Thursday, January 3, 2013

Striped Leftovers Scarf

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More plain knitting, because that’s just what I want to do right now.  (I’m also working on Atelier by Heidi Kirrmaier, which is adorable and clever, and which does have some plain knitting, but which is somehow requiring a lot of me at the moment.)  Anyway. 

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This scarf is one enormously satisfying project.  Plain knitting + using up the leftovers + something beautiful purchased at Purl Soho (oh squeal, I love Purl) = one cozy scarf and a happy me.

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This is one of those things that’s more a recipe than a pattern, and I’ll tell you what I did and then you can do what you do with it.  You will need about 500 yards of fingering weight yarn in a solid color.  If you want yours to look like mine, you can use Spud and Chloe Fine Sock  in “Tutu” (you’ll need two), and if you want the added bonus of having that yarn feel really special, you can get it on your pilgrimage to Purl when you visit New York.  (Make sure you take it on the Staten Island Ferry, and go out onto the open deck at the back where the wind will just about tear the bag from your arms and into the harbor.  Just about, but not quite.  You’ll feel like you’ve rescued the yarn at that point, and it will want to sit in the cupboard for a long time being special, but don’t let it.)  You’ll also need a big bag of sock yarn leftovers in a whole bunch of colors.  The more colors the better.  This is the place to use up those last little bits. 

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With the solid, cast on about 80 (90?  100?  whatever is about double the finished width you want) stitches and knit two rows in stockinette stitch.  Join any one of the various beautiful sock yarn bits and knit two rows in stockinette.  Knit two more rows in solid.  Two more rows of leftover bits.  Two solid.  Two bits.  Etc.  When the remnant of colorful yarn bit runs out or you get sick of it, cut it and start another one, knitting it always in two row intervals, alternated with the solid.  Watch subtitled movies.  Look people in the eye.  Gaze pensively out the window at the falling snow.  Carry on conversations with your family that don’t include “Shh, I’m counting!” and “Wait, what?” 

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When it’s long enough—measure this by trying it on, of course—end with two rows in solid for symmetry and then bind off.  Sew it up at the ends and up the long side, and then (please) give it a nice blocking with a steam iron.   Now it is double-thick (yum) and super-soft (because this is sock yarn) and stripey and colorful and trendy (I just made that up).  Wear it with pride, and start another one immediately.  Because—and I don’t want to deceive you here--this will in no way make a dent in your sock yarn leftovers.  Sock yarn leftovers are interminable.  Sigh. 

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Happily, as always, one idea leads to another.  Oh, I love yarn.

50 comments:

  1. Excellent idea; fabulous scarf. Thanks for the how-to!

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  2. LOVE your idea! I am collecting ideas for stash-busting, and I will keep this in mind.

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  3. So simple, yet so beautiful. I love it!
    Victoria
    p.s. Happy New Year!

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  4. Oh it is so lovely! I hate knitting socks so have no left-over sock yarn :( But I'm sure I could find something else around here to use...
    Karen x

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  5. Oh! that's beautiful. Happy New Year.

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  6. Making this looks such fun and so addictive! Even as a non-knitter or knitter-under-sufferance-only, I can feel it pulling me in! And yes, yarn from Purl is a serious temptation. I know I shouldn't go shopping there when it has to be shipped across the Atlantic and there's now usually UK VAT to pay on top but sometimes a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do! Enjoy knitting the next scarf and Happy New Year Kristen! E x

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  7. could you knit this on a circular needle?

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    1. Most definitely you could. If you want to knit in the round, make sure your circular needle is short enough (maybe a 16" would do it) or make sure you have enough stitches. Probably you'd need 100. Then just go! :)

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    2. Thanks for you help. Sounds so easy AND beautiful.

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  8. I am swooning over this... Purl Soho is one of my favorite places too. So lovely I ache. I tried to "pin it" but its not working. I love this project and the way to tell a story of rescuing the yarn ;)

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  9. This is beautiful. I have trouble knitting as my mother is left handed and taught me this way, so I never really got the hang of it. I will head over to Youtube now to find a tutorial and then have a go at this. Happy New Year. Chel x

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  10. I love this far too much! Its rainbow-y-ness and how soft i imagine it to be! All I need is sock leftovers. This is lovely...and i love your story about "saving" the yarn. I can guess your finished item is all the more gratifying with that! Xoxo, Jess

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  11. How fabulous! Sounds like a perfect knitting project for someone like me who has NEVER been knitting before. Simple. Colorful. Scraps heavenly. And yarn-fantastic! Thanks for sharing this one.

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  12. Cute, warm and cozy!!
    xo kris

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  13. A beautiful gorgeous creation.
    irene
    xxxx

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  14. This is so simple and beautiful. Makes me want to cheat on crochet with knitting ;)

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  15. This is great! I love it how simple things can turn out to be so amazing. 2013 is the year of the stash bust for me so I am gonna keep this idea in mind.

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  16. Brilliant post Kristen, I would love love love to go to Purl. My big sister lives on long island and next time we plan to fly over the Atlantic to see her I plan a major visit to Purl :o)
    This is such a beautiful scarf, I adore all the colours and the idea of using up all that annoying left over balls of sock yarn. You are just to bees knees with all your beautiful, clever creation. Thank you for the inspiration xox Penelope

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  17. That is really beautiful! I wish I could figure out how to knit. I can crochet pretty well but if I could knit too, the possibilities would be endless.

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  18. Brilliant, love, love, love it.
    Meredith

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  19. I love this post, your writing and this scarf. I love that you doubled it up, and it is now double-cozy. Well done.

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  20. A simple, yet beautiful scarf! I have seen something very similar knit in the round, which would make the stockinette stitch even more mindless when you didn't have to alternate the purl & knit rows. You paint such a vivid picture of the yarn rescue that it makes me wonder if you hadn't experienced something similar yourself? :) Wendy

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  21. Another lovely inspiring post - I just want to knit everything - Happy New Year x

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  22. This scarf makes me so happy!! Can't wait to get started!! What size needle did you use?

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  23. What a pretty scarf! I love the stripes of color mixed with the white. I'm going to learn to knit this year to go along with my crochet love/obsession. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

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  24. Hi Kirsten... It's just amazing how we r ithe same wave... We live so far yet I have felt like I know you a bit... I'm making a scarf exactly like this one you just made... I started right after Christmas ( but I still had a few Chistmas and bday presents to finish - my daughter turned 16 yesterday and my son is 15 on Saturday). The only difference is mine is not with sock yarn ( although I started another one with sock yarn also, since I liked so much)... And guess what I also started a sweater by the same authors... Except mine is called snowbird - by Heidi ...e sits just amazing how we are in synthony?
    Love the scarf ( I'm about 1/3 of the way on mine :))
    Ps I tried to post my scarf today but don't think it worked , willmdomit tomorrow?
    Great, great, sweater and scarf!

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  25. Lovely scarf! And you make such neat edges... Mine are always easily frayed ;)

    Love, Kirsten

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  26. Hi Kristen, I so hear you when you say you love yarn. I am so smitten too. I am still working your tonal blanket only in a different pattern. I love all your ideas! So inspiring and I am trying to speed knit...Continental style, only I am a taught English knitter. I am learning to hold the yarn as not to take so much time.

    Love, love, this scarf...when you steam the finished piece do you hang it, lay it down, or pin it down?

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  27. Oh that is lovely. In an I-want-to-cast-on-right-now sort of way, but I can't, I have too many other things to do, so I'm nearly sitting on my hands. Lovely.

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  28. *sob* but I don't do socks, so no leftovers. And I'm not allowed to buy new yarn until my 3 WIPs are finished. Well, maybe next year.... errm, I mean at the end of this year.

    Kristen, you are doing that awesome stuff, I love browsing your blog!

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  29. I absolutely love this, and I love your blog. Thanks for the details - I might *need* to make one too. :)

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  30. A great idea and great photos. I nearly have enough bits and pieces to do a similar scarf. Best wishes.

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  31. Your scarf is lovely. Checking out your wonderful knitting--especially your tonal blanket--has inspired me to pick up needles again after I don't know how many years. Boy have I forgotten a lot! So if what comes next is gibberish, you'll know why. Isn't there a way to have knit this scarf so that it was double-sided without sewing it closed by hand? I vaguely recall a technique that as you knitted was basically a tube closed at the bottom and the binding off sealed it at the top. Does that sound familiar?

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    1. Hi Karen,

      Yes, you can knit this in the round. You'll need either double-pointed needles or a small (16" or less) circular needle. Then just cast on as many stitches as you want--if you're using a circular needle, you'll have to have enough stitches to reach all the way around, maybe 100--and knit until it's long enough. There will be a "jog" where the colors change, unless you employ the "jogless jog" technique, which is a story for another day. You'll still have to sew up the two short ends. :)

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    2. I did a little looking around and the technique I was trying miserably to describe actually isn't open like a pocket after all. But it does make a double-sided fabric--same finished appearance on both sides. I think it is usually done with ribbing, but, again, I could be wrong. When my grandmother was still alive, I did more knitting. She lived a thousand miles away, but she was my help desk for all knitting-related problems. Without seeing my error, she could usually tell me what I'd done wrong. Amazing woman!

      Anyhow, thanks so much, Kristen, for bringing me back to my first love--knitting.

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    3. Maybe you're thinking of double knitting? Here's a tutorial for that technique:
      http://winterfoliage.blogspot.com/2007/01/double-knitting-tutorial.html

      :)

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    4. Yes, ma'am! That was what I was thinking of. Thanks for the link. I will have to give it a whirl. After I finish my current stockinette afghan (must get familiar with the basics again first) that is.

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  32. Love this scarf, and so simple. Good idea. i'm a little bit jealous about your winter!! Groetjes, Gerda

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  33. That's a great scarf, how clever!!
    Esther.

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  34. I just wanted to say, along with so many others, how I love your scarf. So very colorful and it looks very warm and cozy. I'm a new knitter and as I'm taking baby steps, I've been trying to learn how to do stripes and watching many videos and reading countless ways to do so. It gets very confusing and I'm probably overthinking it. So I guess I'm wondering if you have a special technique that you use when adding new yarn/stripes? Sorry for this crazy comment. It's so long. But thank you for the inspiration. Your projects are lovely!
    Ann :)

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    1. Hi Ann, my technique isn't anything fancy--I just drop the old yarn, letting it hang there, and just start knitting with the new one. When I change colors, I twist them so it doesn't leave a hole. :)

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    2. Hi Kristen,

      Thank you so much for replying to me. I really apreciate it and I'll have to give this a try as I get more confident with knitting. I have a lot of scraps that I'd like to use and then today I see you have a lovely granny blanket posted. Very lovely too. So hard to decide now...knitted scarf or granny blanket. Hmmm.... Thanks once again! You really have a lovely blog. I'm so glad I found it!
      Ann :)

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  35. You always make the nicest things. Double layered scarf in stripes, doesn't everyone want one? I certainly do and will put it on my ever growing list of future projects. xx

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  36. Working on one right now! So much fun and sooo pretty

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  37. Kristen,
    I've been wanting to make this scarf since I first saw it! Love, love, love it! Just wondering the dimensions of yours?
    Thanks!
    Tempe

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