Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Scarf Recipe

Since the funky scarves from my last post drew so much attention (I posted them on three communities, and everyone was so flattering), and I've been asked to post my 'recipe' for them, here you go! (Note: The pics are the same as they were in the previous post, just separated and shown here again for reference, should you link to just this post and not my whole blog. :D)

First, choose your color families. For the first scarf I chose Red, Green, and Purple (RGP); for the second, I chose Blue, Purple, and Green (and I refer to it as the Blue scarf). Don't be afraid to put opposite colors together...on the flip side, you could do something like Pink, Red, and Orange where everything is related somehow.

Next, choose three yarns in each color family. The method I used for the scarves shown was as follows: Select one plain yarn that exemplifies the color for you. Then select one that has a definite texture, like mohair or eyelash or glitz, etc. Then select one yarn of any texture or pattern that still falls within the color family, but only barely. (For example: in my greens in the first scarf, I chose a forest green alpaca, a soft eyelash yarn in lettuce colors, and then a wool yarn in a green that looks almost yellow-gold at times, but is still green.) It helps if the yarns are similar weights/gauges, but it's not vital. It just helps.

Plan out how random you want to be. The first scarf was simply thus:

CO 20sts
Row 1 (RS): K across
Row 2: K2, P16, K2
work 11 rows total this way, ending with a RS row.
Row 12: Change yarns and work 11 rows as you did for the previous yarn.

This gives you stockinette-reverse stockinette-stockinette etc., which is the effect I wanted. The k2 on the WS rows keeps it from curling at the sides.

I repeated the colors 3 times. The RGP scarf has only 9 yarns in it; I knitted all 9 and then, when I finished section 9, I pulled out my yarns again. Here's where a little thought is needed.

I decided that I didn't want any yarn to touch any other yarn more than once. I also didn't want the same yarn near itself; I set a guideline of minimum 5 other yarns in between. This meant I had to be careful about what the order of the next section would be. I tried to keep it random, however, so I would figure out what yarns could be used next to each other and would grab from that pile without looking.

Repeat this for a total of 3 sections or 27 blocks. The scarf will look horrific until you weave in all the ends, etc. I knitted some ends in where I could; use your judgement.

You can either block the scarf now and leave it borderless, or do what I did and crochet a black border around it. I highly recommend a solid black yarn, preferably superwash (since scarf ends tend to pick up stuff) and plain. You don't want to take away from all the color and pattern of the other yarns, y'know?

Remember to crochet extra sc in each corner so they stay square!! Also, I used a larger hook than I normally would, since I wanted the edges to be able to stretch. I hate it when the sides of a scarf are crocheted too tightly; the scarf does that weird pouching thing and never hangs quite right.

The Blue scarf was done a bit differently. I was making that one for me, so I felt freer to experiment more. The changes:

--12 yarns instead of 9
--Changing stitch patterns with each yarn--there's garter, moss, seed, stockinette, etc.
--3 borders crocheted on: black, noro kureyon, and black again.

I hope this helps you design one of your own! I also sell these on my etsy shop, http://divinebird.etsy.com if you're not a knitter or don't want to do this yourself. :)



surya said...

these are great. i definitely plan on using up some of my bits of balls this way. i love your crochet border...as a rule i never put a border around my scarves but your black really makes the colors pop. you can bet i'm going to be trying that in the near future. thanks!

jaime said...

I love these scarves. I'm going to have to learn how to crochet a border because I do love the black so much. thanks for sharing your recipe!!

TeAntae said...

Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to making one of my own with the bits and bobs of yarn that I have (and an excuse to save from other projects as well). Plus I need to learn a bit of crochet anyway. =)

Not An Artist said...

Beautiful scarf pattern! Sounds like a perfect excuse to buy a few random balls of luxury/novelty yarns for a fun project ;)

Thanks for the note about the Andrea Bag, I'm still just amazed that any got knit at all, it is pretty awesome! I can't wait to see the finished item.