Crochet Pattern: Piano Key Scarf

By Rachel Choi – 159 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
Medium Weight Yarn (Black and White) approximately 200 yards each
Recommended yarn brand: Caron Simply Soft Yarn
Crochet hook K (6.50 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

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.


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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  1. Tracy says:

    You are amazing! Someone requests a pattern and you just do it! That is fantastic!
    Thank you for your generosity!

  2. Rachel says:

    It was my pleasure. I’m glad someone requested the scarf because it was so much fun to make!

  3. […] Crochet Pattern: Piano Key Scarf | Crochet Spot […]

  4. Jeanne says:

    Thank you for posting the pattern! My son is a piano student and I must make this for him.

  5. Rachel says:

    You’re welcome Jeanne, I hope your son enjoys his piano scarf!

  6. Debbi says:

    Absolutely beautiful! This is amazing.
    I saw it on crochetville and forgot to post (had to go do something). I was thinking this might work as an afghan strip. Maybe make a plain one inbetween (maybe the scarf pattern above) and then another piano key panel. Maybe… This might end up being the width, but soemone could sit down and have the keys across their laps. Maybe for a retired piano teacher 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your talent!

  7. Rachel says:

    That’s a great idea Debbi! I hope you do it and it turns out great. I would love to see it as a afghan, that would be really neat!

  8. Bali says:

    Hi. I saw your pattern the other day and nearly died because it’s something I’ve been after for a while. I just have one question though. Do I have to keep cutting and restarting the colors all the time [when you say change to next color]? Does that mean at the very end I have to go back and weave in all the ends? It just seems that would make it very unstable and a lot of work to weave all the ends in.


  9. Rachel says:

    The way I did it, I cut and restarted with the new color. That way the scarf doesn’t get too stiff. And yes it is a pain in the rear end to tuck all then ends in, but it does come out pretty stable.

    However, if you don’t want to do it that way, you can always carry the other color in the stitches when you aren’t using it. The problem with that is that the black may show through the white and the scarf may become stiffer than you want it.

    It is definately up to you though! It can be done both ways. There’s the good and the bad in both methods 🙂 I hope that helps! Let me know how it goes or if you have more questions!!

  10. Bali says:

    Yeah I’m asking around if anyone has any other ideas but they all say carry it along but then you’ll see the other color and I didn’t want that.

    Well thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate that. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right or if I did have to keep cutting it all the time.

    Anyways I’ll see how I go. Thanks again. 🙂

  11. Rachel says:

    no problem! I know how fustrating cutting and tucking all the ends will be (I did it lol). It will be worth it at the end when you have an awsome scarf to show off.

  12. Janis says:

    Found this pattern mentioned on the LJ crochet community — it’s terribly cute! I think I may have come up with a solution to the problem of stranding, but not to the problem of increased stiffness, which should be avoiable with a larger hook size and very pliant yarn.

    There should be a way to do this without crocheting over the black thread, and without cutting. (Well, not until you hop up to the next black key, at least.) You should be able to start from the other end, sc the first row of the black key, pick up the white yarn (don’t cut the end of the black yarn), and then lay the black yarn over the white stitches you just finished, sl st over it, continue to the end, then just turn and do the requisite number of sc with black before dropping the yarn and continuing with white. You’ll have to do the same thing with the white yarn that you jsut did with the black since the active end will be at the far edge. Pick up the white yarn, lay it carefully over the white stitches, then start crocheting with the active end, being careful to work over the white strand.

    You’ll still have ends, but at least you’ll have significantly fewer of them. That’s what I love about crochet — there’s always a cheapass shortcut if you squint hard enough. 🙂

    And never forget to crochet over ends of the same color any chance you get — I do that constantly, and it saves my bacon, especially now since I’m doing a babette blanket, and I’d go crazy working in ends if I hadn’t crocheted over them as I go. I plan to sew over them every chance I get when the time comes to seam the sequares together, too.

  13. Rachel says:

    Thanks Janis for sharing this with everyone!! You’re definately right, there are lots of ways to make the same thing. I hope your input is used by everyone else, because it is great info!!

  14. em says:

    That is so cute! You know, normally I never crochet other people’s patterns-I don’t like to copy, you see. But this is so cute. Perfect for my little sister the piano prodigy. Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi em!
      I know what you mean! I don’t really like making other people’s patterns either, but when I see one that I just can’t resist then it’s no turning back from there! lol. I hope your sister enjoys here scarf 🙂

  15. Faith says:

    A piano-playing friend of mine was given a store-bought knitted scarf like this by his mother. I don’t know where it was purchased, but I thought it was adorable and very apropos for someone else I knew as well. Alas, I could not find it anywhere… until now! Thank you, Rachel! This will be a terrific surprise!

  16. Where did you get the idea from?

  17. Rachel says:

    Hey there!

    I got the idea when someone on the crochet forums was looking for a pattern for it. So I just made it up with my yarn and hook! It was pretty simple, all I had to know was the basic layout of the keyboard 🙂

  18. Mich says:

    This is so adorable!

    My mom is a high school band teacher, and one of her favorite instruments is the piano (and she’s REALLY good). This would be perfect for her come winter.

  19. Lauren says:

    This is a fantastic pattern! I was in Hot Topic at one point, and I saw a piano key scarf and I was thinking about how cool it looked, but that it was a shame it cost money (haha). I don’t ever buy scarves because they’re so easy to just make, but I never even considered coming up with a pattern to make the piano key one.

    This is brilliant, though. (:

    Yeah, I wish things didn’t get stiffer when we carry inactive colors. Especially when working with smaller hooks. :-\

  20. missy says:

    i cannot WAIT to get started on this. 😀 it seems like a challenge for me because of all the color changing that goes with it, something i need more practice with :] question though: when i change colors, say from white to black, should i change it when i am on my last white stitch while i have 2 loops on my hook? i think its a better transition :] but ive only done it this way in circles so it might look different?

  21. aram says:

    very nice
    thanx a lot
    i’d like to get a patern crochet for baby dress

  22. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern, dear Rachel…I love it…^_^ hugs

  23. Susan says:

    What can I say? I love it! You are so creative I scares me to think of what you’ll be able to come up with in the next 20 years! Your talent continues to amaze me. I’m going to make this, fingers crossed. Now any suggestions for a son who owns an independent record company? I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to incorporate a record. LOL

    You’re the best!

  24. Roz says:

    What a fantastic idea. I’m always looking for ideas for tha male of the species, something just that little bit different, and this is definitely different. 🙂

  25. Lupita says:

    This is such a cute thing to do! I usually hate making scarfs but this will be loads of fun.I already started on it and about one third of the way done.The only part I absolutely hate is putting all those silly leftover yarn pieces in. Its so annoying! But I want to give this to a friend of mine, who loves the piano, on his birthday. Anyway wish me luck.

    Psst…… how long did it take you to finish because it seems like its taking forever for me.

  26. Sylvia says:

    Hi! I have a question about this piano scarf. I haven’t crocheted in quite a few years (probably 20) and have just started again. I saw this scarf and wanted to make it for a friend for Christmas. Anyway, the question is, when you are doing the slipstitch part that makes the line in between the keys, how do you do that part? Do I put the hook through both loops like a normal stitch and then pull the thread through and pull through the loop? When I do this it seems to make a row of white chain looking loops on the other side and you can’t see much of the black on that side once you then do the next row of white, and then that row of white you can see the black through. I just don’t know if I am doing it right. It is kind of hard to tell from the picture since it is not that up close. My other questions about it were answered by previous questions that were asked. Thanks.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Sylvia, you slip stitch in the front loop of the stitch. The front and back of the scarf will not look perfectly the same, but all the black lines on the front of the scarf should be nice and neat.

  27. Paulette says:

    Oh, okay. Thanks for making the corrections, Rachel.
    I looked last night and earlier today to see if I missed something in the directions.

    When your site was down, I got the cached page, and there was nothing in the directions about front loop only, and in the last comment, it said both loops.

    Whew, I thought I was losing my mind.

    Thanks again!

  28. Alberta says:

    Hi, Thank you so much for posting this pattern. I’m having a problem only with the yarn. I’ve tried 3 different types of yarn and it still comes out to hard. I need to know what type of yarn besides a 4 ply yarn to use. I also had to change my hook size to a F as the D was way too tight. I tried using Baby yarn but, after a few row, the yarn still felt too stiff. Please tell me the brand name of yarn I should be using and also tell me if there is a much solfter yarn that I need to use. I want to my this for my boss for christmas and i’m running out of time. So please let me know as soon as possible. Much appricated. Thank you.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Alberta, I don’t remember the exact yarn I used for this scarf since it was a while since I made it. But I do make a ton of things with Caron Simply Soft yarn (one of my favorites). If you find it too tight, you can try using an even larger hook than the one you tried. Or you can even use a 3 ply yarn if you want.

  29. Julie says:

    Hi Rachel, 3 questions (sorry!!) 1.) I want to make the scarf for my piano player grandson. He just turned 7, and I would like to “downsize” the scarf a little. Is there an easy way to do that? I’ve tried using different yarns and hook sizes, but no great solution yet. Would it work if I chain 31 instead of 35, and then carry out the pattern with 15 sc every place it now calls for 17 sc or sl st? 2.) When you change colors, are you tying knots every time, or just picking up the loose end of the other color? 3.) After all is done, and you say “tuck in” the ends, are you using a needle and weaving the tails in or what? Thank you so very much….. your scarf is awesome!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Julie, to reduce the size of the scarf, you can decrease the size of the foundation chain. Then subtract one from the number of chains and divide that number by 2 to get “the other number”. For example the pattern starts with 35 chains, (35 – 1) / 2 = 17. When you change colors I just pick up the loose end of the new color. To tuck in the ends, I use my crochet hook to weave them in, but you can use a needle if you want.

  30. carol says:

    hi there, i printed out your pattern for the scarf but am having trouble with understanding on how to make it. sorry to be a bother but i was wondering if you could help me understand it. thanks carol

  31. Ashley says:

    Hi Rachel, I LOVE this pattern. I’m making it for my aunt for Christmas.

    I do have a couple questions though. I have actually only been crocheting for about a couple months and maybe I have my facts wrong, but I understood that when you have two different colors you are supposed to crochet over the color yarn not being used rather than just cut it off. However, I am finding that hard with this pattern because of the sl st in that it shows the white way too much on the other side. This is more of a general crochet question, but should I cut the opposite color off at the end of each row? Also, from your picture, it looks like both sides of the scarf are supposed to look the same, but that is not happening for me, particularly with the sl st parts.

    Any help you give will be awesome.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Ashley, you should cut the yarn when you change the colors. Also the back of the scarf will look slightly different, but if you crochet in the front loops only, the back and front will look fairly similar.

  32. Sylvia says:

    Okay, I have another question, I have been reading the other comments after I asked my question before and I noticed in the last one you answered that you said “if you crochet in the back loops only, the back and front will look fairly similar.” So since you edited the directions after my previous comment to say to that “all stitches are made in the front loop only”, I am confused, is the the front loop only or the back loop only that we crochet in? Or is it the same either way as long as you do one or the other?

  33. Carol says:

    hi rachel i dont know maybe i wasnt going in the front loops but i had short rows. but maybe i didnt read it right i think i was confused when you said at the end of the row i have only 17 sc and not that when i changed to black to do 17 more. i will try it again cause i love the pattern!

    • Rachel says:

      You’re right Carol, that is confusing! It is suppose to mean to do 17 more sc. I should re do this pattern to get out all the kinks!! It was one of the first that I ever wrote, so I have to admit it’s not well written.

  34. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the info Rachel!

    I am actually having another issue. Every time I crochet the black keys, I always seem to end up with 16 sc and cannot make anymore without the ends not looking even. I am doing a sc increase to make 17 and it’s looking okay, but I’m getting concerned I’m not doing something right since the same thing happens EVERY TIME.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Ashley, if you do 17 sc in one direction, the you should do 17 in the opposite direction as well. Maybe you skipped a stitch somewhere? Either way, I’m definitely going to rewrite this pattern soon so that it can be easier!

  35. Alberta says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I’m still having problems with the yarn. It is not coming out soft. What can I do. I’ve changed hooks, tried all different types of yarns and it still cames out stiff. I love the pattern and really want to do it, but, for some reason, it’s not working for me. Now, I need you to redo the scarf and tell all of us what type of yarn you will be using and what hook size as well. Thank you again for sharing this beautiful pattern with me and all your other fans.


  36. Savannah says:

    What a fantastic idea!! I can’t wait to start this scarf for my brother (music lover and musician)! But I’m wondering, each time I switch colors and cut the yarn, how long to I need to leave it to tuck it in well? I just don’t wanna cut it too short and then the end show, ya know? Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Savannah, I like to leave 2 – 3 inches to weave in. But some even like to leave 5 inches. It is totally up to you and what you are comfortable with.

  37. Mari says:

    I absolutely LOVE this pattern. I have the perfect person to make it for. Do you know when you will be updating this pattern? I would really like to get started on it but I figured I would just wait until it was updated to make it easier.
    Thanks for sharing your pattern.

  38. Savannah says:

    I can’t wait for the updated pattern!! I have already started it, but it’s a bit on the stiff side 🙁 I wanted it to be a little softer, will the new pattern help? Also, do you think I can have it done by Christmas if I restart it when you update it? Thanks!

  39. Savannah says:

    I can work on it a couple hours a day…I only got to row 15 in an hour if that’s any indication of my speed (or lack thereof) haha. I should have splurged on a softer yarn anyway, maybe that will help with the softness. Thanks again Rachel! You are BRILLIANT!

  40. Maria says:

    Neat pattern!!!!!! If I start on this pattern today, will it effect my scarf once you update the pattern? Or would it be easier for me to just print out these instructions and just continue from this pattern?

  41. Mari says:

    I was wondering since you made this piano scarf pattern if by chance you have a neat guitar, trumpet, or both scarf patterns. I know plenty of people in the music dept. and it would be great to make some really neat scarves for them. Let me know.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Mari, I don’t have a trumpet or guitar scarf pattern yet. They sound interesting to make and I’ll have to give it some thought as to how I would go about do that. Thanks for the idea!

      This pattern will be similar to the updated one. For the new one, I’m going to use a different hook size, make the instructions more clear, and hopefully make it easier. With this pattern there are a bunch of ends to weave in. I’ll try to add some pointers for making it less of a hassle. My suggestion would be to wait for the new one, because you can run into all sorts of problems with the current one.

  42. Julie says:

    ….. Or drums! I’m making the piano scarf (but now waiting for updated pattern) for one grandson, and want to make a scarf for other grandson with a drum on each end of the scarf. If anyone has seen a pattern like that, please let me know! And if I get adventurous, maybe I’ll try to figure one out. But I have never developed a pattern by myself. Which is why I REALLY appreciate the time you’re spending answering all our questions and re-writing this piano scarf pattern for us, Rachel!

  43. Mari says:

    Thanks a bunch. I will be checking the website daily for the new instructions. I can hardly wait to get started.

  44. Rachel says:

    The piano key scarf crochet pattern as been posted!!

    Fixes include: no more stiffness, only ONE loose end to weave in when you’re done, and clearer instructions!

    Let me know if you need help 🙂

  45. Savannah says:

    Thank you sooooooooooooo much! Merry Christmas Rachel 🙂

  46. […] I updated the popular Piano Key Scarf Crochet Pattern. So if you were having trouble with it, please take a look at the newly revised version. Here are […]

  47. Carina says:

    Hi Rachel! the scarf is absolutely amazing.I´m going to include it among my projects.What a creative mind you have!!

  48. Amber says:

    Hey I’m looking forward to some patterns with other muscial instruments, especially guitar!

  49. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for rewriting the pattern….. I just printed it out and am so looking forward to trying it again. I got about a foot done with the original pattern, all ends tucked in(!)….. but don’t mind starting over at all since it sounds even better!

  50. Betty says:

    Thank you for the updated pattern and tips. I have someone in mind to make it for this year. Unless you come up with a drum!!! He plays drums in a band, Still will be making this one.

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