Thursday, August 5, 2010

Knitting: gathered scarf pattern

Knitting!

Yep, it is still a knitting blog. I've mostly been working on my moderne log cabin blanket, but it only has one more block since the last time you saw it, so I'll wait till I make a little more progress on that before I post more photos, to keep from boring you to tears. But here's another project that's in the works - my ultra-portable scarf:


It's a black/gray variegated fuzzy mohair scarf knit in stockinette with skinny needles (2.25 mm). Weighs about nothing, collapses to tiny, it's not fussy, and it takes forever to make progress on it, so it's a perfect travel project.


The pattern is pretty basic and cobbled together from some different things I've read. I started by casting on 100 stitches, knit ten rows in stockinette, then knit a decrease row (knit 2 together all the way across) so it went down to 50 stitches. This creates a nice ruffle on the end. Then another 9 rows of stockinette with the 50 stitches. Then I increased back up to 100 stitches on the next row by knitting in the front and back of each stitch all the way across. Then 9 more rows of stockinette. Then another decrease row, and so on.

This gives you alternating panels of wide (100 stitches across) and narrow (50 stitches across), which creates nice gathers all along the scarf. It's hard to see in the photos, particularly because the color is variegated, but it has a very cool sculptural effect. The yarn is very thin and light, probably a laceweight, which gives it an ethereal feel that is grounded by the neutral/modern colorway. For a totally different effect, I may try another one with a bit thicker yarn in a very drapey smooth fiber, like linen or silk. I think a heavier yarn might require a lower frequency of gathers too (15 or 20 row panels maybe). Not sure though.

Here's a summary of the pattern:
Cast on 100 sts
Knit 10 rows in stockinette
--then--
Row 1: Knit 2 together across (decrease to 50 sts)
Rows 2-10: Stockinette
Row 11: Increase row: Knit front and back of each stitch (increase to 100 sts)
Rows 12-20: Stockinette

Repeat these 20 rows until the scarf is as long as you want. The gathers look really cool, so be sure to show it to everyone FREQUENTLY and demand admiration for your work. "Look!! Look at the gathers!!"
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