Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Awash in Seafoam and Surrounded by Scarves

Many of my knitting friends as well as people I see on the street and in yarn shops ask me for the pattern for the "seafoam scarves" that I make and wear. Therefore, I promised to put the pattern on my blog. I assure people that it is easy to make, but they don't always believe me. Here's a photo of some of the seafoam scarves that I have made for my Christmas gift basket this year.
Free Pattern for Seafoam Scarves

1. Buying yarn. I use one skein of yarn--typically medium weight hand dyed sock type yarn such as Koigu KPPM, Mirasol Hacho, Interlacements Tiny Toes and the like. I have found that Hacho makes the shortest scarf (37 inches) when using only one skein, then for a slightly longer scarf (41 inches) Tiny Toes (my LYS carried Tiny Toes in "one-sock" skeins), and for my longest scarves (52 inches), Koigu. Of course, you can use any weight yarn and any amount that you wish. Simply adjust needle size accordingly . Self striping and shadow type yarns work very well. I used one skein of Skace's Avanti for a scarf for my sister and she loved it!

2. Selecting needle size. I use size 4 needles for the yarns listed above, or, if you use a heavier yarn, I use one needle size smaller than recommended on the ball band.

3. Number of stitches to cast on: Cast on a multiple of 10 plus 6 stitches. For my one-skein scarves, I used 26 stitches.

4. The knitting: All rows are knit.
Rows 1-8 (or rows 1-4, or rows 1-6--knitter's choice!) Knit every row. This is the beginning edge of the scarf. After this, do the pattern stitch until you have enough yarn to knit 8 (or 4 or 6) rows to end the scarf. Bind off loosely. I use the Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off that can be found in all of her books, I believe.

Seafoam Pattern Stitch: (from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns)
Rows 1 and 2: Knit

Row 3 (right side): K 6, *(yo) 2 times, k1, (yo) 3 times, k 1,(yo) 4 times, k 1, (yo) 3 times, k 1, (yo) 2 times, K 6* repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Knit, dropping all yo's off the needle without knitting them.

Rows 5 and 6: Knit

Row 7: K1, rep from * of Row 3, end last repeat k1 instead of k6.

Row 8: As row 4.

Blocking instructions are important. See this post for instructions. The scarf looks best when blocked quite severely.

My Dad's scarf
Last year I made my 81 year old father some lightly felted mittens using a Komi pattern. This year I made him a reversible scarf to match the mittens, but using a knit and purl stitch pattern instead of a color pattern. I can't remember the name of the stitch pattern that I used. I just pulled out my leftover Cascade 220 from the mitten project, pulled out some size 5 needles, cast on stitches until it looked like enough, then worked the pattern until it looked long enough, but not too long!!

In his older years, my father has become a very appreciative recipient of my knitting. When I was younger, I made him a cabled vest out of fingering weight yarn in browns. I don't recall that he ever wore it. Brown wasn't his color and neither were vests. I'm glad that I can finally make him something that he will wear--he loved his mittens last year. Said they were the warmest mittens he ever had!! (He sure knows how to sweet-talk a knitter, doesn't he!) He even asked me to make a cord to put through the sleeves of his parka to hold his mittens. He doesn't want to loose them!!!

My father has made us many wonderful wood items for Christmas presents. Beautiful boxes to hold treasures, a stable for our Nativity set, a gorgeous quilt rack, a clock, a pen, a candle holder with a hurricane glass top, and more. The first item I remember was a ranch style doll house with a removable roof--and a book of wallpaper samples to use in decorating the walls!!

Mosaic Scarves
After making the one-color scarves, I decided to do something more challenging--two color scarves! I saw an Amy Anderson scarf from her pattern called "Pardon Me Your Slip Is Showing". (Amy doesn't have a website, but you can order her patterns (by telephone) from Lakeside Fibers.) Unfortunately, I failed to read Amy's carefully written instructions before buying the yarn. I selected two yarns, one solid and one hand painted, and one of the hand painted colors overlapped with the solid color. Result: complete lack of mosaic effect, but attractive nonetheless. I used a beautiful merino/silk blend from Manos del Uruguay called descriptively "Silk Blend". The fabric is soft and the color shimmers. Perfect for the NorthWest USA.
Now, for my second mosaic scarf, I decided to use two colors of shetland wool. Because I was using my stash and because I wanted the scarf to be manly, I picked a reddish and a grey . I thought, for sure, that the mosaic design would be discernable. But it wasn't. Nevertheless, I liked the effect--and I wasn't about to rip it out and start over with new colors.

Lo and behold, when I photographed the scarf, I started to see a pattern!
Can you see it? Maybe not. Maybe it was an optical or wishful illusion.
It's subtle, I grant you that. My apologies to Amy Anderson--her pattern clearly says to use "contrasting" yarns and not to have a hand painted yarn that overlaps with the solid color! Next time, Amy!

Meanwhile, I'm off to make a beanie and fingerless gloves out of Peace Fleece!


debolsillo said...

Hi Gail: you must put this pattern in Ravelry, is awesome!

Ellen said...

Hi Gail. These scarfs are gorgeous! Hi have a question on row 7: The pattern repeat consists of 10 stitches, which is done twice. The instructions for the remaining stitches are K1 (before the repeat) and K1 after the last repeat. That equals 22 stitches. But there are 26 stitches on the row! What happens with the other 4 stitches on the needle? Thanks very much for your help! Ellen Peskin

(Row 7: K1, rep from * of Row 3, end last repeat k1 instead of k6.)

free good night messages said...

The shawl looks great! Way to persevere with the cotton lace weight, it sounds like it's a pain to knit with.

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