’ve run out of yarn. End on Row 11. Bind off using a stretchy bind-off suitable for lace. Block firmly to display the lace pattern well.

Pattern Notes:

Here’s one kind of stretchy cast-on suitable for lace: Make a loop with a slip knot and place it on your left needle. Insert your right needle into this loop as if to knit, and make a knit stitch with your working yarn. Slip this new stitch from your right needle back to the left without twisting it. Insert your right needle into this new stitch as if to knit, make another knit stitch and slip it back to your left needle without twisting it. Repeat until you have enough stitches cast on.

Here’s one kind of stretchy bind-off suitable for lace: Knit the first two stitches together through the back loop. Slip the resulting stitch from the right needle back to the left without twisting it. Carry on knitting two together through the back loop and slipping the resulting stitch back until all of your stitches are cast off.

Historical Note: I originally found this stitch pattern in The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery by Mildred Graves Ryan (1979, ISBN 0-385-12385-X), where it is referred to as “Pearl-barred Scallop” – hence the name of the scarf, spelled just so. Ms. Graves Ryan notes that it is an older stitch pattern than that: “It was a favourite of Victorian knitting.” In this scarf pattern, I have changed the double decrease; for more historical accuracy, you may want to use the one she gives in her book: slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over.

The Fine Print:

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Pearl-barred Scallop Scarf (version 1.0, January 2009) by Cheri Borden

This pattern is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. You are free to share this pattern – to copy it, distribute it, and transmit it in any way you like. You are free to remix and adapt this pattern in any way you like. You are free to sell anything you make using this pattern. If you do distribute copies of this pattern, include The Fine Print so that the next person is aware that this is a free and freely-distributable pattern. You can view a human-readable summary of the full legal code of this license at:

If you have questions, comments, corrections, or if you translate this pattern into another language or format, I’d love to hear from you.