Writing Your own Pattern – A Scarf

This Princess Scarf article (that I cannot read) has a photograph of a lovely scarf on the Princess of Norway’s neck. It’s a variegated pink yarn that is quite lovely with the background being her black and white outfit. (I tried, I really did, to get the photo inserted here. No luck! That’s why you have to click and go to see the scarf. It’s worth it, I promise, it’s very pretty!)

So, the big question here is, how do you knit a scarf like this?

IMG_0310The first challenge, obviously, is to find a similar yarn. I’d suggest printing the picture and heading out to your local yarn shop. It doesn’t matter what “weight” of yarn you choose because I’m going to tell you how to write your own pattern. But what you do need to know is how to find yarn that will mimic the scarf so that you won’t have a scarf that looks NOTHING like the Princess’!

The “Princess” scarf has a short color change. The pink and pink or pink and cream colors are fairly consistent across the knitted cloth in short lengths and nearly looks like it is “tweedy” or “mottled”. So you’re going to look for yarn that has short color changes. This yarn looks like it’s a lighter weight than a “chunky” or “bulky” yarn and is likely worsted or sport or even sock weight. It’s also a smooth yarn rather than a “thick and thin” or “slubby” or “fun fur” or even of a fiber that has a “haze” like angora or mohair. If you like another color, this is the time to choose color wisely – make sure you love it!

I went online to Jimmy Bean’s Wool and found a couple of different yarns that might work: Madelinetosh Prairie Short Skeins Yarn in Fragrant or Universal Yarns Bamboo Pop Yarn in Pink Joy. The first is a fingering weight and the second is a DK weight. Neither color is exactly like the Princess’, but both would work. Obviously, one will be lighter than the other. Take into consideration how cold it gets where you live! (I live in Florida and it’s not very cold here. Ever!)

needlesOnce you’ve found your beautiful yarn, you need to match it with an appropriate sized needles. The Princess’ scarf is not lacy or open, the stitches are close together. The yarn band or tag will tell you the needle size recommended for your yarn. Sometimes there is a choice (it may say on a size 1-3 or 3-5). Next you need to mix up your yarn and needles by making a swatch. You can read my post about swatching here! And there is a great article on Knitty here. Now you’ll be able to see how your yarn is knitting up and see how many stitches you need to cast on!

Now, it’s time to decide how wide you want your scarf to be. I’m guessing that the Princess’ scarf is about eight inches wide. But you can make yours as wide or narrow as you like (and you can even start, frog and start again if you don’t like it. I give you permission!)

The Universal Pop yarn says to use needles size 5-7 and I’ll get 5-6 stitches per inch. Measuring my gauge, let’s say I get 5 stitches per inch on my US 5 needles. And I want my scarf to be 8 inches wide. I need to cast on 40 stitches. (5×8=40).

For this scarf, I’m going to use a stockinette stitch (knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side) and I’m going to continue in this pattern throughout. It looks like the original scarf is pretty long – and I’m going to knit my scarf until it’s about the same length (or the length I like) and then cast off on the right side.

Ta Da! You have just designed your very own scarf!

A couple of tips …

1. Your edge will be much prettier if you slip the first stitch in every row. Slip it purlwise or knitwise but be consistent!

2. Block your scarf! (See my post about blocking here!) It will hold its shape and the sides of stockinette stitch fabric are famous for rolling. Blocking will help it to unroll … but if you look at the Princess’ scarf, you’ll see it does roll a little bit! 🙂

Gone knitting!

 

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