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Stash-Busting Stockinette Scarf

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The Simplest Stripes
Stash-Busting Stockinette Stitch Scarf

The Stash-Busting Stockinette Stitch Scarf is a great way to use bits of a lot of yarns.

© Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Most people shy away from knitting scarves in Stockinette Stitch because the sides have a tendency to curl. I've even heard people say it would make more sense to teach new knitters ribbing before you teach them Stockinette because they tend to think the curling is a mistake and not a function of the stitch pattern itself!

The Stockinette scarves I've made -- like the Fun Fur Knitted Scarf -- have typically been made of novelty yarn in a boa style that isn't really affected by curl. They look fun and funky and you might not even notice or care that the knit fabric is curling.

But I saw someone at the park wearing a Stockinette scarf worked in long stripes of a tweedy yarn and really liked the look of it, so I decided to try a Stockinette Stitch scarf of my own. My version isn't tweedy, but it will make a nice dent in your stash if you work it in coordinating (or contrasting, for that matter) stripes.

I have so many greens and blues that I could make a couple of theses scarves, but this one is certainly a good start.

Here's what I did; make sure to check out the tips below the pattern for more advice and guidance on how to make your own stash-busting scarf or any other randomly striped project.

Materials:

  • about 240 yards of medium weight yarn in various colors
  • a pair of size 8 US (5 mm) knitting needles
  • scissors and yarn needle

Gauge:

Gauge is not critical for this project and may vary slightly from yarn to yarn, but I got about 15 stitches and 22 rows per 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch (3.75 stitches and 5.5 rows per inch).

Size:

You can make this scarf any length you want, but the finished size of the sample is about 9 inches wide and 65 inches long.

Knitting the Scarf:

  1. Choose a color to begin with and cast on 35 stitches.
  2. Work in Stockinette Stitch (knit a row, purl a row), changing colors when you want or when you run out of yarn. For crisp stripes, try to change colors on right side rows only.
  3. Keep working to desired length. If you want, work a section in the same color of the same length at the end as you did at the beginning of the scarf to make it look a little more harmonious.
  4. Bind off. Weave in ends.

Tips for Making a Stash-Busting Scarf:

Regardless of the pattern stitch, there are a few things you should keep in mind when knitting a stash-busting scarf.

  • You can either choose yarns that are basically all the same color or a range of colors. I mostly used greens, but the blue adds a nice pop of color that makes the project more interesting.
  • Unless you really want to take the effort to make your stripes all the same length, don't' worry about it. Instead, change colors randomly, just always on the right side. If "random" isn't quite your style, come up with a criteria for when you'll change colors, such as after knitting for 10 or 15 minutes, or when a commercial comes on the show you're watching.
  • Another fun way is to roll a die (something with more than 6 sides works better for variety) and decide if you want to round up or down when you get an odd number (which would have you changing colors on a wrong side row), then knit that number of rows in your chosen color.
  • If you have trouble with choosing your colors randomly, put all your odd balls in a bag you can't see through (I used an old backpack, which makes the project portable, too) and just reach inside to get a new ball when you need one. But be honest with the process and really knit with the yarn you chose unless you pick the same color twice in a row.
  • Make the scarf as long as you like, but a good rule of thumb is to make the scarf at least as long as the recipient is tall.

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