On to Another Scarf

Garter stitch scarf underway

Garter stitch scarf underway

This is crazy, but one day after finishing my charity scarf, I’ve started another one. This time it’s a simple color block, garter stitch scarf with my new yarn from Knit Picks. The yarn is called Biggo, which I think is rather silly, as yarn names go, but I like it! It’s soft and works up quickly.

Other than what you see here? Not much else to say about this project. It’s garter stitch. It’s a scarf. ‘Nuff said.

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

Notes:

(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 trish@trishknits.com and I will try to help. Happy Knitting!

Knitting Weekend and Catching Up

Scarf Progress

Scarf Progress

I never quite know how to show a scarf in progress on my blog. For the most part, they’re long and unwieldy, and since I do most of my photos indoors at night, it’s not like I can take them out and hang them from the fence post to shoot them outdoors. So today, I’m enlisting my pal Hedda, my trusty hat model, so you can see the pattern in my scarf. Problem is, doing it this way doesn’t really show how LONG the scarf is, which is of what I am most pleased at the moment. It’s about 4 feet long at this point, which means, dear people, that I am nearly DONE, or at least about four-fifths done, and yes, I’m thinking of other knitterly things.

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:

mink and cashmere yarn

mink and cashmere yarn

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:

Jackie's Tam

Jackie's Tam

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.

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.