18 April 2011

Serpentine Short-Round Scarf

Well, my first published pattern is moving out into the world. The Serpentine Short-Round Scarf was in the STITCHES South Fashion Show on Friday evening. If you were in the market on Saturday or Sunday, you could acquire the pattern with purchase of the yarn. The booklet will be published later this summer, hopefully in June.

I do want to be good about pattern support. If you purchase one of my designs, I want you to be able to work through it all and to be able to do so using the sort of subtle detailing that a long-time knitter would use. I want you to have a beautiful product you wear with pride around knitters.

Because I enjoy playing around with construction and technique, this scarf is knit in the round and shaped using short rounds, rather than short rows. It is also a type of double-knitting, this being the slipped-stitch variety. You only deal with one yarn at one time, working across the needle in knit one, slip one. I have given you a cast-on and a bind-off that match, which is the sort of quality detailing I think you all expect in a good pattern. I don't think this scarf is a difficult pattern, but the techniques are a little unusual. I hope the words in the pattern make sense, but if for some reason they don't, I've shot some videos to help.

This first video is the crocheted cast-on. I work it with my fingers. Yes, you may personally find it easier to use a crochet hook, but I'm working on the assumption that we're all knitters here, and you might not want to get off the couch to find the crochet hook.

Notice that the crochet cast-on will produce a chain-stitch that will match a regular bind-off.  If you are knitting flat, try working a slipped-stitch selvedge (knit the first stitch of every row through the back of the loop, slip the last stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front), you can have chain stitch all around. This is especially great on blanket blocks, because all the sides match and it is easy to seam. But this also is great on garments or afghans, because you can pick up in the chain stitch or add edgings very easily. And on a scarf you can make both ends match, which is great if you are adding fringe or trim.

The second video is how to convert the crochet cast-on into a double-knitting cast-on. If you want to make the serpentine scarf, you'll have to do that.  Watch the first video to learn how to get started, then watch the second to see how to continue.

 Tomorrow's videos: how to shift your yarn in the scarf.

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