Crochet Pattern: Piano Key Scarf

By Rachel Choi – 133 Comments

EDIT: This pattern was updated on December 21, 2009. The pattern as written now, uses a larger hook size (to solve the stiffness problem) and includes tips for changing colors and carrying loose ends as you work so that you will have only ONE loose end to tuck in after you complete your scarf. This pattern is intended for people with experience and lots of patience as a lot of color changes are required. This pattern is not recommended for beginners.

Please read this pattern fully and carefully before beginning. You will be required to repeat certain rows to obtain the piano key layout. Be sure to only repeat the rows indicated when instructed to.

crochet piano-scarf

The piano key scarf is perfect for any piano lover. Take the piano anywhere and everywhere you go. This crocheted scarf is great for men, boys, ladies and girls. No matter who you are, this scarf is bound to keep you warm and fashionably in style. Just whip out your yarn and crochet hook and follow the crochet pattern below.

Skill Level:

Finished Size: 5’’ (13 cm) wide, and as long as you want it to be (follow the instructions within the pattern to adjust the length)

crochet piano-scarf
Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (Black and White) approximately 200 yards each
Recommended yarn brand: Caron Simply Soft Yarn
Crochet hook K (6.50 mm)
Scissors
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge:
11 sc = 3’’
6 rows = 2’’
Gauge Swatch: 3’’w x 2’’h (7.5 cm x 5 cm) ch 12.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 11 sc
Row 2 – 6: ch 1, turn, in front loop only, sc in each sc across: 11 sc
Finish off.

How to Change Colors in this Pattern
For this pattern, when you are instructed to change colors, make one chain with the color you are currently using, then cut the yarn and pull the loop on your hook so that the loose strand of yarn is pulled through the stitch. Pull the loose strand so that it creates a small knot. Your loose end should not be longer than 2 inches. With the new color, start with a slip knot on your hook, then make the stitches as indicated in the pattern. Carry the loose end of your yarns as indicated in the tips in the pattern. The knot made should not be noticed in your work.

How to Minimize the Number of Loose Ends
The tips included within the pattern instruct you to carry loose ends of yarn by crocheting over them to minimize the number of ends you have to weave in when you finish. If done correctly you will have only ONE loose end to weave in. Here is a link to a more detailed explanation of the technique used in this pattern: How to Minimize Weaving in Ends in Crochet

Crochet Pattern: Piano Key Scarf
Row 1: with white, ch 21, working in the back ridge only, sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 20 sc
Tip: before making your last few stitches on this row, hold the loose end created at the beginning of the chain, to the chain and crochet over it.

All stitches now and throughout are worked in the front loop only.

Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 20 sc

One Key

Row 3: ch 1, turn, sc in next 10 sc, change to black, sc in next 10 sc: 20 sc
Tip: Carry the loose ends of the white and black yarn in your work until it is no longer sticking out.

Row 4: ch 1, turn, sl st in each sc across: 20 sl st

Row 5: change to white, turn, sc in next 10 sl st, change to black, sc in next 10 sl st: 20 sc
Tip: When crochet with white yarn at the beginning of row, carry the loose ends of the black and white yarn in your work until it is no longer sticking out. When you change to black, carry only the loose end of the black yarn in your work.

Row 6: change to white, turn, sc in each sc across: 20 sc
Tip: Carry the loose ends of the white and black yarn in your work until it is no longer sticking out. When you reach the loose end of the white yarn from the previous row, carry it in your work until it is no longer sticking out.

Work “One Key” (rows 3 – 6), 2 more times.

Space

Row 7: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 20 sc

Row 8: change to black, turn, sl st in each sc across: 20 sl st

Row 9: change to white, turn, sc in each sl st across: 20 sc
Tip: Carry the loose ends of the white and black yarn in your work until it is no longer sticking out. Before making your last few stitches on this row, hold the loose ends of the black and white yarn from the previous row, to your work and crochet over it.

Row 10: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 20 sc

Work “One Key” (rows 3 – 6), 2 times.
Work “Space” (rows 7 – 10), 1 time.
Work “One Key” (rows 3 – 6), 3 times.
Work “Space” (rows 7 – 10), 1 time.

Repeat the above 4 lines until the scarf is as long as you desire. When you choose to end your scarf, end after you compete your last row 7. You should only have 1 loose end to weave in when you are done.

For an extra perk, add black tassels on both ends of the scarf.

Do you need help crocheting the piano key scarf? No worries just leave a comment!

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133 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    When you do the slip stitches do you continue to stitch only the first loop or do you do both?

  2. Elizabeth Starr Lilly says:

    OMG! I’m so glad I clicked on this pattern! It’s so totally cool! I’m going to have to try this ASAP!

  3. Geneva says:

    Someday I am going to make this one! I wonder how it would look with tassels?

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I made this scarf for myself because I’m a pianist and this was such a neat pattern. (Thank goodness I read your article on crocheting over the loose ends because having to weave them in would’ve been torture.) Many people complimented me on the scarf and a couple people even asked me to make one for relatives. Thank you again for such an awesome pattern! :)

    @Geneva – I think it would look very cute with tassels!

  5. Paulette says:

    Please….Help!!

    I tried to make this scarf for my nephew (who loved the piano since age 3) when you first posted the directions last December.
    I got about 6 inches done and it looked okay – kind of – but for all the loose ends!

    Okay, then you revised the pattern, and I’ve since tried again – several times, but have run into some problems/questions/confusions/frustrations :(

    For starters, which side is the right side and which is the wrong side, or doesn’t it matter? (My apologies if you specified and I missed it.)
    I ask because if we’re to carry the yarn (rather than cutting at each change), it’s important to establish right side/wrong side so we don’t carry it on the wrong (incorrect) side.

    Rachel — In the beginning where you give instructions for changing colors, you say the following:

    “…when you are instructed to change colors, make one chain with the color you are currently using, then cut the yarn and pull the loop on your hook so that the loose strand of yarn is pulled through the stitch. Pull the loose strand so that it creates a small knot. Your loose end should not be longer than 2 inches. With the new color, start with a slip knot on your hook, then make the stitches as indicated in the pattern. Carry the loose end of your yarns as indicated in the tips in the pattern. The knot made should not be noticed in your work…”

    So do we cut or carry?
    Both? If so, how?

    I’m really sorry, but I would so love to make this for my nephew who just turned 40. He has loved and played the piano since he was 3 years old. He will be visiting in less than 2 weeks (we’re in different states) and I was hoping to have it done by then. (Actually, I thought I’d have it done by now, but I’ve had several false starts.)

    One more thing….

    I assume that each row starts with chain 1, yes?

    Row 5 says: “change to white, turn, sc in next 10 sl st…”

    and

    Row 6 says: “change to white, turn, sc in each sc across: 20 sc”

    Or does the chain 1 happen during the color change?

    Arghh!

    I’ve been crocheting for many years, and maybe I’m not exactly advanced, but I usually get good results with even the more intricate patterns.

    This one seems so easy, yet I’m having the darndest time with it.

    It’s so very lovely and I know my nephew would cherish it.

    Thank you in advance for any more help or clarification that you can offer.

    Paulette

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Paulette,

    Q: You asked – “which side is the right side and which is the wrong side, or doesn’t it matter?”
    A: It’s hard to tell at first, but when you past Row 8 (the slip-stitch row) and look at the differences in the two sides. The side that has the neat looking black row is the front.

    Q: So do we cut or carry? Both? If so, how?
    A: You will cut the end of the yarn you are finishing. Once you’ve made the knot attached the other color with a slip knot to the first stitch, you are going to hold the loose end over your first stitch (in the same space as the slip-knot) and the next few stitches so that you crochet *over* the loose end. This blog post explains it with pictures and should help you understand. – http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-minimize-weaving-in-ends-in-crochet/

    Q: I assume that each row starts with chain 1, yes?
    A: When you’re working in the same color, yes. But, when you are starting another color, your first stitch removes the need for a ch-1. (The ch-1 that often comes at the end/beginning of a row helps the yarn not pull the finished piece because the sides are too tight, but when you’re starting a completely new strand of yarn at the end of the row, the ch-1 is often not necessary.)

    Does this help any? I’ve tried to explain it the best I could.

    Elizabeth :)

  7. Paulette says:

    Thanks very much, Elizabeth for your detailed answers, but alas, I’m still not clear.
    I guess it’s me. You say until row 8, we don’t know which is right side/wrong side, so should we not carry any yarn on either side for 8 rows?

    And I’m still confused about the cutting and/or carrying. If we cut the yarn to change colors, then we’re not carrying the ‘old’ yarn for the next color change, are we?

    I’m sorry, but I’m just not getting it.

    Thanks again, Elizabeth. I really appreciate your efforts.
    Maybe I just need to look for a different project. As pretty as this one is, it’s just causing me too much frustration. :(

    Paulette :)

  8. Rachel says:

    Paulette, when you carry your yarn you do not have to put it on a certain side (right or wrong). Carrying is referring to crocheting over the yarn. Look in the link that Elizabeth provided. In this pattern, it is used to hide your ends. If you cut the yarn, you are no longer carrying it. Use the instructions within the pattern to know when to carry and when not to.

  9. Paulette says:

    Maybe I’m just misunderstanding what you mean by “carrying”.
    I get the part about changing colors at the beginning/end of rows, but when you change colors in the middle of the row, do you also cut off the yarn that you’re changing FROM?
    I thought the idea of “carrying” was because of the frequent color changes, in which case it would be important to know right side/wrong side early on.

    And when you change colors in the middle of the row, do you also cut and pull through the loop on hook or do you pick up the new color with the last part of the stitch?

    I really want to understand and I really would love to make this scarf, but again, I’m still not clear on these parts of the directions.

    Thank you in advance – for your help, and most of all, for your patience.

    • Rachel says:

      Paulette, carefully read the instructions at the beginning that discussion how to change colors in this pattern. It is a bit different from what you may be used to. It discusses the steps in changing colors and cutting the yarn. This pattern is specially designed so that you will only have 1 end to weave in when you are done.

  10. Paulette says:

    Reply to Rachel @7:28:

    Do those instructions apply to changing colors in the middle of the row also? (i.e.: cuttiing, pulling through to make small know, slip knot on hook with new color, etc.)

    Instructions say:

    “For this pattern, when you are instructed to change colors, make one chain with the color you are currently using, then cut the yarn and pull the loop on your hook so that the loose strand of yarn is pulled through the stitch. Pull the loose strand so that it creates a small knot. Your loose end should not be longer than 2 inches. With the new color, start with a slip knot on your hook, then make the stitches as indicated in the pattern. Carry the loose end of your yarns as indicated in the tips in the pattern. The knot made should not be noticed in your work.”

    If we do this in the middle of the row, we (I) lose continuity.

    :(

    • Rachel says:

      Yes, the instructions are for each time you change colors in the pattern. It does not matter if you lose continuity, you will rejoin the yarn later and only have 1 end to weave into your work when you are done, if the instructions are followed carefully. This is the way that I designed this pattern. If you would like to do it your own way, feel free.

  11. Zoe says:

    Oh wow! I recently finished a knitted piano key scarf much like this one but with a boarder. It is neat to see someone else’s version.

  12. Rachel F. says:

    I am excited to work this newly redesigned pattern. I am wondering for the “carrying of the ywarn” don’t you see the carried yarn ghosted throughout?? I have worked several patterns with carried yarns and with balck and white, the carried yarn leaves little dots (for lack of a better explaination) in the working yarn…. Is this the case with the new pattern design?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Rachel, if you follow the instructions and tips on when to carry and when not to carry very carefully through out the pattern you won’t see the black through the white yarn like you would in other patterns.

  13. Erin says:

    :) I know what I’m making my fiance next! He’s the pianist at a local church, and pianos really are his passion. He’s been looking for something with a piano pattern to wear, and I know he’ll love this scarf! Thanks for the pattern!!!

  14. Lisa says:

    This is probably the second time I’ve attempted this but I’ve always run into the same hurdle; When you slip sitch the 20sc, the next row that I do, the slip stitches are so tight that I cannot easily crochet into them at all – I may end up having to just sc everything for ease ><

  15. Andrea says:

    this is an awesome pattern!! My mom is a piano teacher, and she will absolutely love this scarf! Going to make it for her for Christmas! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  16. Liz says:

    When you come to the end of a row and it says to chain one then turn…when you go to the next row do you skip the first sc or sl?

  17. Karin says:

    I’d love one of these but I just don’t think I have the patience. I’ve been playing piano for 10 years. Cna I buy one from you Rachel?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Karin, I don’t crochet items for sell personally, but I can refer you to someone who does. If you’re interested send me an email at rachel [at] crochetspot.com and I’ll send you more info.

  18. Amanda says:

    Hey Rachel!

    I love this pattern. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of compliments I’ve received while making this scarf for a present for friend of mine who plays piano. I just wanted to note (cause I realized this as I had about 5 keys to go til I was done) that if someone wanted it to look like an actual keyboard, it starts with two spaces and then ends with one black key and a space in order to end with 88 keys.

    Thank you again so much for putting this pattern up! My friend is super ecstatic for me to finish so she can wear it. :)

  19. Mary says:

    My daughter-in-law just forwarded this to me. I love it and intend to make them for the teenage piano students I tutor. Thanks for being so clever.

  20. judy says:

    row3: said ch 1, turn, sc in next 10 sc, change to blank. did you mean black

  21. A says:

    So could I crochet in both loops if I wanted to? Or should I stick with going in one loop only?

  22. A says:

    Also,is the first “one key” row in black?

  23. A says:

    Ack,never mind. I’m sorry,I didn’t see the “change to black part”. QAQ

  24. Valentina says:

    Hi Rachel, I want to knit a piano scarf and found your amazing pattern, but then a friend sent me another one and the main difference is that while you use single stitch and slip stitch, the other pattern uses double stitch and single stitch. A picture can be seen here http://bit.ly/mTh0qd
    I’m leaning towards your pattern because double stitches leave “little holes” which I certainly don’t want in my scarf (I’m freezing over here), although I think it will be slower to knit because of the smaller stitches. Mi big question is, would you say that single stitching needs A LOT more yarn than double stitching or it’s about the same?

    I’d really appreciate your help. Thanks!

  25. Jemimah Hunt says:

    Hi,
    I love this scarf, it is so cool, I have been looking for one like this for ages…. the only problem is I cant even sew a button on, let alone knit a scarf.
    Do you know if i could buy one all ready made? I will pay extra of course
    Thanks

  26. Lee Ann says:

    Many, many thanks for this pattern. I play piano and I’d love to make this one!

  27. dumpling321 says:

    I started the scarf, however it looks odd with 10 stitches black and 10 stitches white in a row since on a real piano the black keys are not half the length of the white keys, they’re longer… the appropriate length of a black key would be roughly 13 black to 7 white stitches (I measured) which I think I’m going to do =D

  28. A says:

    Hi! I don’t quite understand the description about how to change yarn. Is it the same as how you usually switch yarn? Like shown here?: http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-change-colors-in-crochet/

    • Rachel says:

      Hi A, for this pattern it isn’t the typical way to change colors as shown in the tutorial you linked to. For this pattern, you’re basically finishing off whenever you are done with the color, and starting with the new color with a slip knot on your hook. If you’re still confused, let me know exactly which part of the instructions in the post is confusing so that I can help explain it to you better.

  29. A says:

    Oh, ok. That’s what I thought it was saying. I’m still confused as to how you connect the yarn together though. It sounds like youll just have two separate pieces? Sorry for all the questions! Im kind of new to crocheting, but I really want to make this scarf!

    • Rachel says:

      A, yes you will have 2 separate pieces. Within the pattern there are instructions for carrying the loose ends in your works, which will end up connect the pieces together.

  30. Connie says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I have been admiring this scarf a long time and am now ready to make it for a friend.

    All is going well until Row 4. When I slip stitch w/ black, carrying the white, it looks awful, with the white breaking the nice black line. What am I doing wrong?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Connie, on row 4 you shouldn’t be carrying the white anymore. The carrying of the white was in row 3. You should be slip stitching with just the black in row 4. I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you need more help or if it still looks funny.

  31. Vera Pollard says:

    I love this keyboard scarf. I have a grand daughter that is a Junior in college and majoring in Music. I have plans to attempt to make this for her College graduation gift. I know I will have to make a committment to do it, but I think I can. Thank you for the pattern.
    Love Vera

  32. Connie says:

    Thanks Rachel! Got it going now!

  33. Brenda says:

    I’m working on this. I got confused when having to go and redo the rows so I copy and pasted each row. Printed it out and just mark off the row when I am working on. This has been a real help for me. Hope it helps someone else too. ~ Brenda

  34. Kelsey says:

    This probably sounds like a silly question, but I’ve never worked in the front of a slip stitch before and I’m having trouble with it. If I do it the way I think is right, I can see a little black poking through the white. But if I do it correctly, I should only see one loop of black on my lines between keys right?
    Please help! I’m wanting to finish this scarf for a present and I hope I can get it done on time.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Kelsey, crocheting in the front loops is the same if you do it into a slip stitch or any other stitch. You are probably doing to correctly if you already understand how to crochet in the front loops only. It’s okay to have a little black showing, but there shouldn’t be much.

  35. Kelsey says:

    Thanks for your help! I figured out what I was doing wrong. I was trying to stitch in the back/bottom ridge instead of the front loop! Oops! I was making that row very hard on myself! Got it going now and it looks great! Thanks for the pattern and help!

  36. Crochet Spot Reader says:

    About how long did it take you to make this?

    Thanks :)

    • Rachel says:

      hello! I don’t really keep track of how long it takes to makes things. This pattern was made a couple years ago, so I really can’t give a good estimate. Sorry about that! Maybe folks who have completed their scarves recently can chime in and give you their times.

  37. Crochet Spot Reader says:

    OK Thanks anyway! :)

  38. Samantha says:

    Hello, i really like this pattern! My boyfriend loves to play piano and i wanted to make this for him for our anniversary :). the thing is, when i try to crochet it, it doesnt look nearly as clean and crisp as the photo posted for it. You can easily see all of the stiches in between and such. am i doing something wrong? or do my stiches need to be tighter? thankyou

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Samantha, it’s okay if you see some of the black through the white or vice versa. Tighter stitches might help. You can try to do a few rows with a smaller hook to see if it helps.

  39. Kristy says:

    I apologize if you answered this already, but I don’t have time to look through all the comments. Does the back look as nice as the front when complete? Reversible without LOOKING noticable to the untrained eye?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Kristy, the front and back loop similar, although there are slight differences, so I would call it reversible. Feel free to do a few rows and see if you like the looks of both sides!

  40. Chris says:

    Hi there! I just started making your scarf, but every few rows I lose a stitch. I think it happens when I switch from black to white at the beginning of a row. Could you clarify this transition for me? Much appreciated!

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Chris, you are going to use the same method that’s described in the notes before the pattern “make one chain with the color you are currently using, then cut the yarn and pull the loop on your hook so that the loose strand of yarn is pulled through the stitch. Pull the loose strand so that it creates a small knot. Your loose end should not be longer than 2 inches. With the new color, start with a slip knot on your hook, then make the stitches as indicated in the pattern.” You’re basically finishing off with the old color and starting with a slip knot on your hook with the new color. If you think you’re going to accidentally skip stitches you can count the stitches on the row before you start the new row and then after you finish the new row.

  41. Kathy Collier says:

    How well does the completed scarf hold up after wash and wear? I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to color changes mid row!!

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Kathy, my scarf held up fine. If you’re really worried you can make a small swatch of the scarf (maybe a few rows) then wash it and see how it holds up for you.

  42. Katie Ronald says:

    So there isnt a right or wrong side then?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Katie, technically yes there is a right and wrong side. Both sides will resemble a piano though. You can pick whichever side you like the look of and call that the right side :)

  43. dave says:

    thanks so much for such a great pattern and all the great tips…i finished working on one in two days and i found the instructions are quite adequate; the scarf turned out really great! i just wanted to find out, would you advice blocking the finished piece?
    I mean i know it can’t look as perfect as a real set of piano keys, but do u think blocking would make any difference, and if yes which type of blocking would you recommend?
    thanks such again for such a beautiful pattern!!! :)

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Dave! I didn’t bother to block mine. But you can probably try the “wet it, pin it in place, and let it dry” method if you’d like to block yours. It does depend on what type of yarn you used too. Feel free to experiment!

  44. Maria says:

    Is there a way to print this pattern straight from your website? Thanks! Love the pattern!!

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Yes, you can use the print function in your internet browser. For most browsers you’ll click go to the menu bar at the top and click on “File” then “print”. Each page should print out nice and neatly, since they are all coded to be printer friendly.

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