Posted by: Leslie | April 10, 2010


Just in time for warmer weather, I present last season’s knitting projects: scarves. Most people start with scarves when learning to knit, since they are a) simple, b) gauge doesn’t matter (being one-size-fits-all), and c) there’s more patterns for scarves than for anything else. My first scarf, knit in large part while seated in outdoor concert venues in Santa Fe in the summer of 2000, was cheap periwinkle acrylic and considerably narrower at one end than at the other. Long ago it was frogged and the yarn given to another beginning knitter, and I think the dented metal needles used to make it have been passed on as well.

Fortunately, a great many patterns exist for knitters who want to make scarves beyond the basic rectangle. I knit three of the most popular patterns, Morning Surf, the Striped Noro Scarf, and the infamous Clapotis.


I wanted to get a whole project out of a single skein of Handmaiden Lady Godiva I was gifted in a swap, so Morning Surf had to be significantly narrowed. The yarn is pretty and I love the colours, but I couldn’t believe it pilled sitting in a drawer. Silk will do that, I suppose. Going to be keeping small sharp scissors handy to keep it from looking fuzzier with each wear.


Brooklyn Tweed gets credit for inventing the Noro Striped Scarf pattern, but even he admits he’s not the first to alternate two different colourways of Noro Kureyon (or in this case, Silk Garden) to get a gradual and unpredictable striped effect. Even though the knit-purl-knit-purl ad nauseam can be boring, the surprise of each colour change keeps it interesting.


Clapotis put Kate Gilbert on the map, and it’s hard to meet a serious knitter who doesn’t know this pattern. The construction is ingenious, though that fact isn’t really apparent until you knit it for yourself. I modified it based on a sample I saw at The Naked Sheep, using 4 increase rows and 17 straight rows, for a much narrower version that only takes one skein of Arequipa. Oh, and take it from me, Kate doesn’t like it when people refer to it as ‘the clap’ (sorry KG, you know I meant it in the best possible way).

And now that it’s springtime and warm and delightful, of course my thoughts are on sweaters–I’m a slow knitter, further slowed at the moment by tendinitis in my elbow, so I have to plan ahead. At least Morning Surf and Clapotis are wearable for spring and summer evenings.


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