Other than what you see here? Not much else to say about this project. It’s garter stitch. It’s a scarf. ‘Nuff said.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help. Happy Knitting!
At least one person has asked me if this scarf is of my own design. Well, yes, and… no. It’s a simple thing, really, in a basic seed stitch with a plaited cable in the center. So, nothing earth-shatteringly new there. But, someday soon I will write it all down for the curious and post in these pages. Perhaps when the thing is finished.
I’ve been away from the blog for a long while. No good reason, really… but I will say that this summer I have been in a kind of a slump. It was just the scarf and me, all summer long, day in and day out… and I thought certainly it would be too boring to hear of this same project over and over, so, instead I’ve been quiet. While knitting this scarf I have been pondering my next one, which is a commitment I’ve made to do a Special Olympics scarf. In the meantime I’ve developed a strong love-hate relationship with knitting scarves at all, so I’m starting to lose hope a bit that the next project will ever get off the ground. What is it with scarves, anyway, and why does something that seems so simple take forever to do?
A couple of other things to catch up on:
A few weeks back I bought some new yarn that I had never heard of before:
This is the Mink and Cashmere Yarn from the Great Northern Yarns company. The fiber content is 70% mink (sheared) and 30% cashmere. It sounded on the surface, like it should feel like the most amazingly luxurious yarn ever made. Well, let’s say that I was somewhat under-impressed for what I was thinking it should feel like. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly soft, but I’ve had my hands on a mink coat or two in my lifetime and well? I guess I was expecting it to feel like that. And it doesn’t. Not really… but it did sort of remind me of this silk that I have, at least in the feel of it. I haven’t knit with it yet so I don’t know what it’s like to knit with. But I’m thinking maybe someday DH will get a scarf out of this to go with his dress coat. He can’t stand the feel of wool (“itchy”) so I think this will fill the bill for him, someday.
I have something else to share:
This is my friend Jackie, from knit group. She is a relatively new knitter, and she made THAT hat, from the book, Colorwork Creations: 30+ Patterns to Knit Gorgeous Hats, Mittens and Gloves. I’m very proud of Jackie. She came to us I think less than a year ago, learning to knit her first scarf, and now, she is fearless. She saw this book somewhere and I liked it and got one and loaned it to her, and off she went. Her very first hat looked as if it would fit a giant. If that had happened to me, I might have thrown the book across the room and stomped away in disgust, but not Jackie. She was undaunted, and tried again. I think, but I’m not certain, that this was her third attempt. And it was a huge success! Not only does the hat look great, but it looks great on her, a wonderful match to her coloring and hair. She says this hat is a gift for someone, but personally? I hope she gifts it to herself. I think Jackie deserves such a lovely thing.
As for me, it’s back to the scarf. I must keep knitting, must keep knitting, must keep knitting… ciao for now.
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:
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.
I’ve had some strife in my extended family lately that has been getting me down, which has forced me to examine just what and who is “family,” and whether or not just because someone has the label of family it means that they hold some special power over me that defines my place in the world. I’m slowly coming around to the realization that what makes a family is not always just the people to whom you’re connected by blood or marriage or some other circumstance that causes your life experiences to be intertwined. A family can happen anywhere, in any way, as long as there are people somewhere who love you. I have a family of my own, and in it are people who love me. And there are others who are not family, who I know love me just as much. I have been blessed in this life with good friends to whom I am bonded as a sister to brother, or sister to sister, and for those people I am most grateful.
So my cup runneth over. And yet, when just a few have made me sad, or made me feel less a member of their clan than I had hoped I was, somehow, it still managed to rock my world. I’ve been struggling over these past few weeks to not discount all that I do have, surrounding and supporting me, and not letting those who would discount me, intentionally or unintentionally, define who I am. It’s funny how those who should be the most insignificant wind up having the biggest impact, like the proverbial sore thumb. But I will get past it. I am getting better, even if it is just a little bit every day.In the meantime, I am knitting. It’s just a scarf for now, but it is all that I can manage. I’m nearing the end of my knitting on my friend Jennifer’s scarf. In just a day or two I am going to add really long fringe on it and call it done. For the life of me I don’t know why I am attracted to so many scarves–as projects they are positively endless and I never can keep myself from tiring of them long before they are finished. But, I am stealing every possible moment to knit this before I see my friend Jennifer next week. Here I am, knitting on my lunch hour with my friend Karen from work. Karen, who I met in the bathroom on the fifth floor of my office, of all places, because we both commented on the lovely cables in another woman’s hat. They were the sort of comments that only a knitter would make, so we became instantly bonded as we washed our hands in the automatic sinks. We try to get together every couple of weeks or so, to marvel at each other’s projects and share knitting gossip. but mostly it’s so we can throw down a couple of rows during lunch before having to face a stressful afternoon in the cube farm. It helps, it really does. And I’m so lucky to have made a new friend.
Book Review: Knitting for Baby
I recently purchased the book, Knitting for Baby: 30 Heirloom Projects with Complete How-to-Knit Instructions by Kristin Nicholas and Melanie Falick. I was a little nervous about buying a book with learn-to-knit instructions already in it, because, well, I already know how to knit. And, in general, I hate those knitting books that have overly-simplified instructions followed by a bunch of impossible projects, as if someone who’s just learning to knit is going to turn out designer sweaters at the get-go. But for once, this book makes absolute sense, and I applaud the authors’ decision to make it a learn-to-knit book. Lots of people learn to knit for the first time with the impending arrival of a baby, so isn’t it great to have a book for beginners that is also filled with adorable little things to knit?
Kristin Nicholas and Melanie Fallick are just about two of my most favorite designers, and this book did not disappoint me. I love just about every project in this book. I love how it starts out with the basics, and gives you a few projects to work on, then adds a skill, and a few more projects featuring that skill, and so on. Even the most basic designs at the beginning of the book are as cute as can be, though… so even if you’re a more seasoned knitter this book is still worth a look. You’ll find everything from practical booties and hats, to beautiful sweaters, and whimsical little toys. There’s always a new baby coming in my family, as many cousins and nieces as there are, so I am quite sure that this book will get lots of use around here!
This has been the longest knitting slump ever. All summer, I’ve been knitting this:
It’s a pink scarf for my friend Jen, that I was hoping to have done in time for her visit IN MAY. So much for that! I take the scarf with me absolutely everywhere, but over the last few weeks it’s only made it out of my bag a few times. I took it with me to dinner at the pool tonight, and I got THREE WHOLE ROWS done. Whoop-dee-do. I really need to find my mojo and get this project done! I had such good intentions. Don’t I always?
The sad truth is that my UFO pile is at least three times bigger than the pile of things I’ve actually finished. This has me wondering at times if I even like to knit! Oh, I know I do like knitting, but am I passionately in love with it? I don’t know. Probably not at the moment. I need to find a project that really excites me and makes me want to finish it. Heck, some projects even have road blocks to getting started! Such as:
- The Lace Yarn Sampler Shawl from Knit Picks. It’s even purple, people! My most favorite color. What’s stopping me? It’s knit on two strands of each yarn throughout, so you can drop one and add another color, one at a time. So it blends nicely. Cool idea! Except I don’t have a yarn scale and the idea of winding two little balls out of each hank seems like a pain in the butt. Stupid, huh?
- The Girasole Blanket by Jared Flood. I got some beautiful Eco-Alpaca to knit this in. It is SO soft, and so pretty,and I got it on a discount! But that ball winding thing again is getting in my way. Why oh why do I find ball winding to be a chore? Because my kitchen table is always a cluttered mess, that’s why. I seldom have enough room anywhere for my swift and ball winder to be set up. Sigh…
- The Tam of Doom. I don’t know why I call it that. But I never got past the cast on before having to frog. I’m trying to learn Tubular Cast On and I messed up. I will get back to this…someday.
- My conscience. This is my biggest roadblock of all. I have so many UFOs, so, so many, that really, honestly? I have no business starting something new. There’s a pink scarf to finish after all, and my February Lady Sweater, and let’s not even talk about last year’s abandoned afghan. It was for a sick co-worker. The co-worker is well now, thank goodness, and the afghan is just mocking me. It’s in my active project bin, snickering. Can you hear it?
…On what turned out to be a most unusual day. It seems hard or somehow inappropriate to even talk about my mundane knitting when there was such a horrific accident on our Metro system today. I am not the most praying person, but I am indeed praying for all of the victims and their families this day.
But, on to the knitting, even with my heavy heart. I realized earlier today that it’s been a while since I’ve updated Jen’s Hello Kitty Scarf. A solid 6 weeks of knitting, and this is what I’ve got:
It’s probably close to three feet long now. I figure I’ll knit until almost the end of the ball, then fringe. So it will be however long it is. Thankfully, Jen is small and so it doesn’t need to be hugely long. But it will, I am convinced, be quite long enough.
And ok, here’s a yarny confession:
Yes, I hit the Knit Picks yarn sale last week. I got 22 balls of Andean Treasure yarn, with which I am going to make Ysolda Teague’s Coraline Sweater. I met Ysolda at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year and she was wearing that very sweater. I was smitten! And totally thrilled when she said she had made the pattern in larger sizes. Wow.
Then today? I ordered small quantities of brightly colored sock yarn for another birthday card project. I’ll be rushing. Shhh… it’s a secret.
Oh, and Jon and Kate? I’m so over them now. So sad for the kids.