Finding Calm Scarf PDF Pattern


Free scarf pattern in collaboration with Anxiety NZ

Sometimes life just feels overwhelming, right? You're doing your best. You're trying to hold it all together. But we all go through seasons where our mental health takes a hit and during these times it's super important to look after yourself.

You might feel like you're alone in your struggle but it's not true. The first year of Covid saw a 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide and while this number has since dropped, anxiety rates are still higher than pre-pandemic numbers

We all go through times of feeling stressed and anxious but dealing with stress for long periods of time or at high levels can have a negative impact on your body and wellbeing. Coping techniques often aren't taught to us as children, yet these are essential life skills. Times are changing and we're having more conversations about mental health which is awesome but we can still feel very vulnerable at these times.

Why a Knitting Pattern?

The Finding Calm Scarf pattern was written after a season of anxiety in my own life. I found solace in being honest with my doctor and I highly recommend seeking professional help during your own difficult mental health seasons.

Since then, I wanted to create a resource to help others so I've collaborated with Anxiety NZ to combine my knitting skills with their depth of knowledge around anxiety to create this free pattern. The Finding Calm Scarf pattern combines creative flow with practical tips on managing anxious feelings that you can try in your own life. You know those coping skills you were never taught? Here they are. Plus moments of creative flow actually reduce the stress hormones in our bodies! Maybe you've always wanted to learn how to knit, or maybe you've been knitting a long time and you just need a simple project on the needles ... this is a pattern for everyone.

The coping tips within the pattern aren't designed to be a burden (yet another list of things on your to-do list). They are just a few suggestions that you can try and some will be more useful than others to you. This also isn't a final list; there are many other coping techniques out there so please find the right ones for you and include them in your toolbox of resources. Add them into your routine where possible and don't be hard on yourself if you forget or if they don't work. For example, mindfulness is easier on some days than others and that's okay. Maybe a different technique is better on that day.

Anxiety NZ

Anxiety NZ is a New Zealand charity offering specialist clinical services, ongoing peer support groups, educational resources and immediate help to New Zealanders via a free 24/7 national 0800 ANXIETY Helpline. They also have a new self-paced, online course called Empowered that anyone around the world can access. Anxiety NZ have provided most of the resources in this pattern and offer incredible support to people in need. I'm grateful for their generous time, input and guidance on this project.

But being a charity, they are often short on funds and I think we can help with that. This pattern is entirely free so it remains accessible to everyone but if you enjoy the resource and find it helpful, please consider donating the cost of a pattern (or an amount you're comfortable with) to Anxiety NZ, your local mental health agency or a charity you feel a connection to. It feels good to give and every dollar given means the world to these organisations and their clients. Your donation will help others to access professional help during a time of need.

The Pattern

The Finding Calm Scarf actually contains two patterns:

  • One Stitch Scarf is a garter stitch pattern (using only knit stitch) and is ideal for absolute beginners or those wanting to keep it simple. You'll knit back and forth to create a long rectangle. Uses 5mm / US8 straight needles and 550 metres / 600 yards of 8ply / DK yarn.
  • Finding Calm Scarf is knit in circles to create long tube and is ideal for intermediate beginners and above. It begins with basic ribbing worked flat (back and forth) before knitting the body of the scarf in circles for a project that's easy to pick up and put down anytime. Uses 5mm / US8 circular needles with a 50 cm / 20" cord (or magic loop for longer cords) and 900 metres / 985 yards of 8ply / DK yarn  OR sock weight and lace mohair held double (or even two strands of mohair held double) using 900 metres / 985 yards of each yarn. The sample was made using Prosper Yarn Mint Mohair held double with Prosper Yarn Sock.

Links to video tutorials are included for each technique along the way. It's okay if your project isn't perfect. Like a Sunday drive or a stroll in the forest, this pattern is all about the journey.

I hope the pattern brings you joy, calm and a good excuse to regularly sit in a sunbeam ... and maybe a cute scarf too.

Download The Finding Calm Scarf PDF

Yarn Suggestions

Of course you can use any 8ply / DK weight yarn you like but here's more ideas to get you started. Yarns marked with an * mean that I've personally swatched them and the fabric looks good. I can't guarantee the other options but the gauge and weight look like they match:


ERRATA: Version AR.A has an error on the final ribbing. This section should read the same as the ribbing (knitting flat) section at the beginning of the scarf. Download the file again for Version AR.B which features a correction.