It's hard to spend much time shopping for yarn and not become drawn to the handspuns. Even if you don't spin yarn yourself, these yarns that really show the hand and the personality of the person who made them are irresistible; you feel like you've teamed up with the person who made the yarn to make this thing of beauty.
In this case I teamed up with Riin Gill of Happy Fuzzy Yarn, who offered me this skein of handspun to play with. I hope she finds the partnership as fruitful as I did!
I wanted to make a scarf that was quick and easy to knit but that wasn't just a plain stitch. So I added dropped stitches to a simple Garter Stitch base to open up the scarf a little bit. This makes it a little cooler to wear and allows the scarf to be longer than it would have been if it had been solid Garter Stitch.
I think this scarf is a great choice for those in-between-season times. It's wooly, so it's warm, but the open spaces keep it from being too stifling. And because it's long, you can wear it loose or wrap it around your neck (even more than once!) when the weather turns cooler or you get a chill.
- one skein, about 160 yards, of handspun bulky or thick and thin wool of your choice (see below for more on the particular yarn I used)
- one pair size 10.5 US (6.5 mm) knitting needles
- tape measure (or yard stick), scissors and yarn needle
Gauge is not critical but I got about 3.5 stitches and 5 rows per inch in pattern.
You can make your scarf any size you like, but mine is about 3.5 inches wide and 7 feet long.
Knitting the Scarf:
- Cast on 12 stitches.
- Knit 5 rows.
- Knit each stitch, wrapping the yarn twice around the needle as you form the stitch. This will look like 24 stitches, but it's really still just 12.
- Knit each stitch, letting the extra loop drop. Tug on the scarf a bit when you finish the row and the dropped stitches will straighten out and open up.
- Repeat steps 2-4 to desired length, ending with 5 rows of straight knitting.
- Bind off, cut yarn and weave in ends.
About the Yarn:
The yarn I used is a handspun called Iris. It is 80 percent wool, 12 percent llama and 8 percent mohair. Because Riin is cool like that, I know the wool is a combination of Bluefaced Leicester, Romney and other unknown breeds. Of course, from the rough feel of the yarn I could tell it wasn't merino!
The pretty dye job makes long, subtle stripes on this scarf, ranging from blue to purple with hints of red and green.
It's a singles yarn, thick and thin, so if you want to reproduce the look of my scarf you'll need to find something similar. Of course this pattern could be worked with any kind of yarn you like, though I really like the roughness of a handspun with the texture of Garter Stitch, and the fact that the dropped stitches show off even more of the texture of the yarn.