Category Archives: Scarves

Scarves with a pattern

Do you really need a pattern to create a scarf?  We have some, if you want to use them, but no, you really don’t need a pattern.

This is how you can create a scarf without using a pattern.

(A crocheted scarf would use the same thought process, of course, so use whatever craft you are most comfortable with.   Keep in mind that a scarf is all about drape, and many crochet stitches don’t allow much drape, so they might not be appropriate for a scarf, and would work better on a hat which doesn’t need drape.)

Step One – Choose a Stitch

In order to decide what  stitch you want to use on the scarf ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the stitch two sided?   (you see both sides of a scarf)
  2. Is it knit/purl balanced? (so it won’t curl)
  3. Is this a comfortable stitch to use for the whole length of a scarf? (if it’s too hard, or you don’t enjoy knitting it, then you won’t want to make a 48 inch long scarf with it!!)

If you don’t own your own dictionary of stitch patterns you can find them at your local book store or library.  Here are a few on-line dictionaries that you might enjoy using.

Step Two – Practice

Before you start a scarf using the new stitch pattern you have chosen you need to figure out two things:  1. Is this a fun stitch to use on a scarf  and 2.  How big will the stitch be in my yarn (so I know how many to stitches to cast on).

The easiest way to answer both of those questions at the same time is to use the pattern and create a swatch.  It doesn’t need to be huge, just a couple of repeats of the pattern is usually enough to see how it works, and how wide a repeat is.

Take for example this pattern stitch, called Chevron Stripes.

chevron_stripes

This looks like a fun pattern, it’s not hard to do, it will look the same on both sides, and it won’t curl much.  The pattern is a repeat of 18 stitches over 30 rows.  So for a swatch one could cast on 22 stitches (18 for the stitch and two stitches for a border worked in grater at the edge)  then work about 15 rows –  just enough to see how it works, and how big it will be.  This will tell you how many repeats you will need (including a border) to create a scarf of the width you want.

For example: if you knit a swatch and find that the Chevron Stripe pattern is 4 inches wide, and you want a scarf that is at least 8 inches wide, then two repeats of the pattern will work for you scarf.  So that would be 18 x 2 = 36 stitches.

But you don’t want to forget the edging!  If you add five stitches of garter stitch on each side of the scarf then you need to cast on 46 stitches.

Don’t get too bogged down in the numbers, swatches will lie to you given half a chance, so it’s a “guesstimate” at the best of times. Go with it, and don’t be afraid to rip it out and start again if you don’t like it.

 Step Three – Start your scarf

Cast on the stitches you think you need.  Don’t forget that if you have added a border on the edges you will want a border to start with, too.  In our example we used garter, so for our scarf we would cast on 46 stitches and work in garter stitch for an inch or so, and then begin the Chevron stripe pattern.  After about 3 inches of the pattern you should be able to tell if it is what you want:

  • Is it curling?
  • Is it fun to knit?
  • Is it wide enough?
  • Does it look like you want it to?
  • Are you happy?

There is no shame in starting over!  If there is something you think would make it better then rip it out and start again.  One of the joys of a scarf is that you can test out new stitch patterns, play with needle sizes or widths,  and it doesn’t take long to know if you are happy with it.

Step Four (OPTIONAL)

Write it down!  If you write a pattern that works for you and you like the way it looks write it down and send it to us.  We will test it and if we like it too, then we will put it up on the website for others to share!

We already know that you are a caring and generous person or you wouldn’t be knitting for Adele’s Legacy to begin with, so please, don’t hesitate to share your pattern with us – knitters and crocheters will thank you!!

Finishing School (Yarn Ends)

In an effort to help new knitters, and to ensure that we spread good knitting and crocheting habits, Adele’s Legacy provides proven best practices and advice for those who are interested.  Don’t forget our Tips and Tricks, too!  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a message, and we will help you if we can!  

When you start or finish a piece of handwork there is always a short length of yarn that is not actually a part of the item.  We call these the “end” and they are very important.  If the ends are not correctly woven into the piece you are making that wonderful hat or scarf that you have worked so hard on might unravel the first time it is washed!  Here are some basic guidelines to dealing with yarn ends.

  • Yarn ends should be at least 7 inches long.  If they are too short you will have trouble weaving them in.  If they are too long they get in the way as you are working.
Sharp needle on left, blunt  needle on right.
Sharp needle on left, blunt needle on right.
  • It is best to use a sharp needle when weaving in ends.  A blunt needle is often useful to join pieces together (like sewing up a sleeve), but for sewing in ends a sharp needle is the most useful because you will want to split yarn as you weave.

 

  • Thread your needle and then, using the sharp point of your needle skim across the fabric of your work.  The needle should go through just about a third of the strand of yarn. It should be enough to anchor the yarn you are sewing in, but not enough to be seen through on the other side.
Skim across the fabric of your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Go back and forth, in the same way about three times, and then do it again, cutting across perpendicular to the three strands you just wove. (In the picture the yarn is blue just so you can see what it should look like.) This will help hold the end in place, and not allow it to unravel as easily. When you do the last pass of weaving in you should go through your work, but ALSO through the strands of yarn you just wove in. None of this should be obvious from the RIGHT side of the work (the outside of the hat, for example.)

Picture5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This is what it looks like when it’s complete. Of course, on your work you would have only one end because the other would be attached to your work.
Picture4
Weaving completed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • You do it the same way if the inside (or wrong side) of the item is the knit side, or if it’s crocheted.  You do not want to pull it too tight, it should be the same tension as the rest of the fabric of the item, so it won’t show. When you are done cut off the excess yarn and you are done with that yarn end!
Weaving on knit side fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • If you are working on a scarf, or with yarn of a contrasting color, where there might be more change of the color showing through on the other side you can make it less obvious by splitting the yarn.  Before you thread your yarn end onto the needle split the yarn into two pieces. For example, if you are working with 6-ply yarn, split the yarn end into two strands of 3-ply yarn.  Then weave each yarn in separately. This will lessen the thickness of the weaving and will reduce the “footprint” of the weaving. It takes a little longer, but it makes a better product.