As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I want a scarf that matches the hat I just made myself. I have knitted scarves before, so of course this should be easy. Right?
Well, I can’t start a new project without giving myself some kind of challenge. First of all, I don’t have enough of the cream-colored yarn left to make an entirely cream-colored scarf. I decided to make up the difference with some of my leftover green yarn. But with a different set of colors, it seemed more important than ever to keep the faux cable pattern from the hat. Here were the things hovering in the back of my mind:
- I could just follow the pattern for Nougat, the matching neckwarmer designed by Susanna IC. But if I did that, I’d probably have to do the entire thing in green … and I just don’t like it as much as a big, long scarf that wraps around and around my neck.
- I’d have to accept that the scarf would have a “wrong” side, because this pattern just doesn’t look the same on both sides. And there are very few approaches to multi-color knitting that don’t leave some evidence on the wrong side. Well … that’s ok.
- But then I’d have to figure out how to make this pattern non-circular. It has a 5-row repeated pattern, which meant I’d have to do each step from both the right side and the wrong side at some point.
- And I needed to figure out how to do this while joining together two colors in vertical stripes, which I had never done before. I heard of this method … intarsia … yeah, let’s try that! (I couldn’t do something like Fair Isle, because the whole point of using two colors is that I don’t have enough of the one color to carry behind the other color.)
I started by following the basic 2 purl, 3 knit approach used in the hat pattern and tried just switching colors at some point. After starting it and ripping out the stitches three times, it finally dawned on me: That pattern would never work, however I tried it, because I always wanted to join the colors around the purl stitches — and with intarsia, the “wrong” side is always the purl side. (If I’m wrong about that, do let me know. But as far as I can tell, that’s the case.)
So I decided to rewrite the pattern. I wanted half the scarf in green, and the other half to alternate cream-green-cream, so the entire pattern would have to repeat six times in each row. (1x cream, 1x green, 1x cream, 3x green.) I wanted a faux cable in each color, and I needed a two-knit rib where the colors joined. So this is what I came up with:
Edge ribbing (a.k.a. basic pattern):
- Row 1: K1, P1, K3, P1, K1 (repeat 6x per row)
- Row 2: P1, K1, P3, K1, P1 (repeat 6x per row)
- Repeat rows 1 and 2 for about 2 inches to create ribbed edge
- From right side: K1, P1, Sl1, K2, PSSO, P1, K1 (repeat 6x)
- From wrong side: P1, K1, P1, YO, P1, K1, P1 (repeat 6x)
- 3 rows of the basic pattern (row 1, row 2, row 1)
- From wrong side: P1, K1, P2, Move 2 purl stitches to left needle, Pass 3rd stitch over the two purled stitches, move 2 purl stitches back to right needle, P1, K1 (repeat 6x)
- From right side: K1, P1, K1, YO, K1, P1, K1 (repeat 6x)
- 3 rows of the basic pattern (row 2, row 1, row 2)
I am most proud of figuring out how to do that Slip1/K2/PSSO from the wrong side. I looked around online to see if anyone had directions for “reversing” that pattern, but I didn’t find anything. I almost decided to just do 4 rows of the basic pattern instead of 3 rows, just to even it out. But in the end I visualized the process in my head and reasoned out how it should work. And it does!
The resulting look isn’t identical to the hat, but they match well enough for my taste. (Although the photo doesn’t show it, those cream colors are exactly the same.) I just wish I had thought ahead about the color thing — I could have made the ribbing on the hat in green! Ah well … I do these kinds of crafty projects more for my amusement than for perfect results. 🙂