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Hi there. I want to start knitting scarves for 'needy' causes, be they shelters or charity shops to sell on. I have no idea of the length or width of them, though. I don't need to know needle size or ply of the yarn, because I'll be able to work around that. Any help would be much appreciated. Many thanks.
 

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Many of the pattern-information pages on Ravelry do tell you the finished sizes of the scarves. Do a pattern search for "scarves;" hundreds of photos will be shown; pick out a few that you like and read the page that accompanies the pattern detail to find those that do give measurements. Some patterns are free (you can, of course, indicate "free" as one of your filters in the far left column on the page). Give this method a try, but then come back for more help if you have still not found what you need to continue on your generous works.
 

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I have just finished making some men's scarves that are about 5 inches wide and 5 feet long. You can make shorter wider scarves that just go around the neck and tuck into the front of a jacket, or you can make long skinny scarves that wrap around the neck. The choice is yours. Generally men's scarves need to be a bit wider than those for women.
 

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If you are donating these to an organisations which distributes these to the needy ask that particular organisation what they find is the best. This works well as they do get to know, They can guide you whether it should be acrylic or wool and what colours are best.
 

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I have a charity knitting book which has a pattern for a man's K2 P2 scarf. It is worked with 2 strands of DK, 2 x 100 gram balls and 42 stitches, 7.00 ml needles. Length is approx. 140 cm (4 feet 8 inches) but you are asked to knit until the yarn runs out. Another 100 gram ball is used to knit a matching K2 P2 beanie with an 8 cm (approx. 3 inch) turnback. Number of stitches is 70, but I generally use 74 or 78 for a man, especially if the yarn is a bit thin.

Work in K2 P2 until 26 cm (10.5 inches) in length. To decrease for the crown, knit all of the knit stitches together, then work 3 rows. Then purl all of the purl stitches together, then work 3 rows. Next row is K1, K2 tog right across the row (18 stitches remain if working with 70). Then P2 tog right across the 10th row. Pull yarn through remaining stitches.
 

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The seaman's church site linked above has at least 2 good patterns. One is a type of basket weave scarf which looks shorter and wider, and might be suitable for tucking into the front of a jacket.

I also enjoy buying 3 x 100 gram balls of thin DK in different colours and winding them together to make a scarf as follows. Choice of needles might be between 6.00 and 8.00 ml depending on the yarn thickness and individual tension.

Cast on 26 stitches and work 3 rows of garter stitch. You can use more or fewer stitches by adding or taking away 3.

Row 1: K2 P1 K2 across.
Row 2: P2 K2 P2 across.
Row 3: As row 1.
Row 4: Knit right across.

When the yarn is running out, work a full 4 row pattern and then do 2 more rows of garter stitch. Cast off fairly tightly so it does not splay out too much. You can also make this pattern without the garter stitch at either end of the scarf.

I use this pattern for both men and women. The length is generally about 135 cm or longer if you are using a light weight DK yarn. You can also make this scarf with 2 strands of slightly thicker DK or light worsted weight yarn instead of 3 thinner strands.

The colours I choose tend to be 1 very dark colour, 1 medium colour and one semi-light. For a man I might use black/navy/lighter blue or grey, black/brown/beige. Black/red/grey or beige would probably also look good.
 

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I would suggest making several different lengths. Some people like long scarves and some like shorter so a variety would be perfect and that way they can pick the length they prefer. Usually the longer the scarf, the narrower I make them because people like to wind them around their necks a couple of times. The world is your oyster on this one....any length, any width and I'm sure you will make some folk very happy to have a warm scarf to wear!!
 

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4' for children works and 4-5" wide so it wraps easily

5.5-6Ft for adults as they really need to wrap the neck and be able to tie.
If working a K2P2 rib it will pull in and not provide the neck coverage needed for really cold weather. I think a wider rib (K3P1) or a broken rib works better if rib knitting is what you want to do. Basket weave is a good simple pattern that works for men, too. And if using worsted wt yarn, would use a larger needle to ensure the fabric has good drape.
 

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So many good comments regarding size that I have nothing to add there. I just finished a scarf that I think would be an excellent choice as it would work up well in just about any yarn. It worked great with RHSS Watercolor. It's about a half step up from mindless knitting IMO. Next time I'll work the first triangle so it has an even number of sts otn before starting the next one; it would make the "alternate ending" I used just a smidge simpler.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/multidirectional-diagonal-scarf
 

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GrumpyGramma said:
So many good comments regarding size that I have nothing to add there. I just finished a scarf that I think would be an excellent choice as it would work up well in just about any yarn. It worked great with RHSS Watercolor. It's about a half step up from mindless knitting IMO. Next time I'll work the first triangle so it has an even number of sts otn before starting the next one; it would make the "alternate ending" I used just a smidge simpler.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/multidirectional-diagonal-scarf
Very interesting. Thanks.
 

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I have made scarves and hats for the homeless for years. However, after seeing some homeless men hanging out around a fire in a large metal barrel, I decided to make neckwarmers instead. I only use acrylic for these items so they can be washed, but on the other hand, they could easily catch fire. Neckwarmers will keep the neck and chest warm, and use less yarn so it is more economical! There are numerous patterns available for free. Red Heart Yarn, Lion Brand Yarn have patterns, also Ravelry and many others. God Bless you for helping those who are less fortunate!
 
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