FO Report: Greenleaf Center Christmas Scarf

Greenleaf Center Christmas Scarf

Greenleaf Center Christmas Scarf

Project Name:Greenleaf Center Christmas Scarf
Source: My Own Design (yay!)
Yarn Used: Caron One Pound
Needle Size: U.S. 9
Date Started: July 15, 2011
Date Completed: September 24, 2011


(This scarf was knitted as a donation to the Greenleaf Senior Center in Washington, DC.)

Ok, so you know how everything old is new again? Well, it’s kinda that way with this scarf. I didn’t invent anything about this pattern. I just did a sort of knitting mash-up of several things I already know how to do. I bet you do, too. So, let me explain what I did.

The scarf is in three parts. It starts with 8 rows of 2×2 rib, then transitions to a basic seed stitch pattern, with a plaited cable in the center, and ends with 8 rows of ribbing again. All of these stitch patterns can be found in Barbara Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns” (the blue one). But I will describe them in my own words, below.

Yarn: Heavy Worsted Weight Yarn. (In my example I used about half a skein of Caron One Pound. Wool would be nicer, but it’s what I had that was washable, which is a requirement for the recipient.)

Needles: I used a size 9 circular needle. In general, use one or two sizes larger than you normally would, so your scarf is a little loose and drapey.

Cable needle

2 stitch markers

2×2 Rib Pattern
Row 1: *K2, P2* across, end K2.
Row 2: Sl first st P-wise, P1. *K2, P2* to last 2 sts. End P1, K1. (this will give you a good selvedge on both sides.)
Row 3: *K2, P2* across, slipping firs stitch p-wise. End K2.

Seed Stitch Pattern
Row 1: *K1, P1* across.
Row 2: Repeat Row 1. (You will be knitting the purls and purling the knits, as they face you.)
Note: Always sl first stitch of every row P-wise.

Cable Panel (worked over 13 sts)
Row 1: P2, K9, P2
Row 2: K2, P9, K2
Row 3: P2, sl next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front. Knit next 3 sts. Knit 3 sts from cable needle,K3, P2.
Row 4: K2, P9, K2
Row 5: P2, K9, P2
Row 6: K2, P9, K2
Row 7: P2, K3, with cable needle, sl next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in back. Knit next 3 stitches. Knit 3 sts from cable needle. P2.
Row 8: K2, P9, K2

Begin Scarf:
CO 34 stitches. I did the knit-on cast on, but long tail or something similar will do. Knit the Rib pattern for 8 rows (or however many rows suit you… end on row 2 of pattern.)

Seed Stitch/Cable Pattern Setup Row: Follow seed stitch pattern for 11 sts. (your 11th st should be a k.) Place marker, if this helps you. Begin cable panel, P2, K4, M1, K4 P2. (The M1 is very important because it will give you the correct number of sts you will need for the cable pattern.) Place marker. Do seed stitch pattern for remaining 11 stitches, starting and ending with a K stitch. (Note: You will now have 35 stitches on the needle.)

Rows 2 through 8 –Follow cable pattern for center of scarf, and continue the seed stitch on the 11 stitches on either side.

Repeat Rows 1-8 of cable pattern with seed stitch sides until you’ve reached your desired length. End pattern on Row 1, being careful to do a decrease in the center of the cable panel. When you reach the end of the row, you should now have 34 stitches on the needle.

Begin 2×2 rib pattern, starting with Row 2. Continue for 8 rows, ending with Row 1. (This is so the two ribbed ends will match.)

Bind off, and you’re done!

In general, my rule of thumb is to make the scarf as long as the recipient is tall. I made mine about 5 feet because chances are good my recipient will be a wheelchair user.

I hope my instructions are clear. If not, email me at and I will try to help. Happy Knitting!

When Something Small Does Something Good

I am a selfish knitter. I admit it. Rarely do I knit for others, but that’s because I know myself. You see, I knit, a LOT. What I don’t do? Finish. Anything. In all of 2010, I finished one scarf. A scarf that I started in 2009. This year? Nada. Zilch. Nothing completed. That’s bad, right? Yeah, it kinda is.

So I’ve learned, learned not to make promises when it comes to my knitting. And yet, here I am, about to tell you about yet another promise I’ve made. Guess what? I’m knitting for a charity drive at work. And guess what it is? A scarf:

Beginnings of cable and seed stitch scarf

Beginnings of cable and seed stitch scarf

You see, my office has a longstanding tradition of charitable giving to one of the senior citizen homes in Washington, DC. Among other activities, every year, we host a Christmas luncheon for them, and everyone receives a gift of some sort–maybe playing cards, toiletries, etc. This year, it was decided that a handmade gift should be included in each gift.

And it is no secret that I am a knitter.

I’ve been personally asked to make something, and to tell all my friends. So, I’m doing both. There are not many rules… they’re collecting things that are “keep warm” type items, that don’t have to conform to a size. Scarves, small shawls, hand warmers, lap robes. That sort of thing. And they have to be made from a machine washable yarn. Someone in my knit group yesterday asked if she could make a lap blanket out of fabric, as she’s recently gotten back into quilting again. I certainly wasn’t going to say no to that! So, wow. I’m doing it. I’m making a scarf.

Now, since the last scarf I made clearly took about a year, and this time I don’t have that kind of time, I have to stay focused. I have to stay dedicated. I have to get it done, this dang scarf, so I can say I got it done. I decided to make it with seed stitch and an easy cable, so there’s just enough interest on every row to keep me going. So far, it’s working, but it’s only been 10 days.

Wish me luck, will you? I’m SO really bad at knitting for Good. Even when that good thing is a small thing, it’s usually such a big deal. I can finish this one thing this year, can’t I? Or. make that two things. I’m also signed up to do a Special Olympics Scarf. Oh, boy, am I in trouble.

The Wheels of Progress…

It seems like forever since I’ve done a “normal” blog post. So, I’m gonna try.

I’ve discovered that one of the hard parts about doing a long-term, never-ending project like the one I’m working on now is that it gets monotonous to talk about and blog about over and over. And then it gets monotonous to work on. So, as much as I love this project, my enthusiasm for it, alas, is waning. I am still, however, determined to get it done.

Here is tonight’s photo update:

Blanket in progress

Blanket in progress

By now I guess I can say that it is a baby blanket, for a special boy who has now been born. It seems at this pace that it will be a while before he receives it, but then I guess that means it’s a good thing that it’s something of a large blanket, because maybe he’ll be a grown man before it is done! I certainly hope not, though, because even though I love this project and will probably produce a pattern on it someday, there are many times I wish to be knitting something else! The cowl bug is biting me, hard, and the shawl bug, and the hat bug. And I still have my February Lady Sweater to finish, that was halted to accommodate this project, and I’d like to try my hand at other sweaters as well.

The other day on my Knit Talk group we were discussing various patterns that different people like to knit over and over. My good friend Joanie mentioned that she loved to knit basic raglan sweaters from an old Leisure Arts booklet that was first released in the 1970s. “The Complete Book of Raglan Sweaters,” contains several variations on a basic design in just about every size. Of course, my curiosity was piqued and so I ordered a copy for myself. It’s a great little book, if you like raglans, of course. In general raglans look just about as awful on me as they do the next fat girl but I kinda like their relaxed, “wear it on Sunday” appeal. So, I think I may try one. Maybe I’ll do one for my son first, since he’s the smallest person here, just to see how it goes. If that goes well then maybe I’ll be on a roll and be brave enough to try other kinds of sweaters. I keep hoping for that magic design that will prove to me how easy making garments that fit can be, so I can get over my fear of them and just start making — and finishing — actual sweaters. Then I’d feel like a real knitter.

Yep, I’ve been knitting for six years now and I feel like a poser. Still. I think that’s why I don’t finish very many things. I don’t feel like an accomplished knitter most of the time, so I don’t allow myself to accomplish many things. Does that make sense? Why, oh why do I hold myself back?

I suppose that’s a discussion to be continued on another day. I think I’m getting too philosophical for this late hour. Bedtime beckons. And, for once, I’m listening. See you soon.

August Knitting

I can’t believe that summer is almost over. I’ve been busy, but doing what? I don’t know. I’ve been making time for knitting every day, though, and my mystery project is coming right along:

Mystery Project in Progress

Mystery Project in Progress

I hadn’t decided how to do the color changes until I actually got to them. But, rather than continuing right along with the cable and double moss stitch pattern, I put in a “transition band” of reverse stockinettte with the chocolate color, and then am continuing with the blue. Then before I go back to the cream again I will put in another band of chocolate. Then at the moment I am thinking of an applied garter stitch edge or maybe an i-cord edge. Something simple, not lacy, given that I want the attention to be focused on the stitching in the main bands. I feel like I’ve made lots of progress while at the same time I have miles to go!

I can’t believe it’s the middle of August already and that summer is almost over. By now usually I’d have been to the pool lots and have been caught up on listening to podcasts and done lots of knitting by the picnic tables. But not this year. We’ve had a ridiculous, relentless heatwave all summer that has made us not want to spend much time outside. Every week we were sure that it would be over the next week, but it just went on and on, and now here we are. I feel like I have lots of summer to make up for in just a week! The kids go back to school on the 23rd and 25th this year. I know we started going back to school before Labor Day even back when I was in school, but I never thought it was right and I still don’t. It’s still summer, dangit, and I’m not ready for it to be done.

Thankfully, today is a nice day and so we’re meeting family at the pool for the afternoon. I’ve got my knitting ready, and some trashy romance novels on my Kindle. It’s going to be a good day.