Childs Rattle Snake Scarf

This project was inspired by a night in with the girls.  A pleasant evening of laughing and joking with the TV on in the background.  During one of the programs a man was interviewed with a snake coiled around his neck and shoulders.  This of course lead to usual banter, before someone pointed out it would make a good scarf.  So out came the needles and soon the first prototype "Voldi" came into existance.

This scarf is relatively simple to make but not for the complete beginner.  It will take about 15 to 20 hours to complete depending on experience.

This item is also available to purchase from the Nixneedles shop.


100g Double Knitting Wool (if making snake in one solid colour, snake pictured here is knitted in yellow and green flecked wool)
2 x 50g Double Knitting Wool (if making the stripy snake, snake pictured here is made with yellow and green variegated baby wool with stripes of a luminous green)
1 x 10g Red Double knitting yarn for the tongue
A small quantity of black thread for the facial expressions.
1 x 4mm Knitting Needles
2 x Safety Eyes
3 x Bells for the tail
A small quantity of wadding for shaping the head.


sts      Stitches      
    Knit the next stitch twice so creating 2 stitches from the original stitch.
    Knit (number after it refers to how many stitches to knit)
  Slip one (slip the next stitch on to the other needle with out knitting it.)
     Pass slipped stitch over the next stitch knitted.
 K2tog     Knit two together (knit next two stitches together as if they were a single stitch (decreasing a stitch)     

The text instructions given here are for the plain snake,
 Picture of the striped rattle snake
 For the template of the stripy snake, click here. The stripes are apply to the body and tail.  The head is knitted in one solid colour.  Alternatively download the following PDF Rattle Snake Scarf.pdf.
 an orange and black striped rattle snake scarf
Or alternatively add striping in any way that appeals to you.

To make the body of the snake (make 1 piece):print free knitting pattern

Using colour A: Cast on 1 sts.

M1 in next st.  (2sts)

M2 (4sts)

Work 6 rows in st st

Working in Stocking Stitch,  M1 st at either end of next and every following fourth row until there are 28 sts

Continue in Stocking Stitch on these 28 stitches until work measures 92cm ending on a purl row

Shape Head

Row 1 – K1, M1, K11, M2, K11, M1, K1  (32 sts)

Row 2 & each alternate row – Purl

Row 3 – K1, M1, K13, M2, K13, M1, K1  (36 sts)

Row5 – K1, M1, Knit to last 2 sts, M1, K1  (38 sts)

Row 7 – Knit to end

Row 9 - Knit to end

Row 11 - Knit to end

Row 13 – K1, S1, K1 PSSO K14, S1, K1 PSSO, K2tog, K14, K2tog, K1  (34 sts)

Row 15 – Knit to end

Row 17 – K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (32 sts)

Row 19 – K1, S1, K1 PSSO, K11, S1, K1 PSSO, K2tog, K11, K2tog, K1  (28 sts)

Row 21 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (26 sts)

Row 23 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (24 sts)

Row 25 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (22 sts)

Row 27 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, K6, S1, K1 PSSO, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K1  (18 sts)

Row 29 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (16 sts)

Row 31 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, K3, S1, K1 PSSO, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K1  (12 sts)

Row 32 – Purl

Cast Off

Jaw  (Make 1 piece)

Using Colour A: Cast on 11 stitches.

Working in stocking stitch M1 st at each end of every knit row until there are 35 sts.

Work 7 rows in stocking stitch

Shape head

Row 1 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (33 sts)

Row 2 – Purl to end

Row 3 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, Knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1  (31 sts)

Row 4 – Purl to end

Row 5 - K1, S1, K1 PSSO, K12, K2tog, K11, K2tog, K1  (28 sts)

Cast Off

Tongue  (Make 2 alike)

Using colour B: Cast on 8 sts

Complete 8 rows in stocking stitch (end on a purl row).

Shape tongue:

Row 1 – Knit 4 sts turn

Row 2 – P2tog P2  (3 sts)

Row 3 – K1, K2tog  (2 sts)

Row 4 – K2tog  (1 st)

Fasten off stitch and secure.  Rejoin yarn and complete tongue shaping as follows

Row 1 – Knit to end of row (4 sts)

Row 2 - P2, P2 tog (3 sts)

Row 3 – K2tog, K1 (2 sts)

Row 4 – P2tog  (1 st)

Fasten off stitch and secure.

To make up

With right sides facing and using yarn B carefully sew up the front and side edges of the tongue.  Turn the tongue so it is the correct way out, taking care to fully extend the forks .

Position the flat end tongue on the right side of the snakes head in line with its mouth, but have the forked end pointing back towards the snakes body.  Place the lower jaw onto the top of the head so that the right side of both pieces face each other.  Using yarn A carefully sew along the bottom and sides the head ensuring that the tongue is securely anchored into the head.  Do not sew up the top of the head.  If you would prefer not to knit a tongue for the snake a small piece of red or pink felt cut into an appropriate shape could also be attached to the snake.  However care must be taken when washing to ensure the colour does not run from the felt.

Turn the snakes head the correct way out.  Attach the eyes and sew on nostrils and eye brows if required using a dark coloured yarn.  Apply stuffing to the head and carefully sew up the underside of the jaw.  I have used either back stitch or chain stitches for embroidering the features. I have included a libary of faces (below) from some of the snakes I have made previously to browse through if you would like further inspiration

Sew together the 6 rows of stocking stitch at the end of the tail to perform a narrow tube.  Attach the bells to this tube.

This snake can be ironed flat like a traditional scarf or left to adopt the natural curve of the knitting which makes it look more like the body the body of a snake.

This scarf is not a toy.  Children should be not be left unsupervised with this scarf.  Small parts on this scarf notably the bells and eyes could be a choking hazard and the scarf should be checked regularly to ensure they remain securely attached.

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