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Traditional Dutch knitted scarf

Added Jan 30, 2010

by flosiepoos

Oxfordshire, Uni...






My mum taught me to knit with a completely different needle (or pen, as she calls it), which people always mistake for crochet. I do crochet too and indeed it’s not the same but the needle used for this type of knitting looks a little bit like a crochet needle although the technique is completely different.

With this technique, you go round, and round, and round and… until you are either dizzy or finished (or both!). It is said the technique originates from shepherds on the heath who used to spin yarn while walking and then knit their garments, also while walking. You can imagine that classic knitting needles aren’t going to do it if you’re trying to keep your lambs from getting lost. Knitting like this means you only unravel one loop at a time if you do drop your stitches while chasing off a sabre tooth tiger; very practical on the go. Not many people use this technique these days, in fact, I only know people my mum taught it to but when she was a girl it was a much more commonly used way of knitting where she grew up.

You can knit anything you like: cardies, pullovers, mittens, gloves, socks, hats, shrugs, hand muffs, baby clothes, blankets… you name it. You start the sleeves and body of a pullover and knit the sleeves onto the body resulting in a completely seamless result.
You can either cut open the tube and hem it to make a cardie or jacket, or you can use a side-to-side stitch (which I haven’t tried myself yet, being a humble beginner).

I’ve added some pictures of the needles used. The mitten keyring my mum knitted – before anyone asks how to do mittens, I’ve not mastered those yet! I thought a key would help show the dimension of the needle.

If there are any takers for a tutorial for this technique, let me know and mum and I will get a-filmin’! ;-)

Now for my scarf, it is simply a long tube which I’ve knitted shut at both ends, and I used two different stiches for decoration. Anyone can make this! Because it is double, it drapes beautifully and is very warm. Without a doubt the softest scarf I’ve ever owned!

PS: I’ve now added the long-awaited tutorial – see below under ‘related techniques’ or visit http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/dutch-knitting-or-shepherd-s-crochet

Material Notes

The yarn used is about 300g (six balls) of 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere Sublime DK in black (shade 13). www.sublimeyarns.com



Related Techniques


Garment Type
Classic, Vintage
Cashmere, Silk, Wool

9 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 243696770_6_4j5u_large

    Sep 30, 2010, 07.05 PMby Rose Mes

    i’m from holland and we have a lot of these scarfs (:

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    Mar 23, 2010, 05.39 PMby flosiepoos

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the lovely posts! I’ll make a tutorial as soon as I can to get you all knitting… The hooks my Mum has made herself, they’re made of different types of wood and take a little effort to make but they last a lifetime. I wil post a template for them and instructions on how to make them as well.

    On ravelry.com there is a whole discussion going on and lots of people have found out all kinds of interesting things about the technique which appears to be more widely spread than I could ever suspect. It seems it the hooks are a little unusual but he stitch is called the shepherd’s stitch.

    Oh, and my mum wants to add she is absolutely over the moon with all the responses and finding out so much about it. Of course she hopes more people want to starting knitting (crochetting) like this to preserve the technique and hook. She sends a big thanks to all posters!

  • Missing

    Mar 19, 2010, 12.11 AMby jamila169

    Flosiepoos, you’ve caused a stir over on ravelry – One of the posters would like to know where in holland your mother comes from, as she is dutch and has never heard of it, she thought it might be a regional thing.

    To everyone who’s been googling madly, it’s called bosnian crochet, smygmaskvirkning,or pjoning, there’s some lovely links!
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    Mar 18, 2010, 02.20 PMby boppytigs

    Found your post this morning and since then I’ve been trawling the net for “Dutch Knitting”, Dutch techniques and all sorts. Haven’t yet tried “knitting Dutch”, not sure what results that one would bring back ;D

    Please, please, please do a tutorial for this technique. Is there a name for this type of knitting? Do you have any books that describe the technique? I’m full of curiosity and eager to try it out :D If we teach enough people we might start your very own craze!

    The “hook” looks relatively easy to copy in wood, what are it’s dimensions?

  • Avat_large

    Mar 18, 2010, 09.19 AMby goggs

    Oh, yes, please do make tutorial! I looked it up on the net but I haven’t found any mention whatsoever of that technique. It would be a shame to loose that knowledge! Best regards!

  • Missing

    Mar 17, 2010, 11.08 PMby tyeemomma

    I’d love to see a tutorial. I am much more a knitter than a sewer and am fastenated with history of the craft.

    So we need to get the needles first I’m guessing…

  • Sarah_merry_christmas_large

    Mar 17, 2010, 10.45 PMby sheknits1

    I would love to learn how to do this, tutorial please!

  • 68eacf9d53ba368e13c7ddcdb2c71c3ef4204398_large

    Mar 17, 2010, 06.31 PMby kazenmax

    What an interesting hook! I would love a tutorial on how to make this scarf. Also where would I find the hook? Thanks!

    1 Reply
    • Img_3609_large

      Apr 27, 2010, 07.25 AMby flosiepoos

      Hi kazenmax!

      I’ve added a tutorial complete with instructions to make a hook, I hope you’l find it helpful!

  • Folded_tshirts_jaipur_large

    Feb 1, 2010, 05.59 PMby camberwellgal

    What a nice warm – draft-proof looking scarf! I really like the texture the stitch provides. Really interesting background to the stitch too. I wonder if there are other ‘regional’ knitting stitches?

    If you are ever at a loose end, do put a tutorial up; it’d be a good spur on my part to get on and pick up those needles and learn!

    [PS – and totally off topic – love the cows in your profile pic!]

    1 Reply
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      Feb 1, 2010, 06.51 PMby flosiepoos

      Thanks – it really is my warmest scarf. Good winter to have one ;-)

      The ladies live on the Isle of Mull, absolutely stunning (the island wasn’t half bad either, tee hee)

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