Scarf with a Wide and Handsome Border

Habu Scarf detail

When I was a fairly new knitter, I purchased Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. I decided to knit Scarf with a Wide and Handsome Border in the Tsumugi Silk it called for (as an excuse to try a Habu Textiles yarn). I purchased some at a yarn store in Atlanta while at a conference in 2008. I even purchased the color used in the book, although that had to do with what was in stock not with wanting to completely follow the pattern.

Soon after the conference, I cast on. At some point in the first border I realized I had made an error. I wasn’t sure if I should rip it out or keep going. I kept going. The error kept bothering me. I kept going. I finally realized I had to rip it out without the error. This was a good lesson for the future—when in doubt, I should rip it out because it will bug me.

This scarf was the first thing I have done where you change direction (the border is knit side to side, you almost full bind off, then you pick up stitches and continue down the length, at which point you cast on more stitches, go back to the side to side border, joining each row with one of the live stitches. The first turn wen OK. The only problem I had with the center was judging how far to go while allowing sufficient yarn for the border.

The second border had me flummoxed. I was still a pretty inexperienced knitter and it just wasn’t making sense. I set it aside. For years. Probably from about summer 2008 until March 2013. I decided it would be good plane knitting for another conference trip, interesting enough to keep me occupied but small and lightweight. At the airport I looked up how to do a crochet cast-on and got started. I figured out what I was supposed to, and then it went fairly smoothly.

I wasn’t sure I would have enough yarn; I was watching it run down and had no real sense of how much I might need or how many yard were in quite a small space. I did have sufficient yarn, but as I approached the end, I realized I somehow had 66 stitches not 65 as called for in the pattern. And I could only figure out how to deal with 64 stitches anyway, so I shoved a couple stitches together because I was NOT going to find the problem.

Feeling a little triumphant for finishing a project that had been languishing for so long, I laid it out so I could see the whole thing for the first time. I saw holes. That shouldn’t be there. Sigh. After a delay fixing them, it was time to block.

I am a bit unsure about the pre-blocking size. I measured before fixing the holes and it was 11-12″ for the borders but only 8″ for the middle, and 59″ long.  I didn’t want to mess with it too much because there were those holes. After fixing it I laid it out and got 10″ wide and 53.5″ long. It says to block to measurements (10″ x 70″) but I didn’t pay attention to that and am only now checking how that compares with my finished size. [Pause to measure]. I apparently blocked it to 12″ x 64″.

Here it is being blocked. I clearly need a another set of blocking mats (as well as T pins).

Being blockedAfter blocking:

Habu ScarfHabu ScarfI am happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to figure out how to wear a scarf (and remember to do so).

Habu Scarf


Reversible cable scarf

Back in 2009 I bought some fiber and spun it (70% wool, 20% silk and 10% mohair). It is a transitional roving and I spun it to knit as a singles yarn to keep the color transition. L had made a scarf (Onduleux cables) that she had seen in LYS2. Reversible cables were very much the thing at the time. I looked at her scarf and decided to make one like it, without an actual pattern. I got 2/3 or 3/4 done and then it was spring and I didn’t want to knit a winter scarf. I set it aside and finally dug it back out in January. With no pattern. And no notes with it.

Reversible cable scarf

Fortunately, my local group of knitters was able to help me sort it out. I finished the scarf soon after but didn’t wash it/block it (which was needed because of the singes yarn) because I started wearing it right away.

Wearing reversible cable scarf

Reversible cables are basically just regular cables made k1 p1 throughout, which looks like stockinette because the ribs pull together.  This also makes it thicker, which is nice for a scarf.

Reversible cable scarf

The beginning of the scarf may not have been the same, but this is the pattern for the end of the scarf. I used about 600 yards of sport or DK weight (my yarn varies and I’m guessing). Size 7 needles. Cast on 48.
Rows 1-7: K1 P1.
Row 8: 4 sets of 6 over 6 (which look like 3 over 3) left slanting cables.
Rows 9-15: K1 P1.
Row 16: (K1 P1) 3 times; 3 sets of 6 over 6 (which look like 3 over 3) right slanting cables; (K1 P1) 3 times.
Repeat rows 1-16 until desired length is reached. End with another rows 1-7 rows and bind off.
Finished size: about 4″ wide and 100″ long.

Reversible cable scarf

Reversible cable scarf close-up