Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf – Free Pattern

A free crochet pattern for a scarf with shells and rows of double crochet – easy enough for a beginner but still has an interesting pattern!

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf - Free Pattern

This has been my favorite scarf this winter – it’s wide, warm and so so soft! And the colors are just beautiful. It was also fun to make because the pattern uses easy double crochets, but is not boring. It has three shells and two sets of double crochets for each row. Plus, it’s long enough that it can be worn many different ways, or you could even sew the ends together and make it a cowl.

And, may I present to you, my very first chart on the blog! I created it myself, so it’s not perfect, but I think it’ll do the trick to help you understand the pattern. To print it, click one of the three buttons at the bottom of this post and it will print just the pattern and nothing else!

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf Chart

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf

Written and Designed by Sara of My Merry Messy Life – © 2013


  • Hook: I
  • Yarn: 2 skeins Deborah Norville – Soft Worsted Prints, Lilac Ridge (where to buy)
  • Scissors & tapestry needle to cut and sew in tails


  • CH = chain
  • DC = double crochet
  • SH ST = shell stitch (6 double crochets in the same space)
  • SP = space
  • SK = skip

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf - free pattern for an elegant scarf!


Row 1

  • CH 22
  • In the 4th CH from the hook, work 1 DC
  • Work a DC in the next CH
  • SK 1 CH
  • Work a SH ST (6 DC in the same CH)
  • SK 1 CH
  • Work 1 DC in each of the next 3 CH’s
  • SK 1 CH
  • Work another SH ST (6 DC in the same CH) in the next CH
  • SK 1 CH
  • Work 1 DC in each of the next 3 CH’s
  • SK 1 CH
  • Work a SH ST (6 DC in the same CH)
  • Work 1 DC in each of the last two CH’s

Row 2

  • CH 3
  • Work 1 DC in the next SP (in between the 2nd DC and the SH ST of the previous row)
  • Work a SH ST (6 DC in the same CH) in the middle of the previous SH ST (see pics below for clarification)
  • Work 1 DC on the top of each of the next 3 previous DC’s
  • Work a SH ST (6 DC in the same CH) in the middle of the previous SH ST
  • Work 1 DC on the top of each of the next 3 previous DC’s
  • Work a SH ST (6 DC in the same CH) in the middle of the previous SH ST
  • Work 1 DC on the top of each of the previous DC’s

Repeat Row 2 for the remainder of the scarf! I usually make mine about 5 feet long, which is long enough for me to tie and wear many different ways.

Here are some closeup photos to help you as you work the scarf:

Each row starts with a chain (CH) 3. The first double crochet (DC) is worked in next space (not the same space as the CH 3). Each shell is worked in the middle of the previous shell, so in between the 2 sets of 3 DC’s.

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf - Steps and How To

The double crochet’s (DC’s) are worked on just the top piece of yarn of the previous double crochet so that they stay perfectly lined up. Then, I have a picture showing what the end of each row should look like, and a cross-section of the 3 DC’s, a shell stitch, and 3 DC’s.

Crochet Shells and Rails Scarf Pattern - Steps and How-To

Merry Crocheting!

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Very pretty

  2. Bravo!!!!! I thought the modified granny square scarf/cowl was good.. Can’t wait to try this one!

  3. I’m looking forward to making this scarf. Do you think this would be a good pattern for a man scarf?

    • Hmmm, that’s a good question, Sandra! I’m not really sure because the shells may make it look somewhat feminine. Perhaps if you worked it in one color, like a tweed yarn, or did stripes it would help it to look masculine.

      • I thought the same thing the shells make feminine. Oh Well! I’ll think of something.

        • Hi Sara I found a shell pattern that is for a man scarf. It has one shell and a double crochets on each row. The edging finishes it with a thick looking scarf. Manly Fashion!
          Checkout your Facebook page because I posted a picture of them

  4. Lovely project! I love the happy colors you used for this!
    Thank your for sharing, I am pinning 🙂
    Wish you a nice week,
    Hanni recently posted..Crochet Purses – the simple onesMy Profile

  5. It is gorgeous! I too, love, love the colors of the yarn – makes it irresistible 🙂
    Maya recently posted..Vintage scarves and some yarn for sale – the stash bustin’ post 🙂My Profile

  6. Annette Kelly says:

    In the instructions, you start a new paragraph after Row 2 instructions where you state “repeat Row 3 until finished. I’m new to crocheting so can you explain the comment repeat Row 3 until finished.


  7. This is just gorgeous! I am heading to the yarn store tomorrow, so will pick up some of this yarn and give it a try. Thanks for sharing your pattern 🙂

  8. Alison in Langley says:

    Hi Sara – I love this scarf pattern. I’ve been looking for a pattern to make myself a new scarf and this is the one!

  9. I love the way you print your instructions. I am a newbie at crocheting and I have been re-typing all of the instructions the way you have yours here. Love the pictures you posted. (I always like to have a visual so this really helps beginners,like me.) Thanks for sharing your pattern. Have a great day.
    Eva in Oklahoma

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  11. I have followed your directions and have pulled it out several times. I think there is an error in the written instructions. I really want to make this scarf. Very pretty, Thank you

  12. I love this. It’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing. But I believe there is a mistake in the pattern. It’s missing the third set of 6 dcs in the first row. The graph is correct. Just follow it.

  13. Bearlakenana says:

    Thank you for sharing your pattern. As this is the “year of the scarf” for my Christmas gifts, I will be making this. I really love the yarn you used!

  14. So I made this for my sister for Christmas and I like it so much that I went to get yarn to make one for myself. Thanks for sharing it with us!
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