(a.k.a. Dead Fish Scarf)

a pattern by Thelma Egberts

The Scarfish is a scarf inspired by the Dead Fish Hat. In fact, it’s a fish cut in halves with a scarf between head and tail. The scarf has a ‘keyhole’ so you don’t have to knot it.


 Pattern notes:

- You can use any colors and striping you, so you can match the Scarfish with your Fish hat.

 - If you like, you can knit a scarf with to fish tails instead of head and tail. In that case start knitting the scarf part with a provisionary cast on. After finishing the scarf and first tail part, pick up the cast on stitches and proceed with second tail part.

Scarf part between fish hat and tail measures:  50 cm/ 20 inches.

(If knit for children, you may want to shorten this part a bit)


Yarn: anything you think fit. 

1 set of  4 mm double-point needles

1 set of 4 mm straight needles

4 stitch markers

tapestry needle

bit of felt, or buttons, for eyes

Gauge doesn’t matter much. The gauge for the pictured scarfish is:
15 st/ 21 rows = 4”/10 cm in stockinette stitch

Stockinette stitch (worked in the round):
k. all rounds
sm: slip marker

Triangles (worked flat over multiple of 8 sts/8 rows):

Row 1: *k7, p1 repeat till end
Row 2: k2 *p5, k3, repeat from*, p5, k1
Row 3: p2, *k3, p5, repeat from*, k3, p3
Row 4: k4, *p1, k7, repeat from*, p1, k3
Row 5: k3 *p1, k7, repeat from*, p1, k4
Row 6: p3, *k3, p5, repeat from *, k3, p2
Row 7: k1, *p5, k3 repeat from*, p5, k2
Row 8: p1, k7, repeat

RS: k 1, p1. WS: p1, k1.


Fish head

Cast on 30 sts on needles nr. US 6/metric 4, divide over three needles and connect into the round. Work 10 rows for roll brim to form fish lips. In last row, k14, place marker, k15, place marker.

Now start working flat for  short rows to form the fish mouth. (Don’t change to straight needles). This is an uneven fish mouth, with a big and a small part.

Small mouth part:

Row 1: k until 3 sts after sm, W&T;

Row 2: p6, W&T;

Row 3: k2, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k3 W&T; (9 st)

Row 4: p 10. W&T;

Row 5: k 11, W&T

Row 6: p 12, W&T

Row 7: k 13, W&T

Row 8: p 14, W&T

Start second lip:

Row 9: k 26 W&T

Row 10: p 6, W&T

Row 11: k2, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k3 W&T (9 st)

Row 12: p 10, W&T

Row 13: k 11, W&T

Row 14: p 12, W&T

Row 15: k 13, W&T

Row 16: p14, W&T

Row 17: k6, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k7 W&T (17 sts)

Row 18: p18 W&T

Row 19: k20, W&T

Row 20: p22, W&T

Row 22: k 24, W&T

Row 23: p 26, W&T


End of short row part. Start working in the round again. You now have 38 sts.

Round 1, 7, 13, 19, 26, : *k till 1 st. before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, repeat once from *

Round 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: k. all sts.

Repeat these 6 rows 5 more times till 62 sts are on the needles.


Scarf part

The scarf part is knit flat over 32 sts. To do so, you have ‘graft’ the sides of the fish head together. Divide sts evenly over 2 needles, from marker to marker. 

Hold the needles parallel with the wrong (purl) sides facing inwards. Use a third needle to knit sts together two by two, one from upper and one from lower needle. First and last sts are not grafted in order to end up with required 32 sts.

If you want, you can use straight needles now.


Knit 50 cm/20 inches in ‘triangle pattern’. If scarf is knit for small children, knit 45 cm/18 inches.


For Button hole and beginning of tail:

Next row: knit 11, b.o. 10, knit 11, c.o. 32 sts


Fish tail

Change to double pointed needles, divide sts over 3 needles, connect, and start knitting in the round again.

Next row: knit 11, c.o. 10 new sts, knit 10, place marker, k 31, place marker (take care markers are in same place as markers for fish face used to be).


Round 1, 2, 3: k all sts

Round 4: knit till 3 sts before marker, ss, k1, psso, k 1, sm, k1, k2 tog, repeat once

Repeat these 4 rounds until 24 sts are left


Next round: k 12 (till marker), put 12 sts on hold on safety pin. From here work flat (on straight needles if you like)

Row 1 (RS): *k2, kfb, 4 times (16 sts)

Row 2 and all even numbered rows (WS), purl all sts

Row 3 (RS): *k1, kfb, repeat to end (24 sts)

Row 5 (RS): k1, kfb *k3, kfb, repeat from * 5 times (30 sts)

Row 6 – 12: stockinette st

Row 13: (RS) k15 turn

Row 14 (WS) p2tog, p to end

Row 15 – 21: work as for rows 13 – 14. B.O. remaining 10 sts.


Rejoin yarn with RS facing

Proceed row 13, as following:

Row 13: k2tog, k to end

Row 14 (WS), p all sts

Row 15 – 21: repeat rows 13 – 14. B.O. Remaining 10 sts.

Replace held 12 sts on needle and rejoin yarn with RS facing. Work rows 1 – 21 as for first half of tail.


Dorsal Fin:

Lay scarf flat. Mark a column of sts along center of fish face. Pick up and k 12 sts in marked columns of sts, picking up 1 st for each row.


K 1 row.

Next Row: [Kfb] in each st to end. 24 sts.

Work 8 rows in 1x1 Rib. BO all sts knitwise.


Pectoral Fins:

Mark a column of sts at each side of fish face. Pick up and k 8 sts.

K 1 row.

Next Row: [Kfb] in each st to end. 16 sts.

Work 8 rows in 1x1 Rib. BO all sts knitwise.


Repeat for other marked column.



Weave in alle ends.

Sew fish tail halves together with purl sides facing. Turn to right side.

Sew fish tail to scarf part, leaving ‘key hole’ open.

Sew on eyes.