Nicola Schofield

Art & Illustration

crocodile scarf open on hanger.

Crocodile Scarf

Detailed photo tutorial of the crocodile stitch and a pattern to make a crocodile scarf.

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crocodile_scarf_crochet_neschof

I saw a pattern on Ravelry several months back for a crocodile scarf – I bookmarked it and kept checking back but it always just said “pattern coming soon”. And now it has disappeared so I decided to take matters into my own hands! I looked at a few videos of the crocodile stitch but I find videos hard to follow because everyone’s crochet style is different and they hold the work at different angles, twist the hook around different ways. I find written instructions with diagrams and photos of the steps much easier to follow but I didn’t find much of that (especially for left-handers) so I muddled through as best I could and wrote it out in detail as I completed each bit.

The starting point is the diagram below – I started at the tail and figured out how to increase as I went along.

crocodile scarf diagram

Here is a photo of the body in progress. I looked at a few different websites explaining the crocodile stitch and, while everyone seems to do it slightly differently, once I got my head around the general idea it was actually very easy. So for everyone out there like me, who prefers written instructions and detailed photos, here is a detailed photo tutorial of how I created this scarf….

˜Crocodile scarf tail

Crochet terms are American in red and then in English in green afterwards. As I’m left-handed all the photos show the steps as seen by a left-handed crocheter – I’ll try to give written instructions for both left and right-handers but if you’re right-handed and struggling, try flipping the photos and if you’re still confused then leave a comment and I’ll try to help.

Some of the instructions I watched flipped the work back and forth to create the scales however I found it easier to always have the front facing me and spin the work. Experiment and do whatever works best for you.

I am using bamboo ribbon yarn that I’m not sure of the weight of and a 5mm hook which makes each scale ~2.5cm (1 inch) in width and height.

TAIL

Step 1. Chain 3

Step 2. dc [tr] into the 3rd chain from the hook.Step 3. turn 90 degrees anticlockwise (clockwise if you’re right-handed) and crochet 5dc [5tr] around the dc [tr] from step 2.

Step 4. ch1 and turn the work 180 degrees anticlockwise (clockwise if you’re right-handed) and crochet 5dc [5tr] around the initial chains from step 1.

Step 5. ch2, slip stitch into the centre top of the scale. chain 2 and dc [tr] into the top of the scale again. This is the basis for the next scale.

Step 6. turn 90 degrees anticlockwise (clockwise if you’re right-handed) and crochet 5dc [5tr] around the dc [tr] from the previous step.

Step 7. ch1, turn 180 degrees anticlockwise (clockwise if you’re right-handed) and crochet 5dc [5tr] around the chains from step 5.

Repeat steps 5-7 until the tail is as long as you would like it. My scarf has 8 scales in the tail. Now we need to increase up to the width of the main body of the scarf….

INCREASING

Step 8. ch2, dc [tr] around the last dc [tr] of the scaleStep 9. ch1, dc [tr] into the centre top of the scale, ch1, 2dc [2tr] between the first and second dc [tr] of the scale

Step 10. Follow steps 6 & 7 to create a scale around the 2dc [2tr] you just completed

Step 11. We now need to attach this scale to the single treble from step 9. Turn the work 180 degrees so it is as shown in the photo below and insert the hook under the single dc [tr] as shown by the red arrow and slip 1 stitch.

Step 12. Keeping the work in this orientation follow steps 6 & 7 again to create a second scale around the chains and stitches on the other side (this can be a little awkward the first few times – keep going!).

We are now going to increase again on the next row.

Step 13. American: ch2, dc around last dc of scale, ch1, dc into centre of scale, ch1, 2dc between the scales, ch1, dc into centre of scale, ch1, 2dc into 1st dc of the end scale.

English: ch2, tr around last tr of scale, ch1, tr into centre of scale, ch1, 2tr between the scales, ch1, tr into centre of scale, ch1, 2tr into 1st treble of the end scale.

Step 14. Repeat steps 10-12 to create scales around each set of 2dc [2tr].

To make the increase up to the full scarf width gradual we are now going to decrease on the next row before increasing again…

DECREASING

Step 15. ch2, sl st into the centre of the 1st scale, ch2, sl st between the first and second scale, ch2, dc [tr] between the first and second scale, ch1, dc [tr] into the centre top of next scale, ch1, 2dc [2tr] between the next scales.

Your work should now look like the photo below.

Step 16. Repeat steps 10-12 again to create scales around the sets of 2dc [2tr].

Now you know how to increase and decrease you can use the steps above to make the crocodile scarf as follows (if you have followed all the steps above you will have just completed row 4 below).

I am using bamboo ribbon yarn that I’m not sure of the weight of (but it’s pretty chunky) and a 5mm hook which makes each scale ~2.5cm (1 inch) in width and height.

row 1 (tail): 1 scale for as long as you like (I have used a chain of 8 scales for my tail)

row 2: increase to 2 scales

row 3: increase to 3 scales

row 4: decrease to 2 scales

row 5: increase to 3 scales

row 6: increase to 4 scales

row 7: increase to 5 scales

row 8: decrease to 4 scales

Continue alternating between 4 and 5 scales to a row until the body of the scarf is as long as you want it.

If you’re using thin yarn then I would recommend continuing until the work is normal scarf length – long enough to wrap around your neck at least once. If like me you are using quite thick yarn then the resulting scarf will be too thick to wrap all the way around. Instead I made a “tab” and sewed it to the underside of the head then you can pull the tail section through to secure the scarf wrapped just around the back of the neck (as shown below).

˜crocodile scarf closed

For the tab chain about 15 and just complete a couple of rows of double crochet – it doesn’t need to be pretty – it won’t be seen. Then sew it to the underside of the head approximately where the eyes will be.

Anyway whichever method you choose you first need to know how to complete the head!

After the body is as long as you want it end on a row containing 4 scales

HEAD

row 1: decrease to 3 scales

row 2: decrease to 2 scales

row 3: increase to 3 scales

row 4: increase to 4 scales

row 5: decrease to 3 scales

row 6: increase to 4 scales

row 7: decrease to 3 scales

row 8: decrease to 2 scales

row 9: increase to 3 scales

Fasten off and weave in ends.

TEETH

With much thinner white yarn and a small hook attach to the edge of the final row of scales. There are no proper stitches here so please excuse the lengthy descriptions of where to complete stitches – I hope it makes sense!

Step 1. chain 1 and sc [dc] into the same place you attached the yarn

Step 2. complete 5dc [5tr] into somewhere halfway between the edge of the scale and the centre of the scale

Step 3. 1sc [1dc] into the centre of the scale

Step 4. complete 5dc [5tr] into somewhere halfway between the centre of the scale and the far edge of the scale

Step 5. 1sc [1dc] between this scale and the next

you should now have 2 teeth attached to the first scale. repeat steps 2-5 for the next 2 scales until you reach the end – you should now have 6 teeth. Fasten off and weave in ends.

EYES

I tried a few different styles of safety eyes but they all made him look a bit sinister so in the end I used white felt and black thread. Experiment with the placement of the eyes to give him different expressions. Mine are placed on the middle two scales of the 4th row from the end.


crocodile_scarf_crochet_neschof


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


˜Crocodile scarf 1

36 Comments on “Crocodile Scarf”

  1. Pingback: Crocodile Scarf (in crocodile stitch) « Cult of Crochet

  2. OMG!!!!! It is soooo nice to have a lefty teaching crochet sts like this! Now for the 1st time I can see how this st is done and am ready to go – I just wish I could find some iridescent green yarn……:-)

  3. Pingback: Crocodile Scarf Head « Cult of Crochet

  4. Pingback: Wicked Yarns and wool » I don’t crochet….

  5. Hi, I would love it if you could explain how to create a rectangular scarf using this pattern?? I have tried viewing the videos and they all confuse me. If you could find the time to email me and possibly explain it to me that would be most helpful! brendasue2003@gmail.com the videos just confuse me and make me want to give up but I LOVE the stitch!

    • Hi, I’ve never actually made a square piece in this stitch – just the crocodile! hmmmm….. I think this is what you would do but there’re no guarantees as I’ve never tried it:

      row 1. chain a multiple of 4+1 (say 29 for the width of a scarf)
      row 2. chain 2, tr into 3rd chain from hook (last chain of previous row), *ch1, skip one stitch, tr, ch1, skip one stitch, 2tr*
      * repeat to end (you should end on 2tr in last chain)
      now continue as the tutorial shows for the midsection of the crocodile – alternately decreasing and increasing the number of scales.

      I hope that helps!

  6. I agree it is great to have a lefty show how to do patterns. I sit and watched my mom crochet and imitated her but it didn’t always meet with success. So I quit but now I am excited to get started again.

  7. When my Granny taught me to crochet sitting beside her knees beside the fire with the rain pouring down outside, never in my wildest dreams did I think that crochet could lead to this! Impressive!! Jane

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  10. Reblogged this on My Meanderings and commented:
    Well, this is a stitch I haven’t done. Gonna have to learn it. First, I have to decide what I would use it for. I’m thinking a knit bodice with gator stitch skirting. Hmmmm

  11. What a bonus to learn from another leftie!! Sometimes these different stitches are just so hard to follow from a right-handed person. This is so easy to see now? Thank you!!

    • Quite a lot – the stitch uses it up very quickly. I can’t say exactly though because I was using recycled yarn from a Cardigan and then the finished thing was while away for a present before I had chance to weigh it.

  12. As a right handed crocheter I’m completely lost on how to do this………..Please help???

  13. I took your advice about the youtube videos even though there’s not to many right handed videos I have managed to figure out the tail. But now I’m having a hard time going any further are the directions still given in both left and right hand cause I no longer see the right hand directions?

  14. Beautiful I love to crochet this fabulous patern in to a scarf Becose itt is winter here in RSA LOVE YOUR WORK OUTSTANDING.

  15. Although I’m ambidextrous I crochet and knit as a rightie ’cause I’m actually a rightie. It will be interesting to see if I can do this without having to think about it.

    To explain (and maybe there are others out there who have the same ‘problems’): when using a sewing needle, I am leftie and embroidery other types of stitching are usually by righties – they are going from right to left and I am going left to right, but with the same techniques as they use.

    • It hasn’t bothered me too much woth crochet – most patterns can easily be done either way. The only thing I’ve not managed to get right are cables. I should try again sometime.

  16. Hello, I was searching for a dragon scarf pattern on Ravelry and this came up. I really love the texture, so I was wondering how difficult it would be to make some wings with the same texture and attach them! Thank you!

    • Hi Gina,

      I think it would be fairly easy to make some wings – just draw the shape you’d like and then think of it terms of number of scales per row and follow the increase/decrease directions as for the body.

      I worry that they would be a bit heavy though and might sag or pull the body out of shape. You could try very small wings, or maybe attaching in two places so they are sort of folded back on the body and don’t flop around.

      • Thanks, I’ll try that, it sounds easy enough! I’m new to crocheting (well, haven’t picked it up since my nana taught me about 40 years ago). And that’s a great idea about attaching them in more than one place — sort of to look like the wings are folded up a bit.

        • Good luck! The scales are a bit awkward at first but keep trying and once it clicks they’re really easy. Come back and post a link to some pictures when you’re done 🙂

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