Monday, 18 May 2015

The Frances sampler scarf

This came about after going through my stitch dictionary and realising that there were several patterns which could be worked over 35 stitches.  As a learning exercise, I'd recommend it, but as a knitting project there's still a lot I need to learn!

I started by trying to work out which stitches would go best together, have a similar drape etc.  Then I tried to work out the length of yarn needed.  I did this by knitting a set number of rows in garter stitch, measuring the amount of yarn used, and worked out how many rows I could do with the yarn I had. Note - this isn't a method which works!

NB - all photos taken before blocking.

I still have a lot to learn, like the fact that different stitches take up a different breadth of the scarf:


I started with ribbed border stitch, worked over a two row repeat.  Loved it as a stitch pattern, but it has a clear front and back - which I don't like for scarves.  (I like my scarves to be the same back and front).  The problem was, I couldn't work out which was supposed to be the front, and which was supposed to be the back.  

My least favourite side:

ribbed border stitch

My favourite side:

ribbed border stitch

Close up of the crossed stitch pattern:

ribbed border stitch

I'd probably use this one again, but on a jumper or other piece of clothing.  Not sure it's stretchy enough for a ribbed edging, but it looks pretty and is easy to knit.

Next were the open striped rows, again worked over a two row pattern.

Open striped rows
I think I changed this from a stockingette stitch pattern, to a garter stitch pattern to make the fabric lie flat.  Again, liked the pattern, would use it for a scarf or something similar for future patterns.

After that were the open worked squares, in both stockingette stitch and garter stitch - to stop the scarf rolling up too much.  This was worked over a ten row pattern.  Interestingly, the garter stitch squares were much shorter than the stockingette stitch (which was how the pattern was written).

Open work squares - stockingette at the bottom and top, garter in the middle.

I think the pattern needs to be worked at a tighter gauge than the one I used.  The pattern doesn't work  as well in garter stitch and I wouldn't use it in stockingette stitch for a scarf.  I like the look of the pattern, but am unlikely to use it again, as I don't know where I would use it.

Then came the crossed cardigan stitch

Crossed cardigan stitch
I liked this one - worked over one row, so the same back and front.  It looked like ribs, but wasn't.  It was much thinner across the width of the scarf, so if I were making a scarf with this stitch again, I'd probably need more stitches on the needle.  I'd also use this for sweaters or other clothing. 

Then, my second favourite stitch - eyelet mesh, worked over four rows. 

Eyelet mesh
The only downside is that the front is not the same as the back (one side is flatter than the other), so not one I'd choose for a scarf again.  I don't know about using it for other clothing, as I don't know how much it would stretch after being worn and washed a few times.  No point having a sweater which sags and looks like a tent after knitting, is there?

Then, my favourite, just because I thought it looked so pretty - Turkish stitch.

Turkish stitch
Again, this was worked over one row, with an odd number of stitches: k1 *YO, k2tog - repeat from * to end of row.  The YO K2tog combo felt a bit hard going at times, and didn't do my wrists any favours.  I'm sure there are other variations which could be made: moss stitch border, slip the first stitch rather than knit it, cast on an even number of stitches and knit both the first and last stitches.....

After the above pattern, I then reversed it and went back through eyelet mesh, crossed cardigan stitch, open worked squares, open striped rows etc.  Only, I ended up with this much yarn left for about thirty or so rows.  Now maths isn't my greatest strength, but....

Overall, as an exercise I was glad I did it.  I discovered some stitch patterns which I'd use again, I've discovered that guessing the yarn length needed isn't really the most exact way of doing it.  I almost managed to join in My Sister's Knitter  stash down knitalong, but just flunked the deadline.  I've got a vague idea about how to write a pattern, albeit a scarf pattern.  I'd recommend it to others, and would do it myself again.

Reader, I frogged it.  

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