Thursday, July 10, 2008

Scarves are Tough

Am I the only one who finds it difficult to decide on a stitch pattern for a scarf? The thing about scarves is that they really are much more appealing (to me at least) when the pattern is reversible. Even if it isn't identical on the front and back, I really prefer a scarf in a pattern where there will be no wrong side and right side. (Lace is my exception for that, since it tends to take a closeup look to tell the difference beetween the two sides anyway.)

I suppose this is why ribbed scarves are so common. A ribbed stitch is an easy answer to the reversibility question. I can't think of any other reason that ribbed stitches would be so common for scarves. I can think of no reason to seek a stitch with horizontal stretch, so it must be the reversibility that appeals. Of course, there are a myriad of choices of ribbed stitches, but the bottom line is that there will always be lots of purling involved and I'm not just a fan of back and forth between knit and purl for the duration of a scarf.

There are also lots of options for reversible stitch patterns in the knit/purl vein that are not ribbed patterns. Basketweave and all its permutations. Chevron stitches and such. I suppose there really is no shortage of choices, but the ones that jump to mind all seem to fall into these usual categories.

I had it in mind to knit a scarf from a bulkier yarn; specifically, my FF Heavy Worsted Merino. Something with lots of texture and a not too crisp look stirred in my mind. And, of course, I wanted something reversible.

Yes, I just don't find scarves all that easy.

After quite a bit of swatching and thinking and hesitating, here's what I settled on:

It's difficult to make out the stitch pattern in the photo, but it's a bit crisper (but not too crisp :) in person and looks a bit like it's crochet rather than knit. Here's a closeup:

I rather like it so far and am even thinking that I should perhaps whip up a matching hat. It would make a nice set for my mother, although I had planned on this for myself since I'm a bit short on winter scarves. We shall see.

When complete, I'll whip up the pattern and share it (perhaps on Ravelry as a free download?).

That's about all the knitting I have for today. I've been enjoying zipping out these small projects lately. I still don't have tons of time for knitting, but at least with smaller projects I can have that sense of satisfaction of actually finishing something from time to time.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


Joan said...

That is gorgeous-- both the color and the pattern! Does it eat up a lot of yarn?

Deb for Fearless Fibers said...

In answer to Joan's question, the stitch pattern combined with this heavy worsted yarn does go through a fair amount of yarn. I'll post more info once it's done to let you know the total.

My hope is that it will work out so that with 2 skeins (4 ounces each and 140 yards each) that I can get both a modest-length scarf + a matching hat. The scarf will likely use over 1 skein and the hat under 1. We shall see how it all plays out :)

DragonsChest said...

It is a very interesting looking, and complicated looking, stitch! I like the colorway.