In Design inspiration, Reviews & Recommendations, tutorial

I finished my scarf! (And yes, we are in the midst of another blizzard as I type this! Currently the park behind me in this photo has all but disappeared in a white-out of 25 MPH wind and snow) My scarf turned out very bulky and a bit over the top, but that suits me just fine, under the circumstances.

I’ll tell you the story behind the scarf and how the idea evolved. When we lost our power during the blizzard I started knitting to pass the time. I already had a sock project on my needles, but it was too hard to knit on those tiny needles by flickering candle light! I had two balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn (color: Fisherman) that I had purchased with the idea to make a thick scarf. I decided it was a good time to pull out the chunky yarn and start what would become my blizzard scarf.

I used US13 needles and began a few test swatches. I knew I wanted to create undulating waves somehow and remembered a technique I used in college when leaning to use a knitting machine. I knit a few swatches, folding my work and knitting through stitches from earlier rows to create horizontal tucks. I was on the right track but it was a little too random.

And then I remembered a book that I had received from my publisher, STC Craft. It’s called Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr.

The book is full of beautiful textural techniques, swatch examples and imaginative projects by top knitwear designers. Just the ticket! I knew there had to be some guidance in there to create the look I wanted.

I imagine Lynne Barr to be like some crazy mad scientist of knitting stitches. And I mean that in the best way! Page after page is packed with the most inspiring dimensional swatches and techniques. I finally came upon one that was more or less what I was looking for. Lynne calls it Folding Fabric.

My photos below will show you how to make the basic tuck I used in my Drift scarf. (Go easy on me, I’m not a knitwear designer so my wording may not sound conventional.)

1) Start by knitting and purling a wide rib. Your work should start with a knit rib and end with a purl rib. (an even repeat)

2) Rotate your work so the opposite side is showing above your needle. Using a double pointed needle (dpn) pick up the loop of a stitch a few rows below your current row. Be sure to count the rows between your main needle and your picked up row so that your tucks will be regularly spaced when you repeat them.

3) Continue to pick up stitches across that row, at least half of the repeat.

4) Rotate your work back and bring the dpn parallel to your main needle. Then knit 2 together (one stitch from the main needle and one stitch from the dpn) off both needles, then knit the remaining knit stitches of that rib.

5) Here you can see the slanty tuck! (If you wanted an even horizontal tuck, you could’ve picked up every stitch across the repeat in step 3.) Continue on, purling the purled rib, repeating the tuck on the next knitted rib, etc.

6) After your tuck row, continue working the ribbing pattern for an even number of rows. That way, the following tuck row (an odd row) will end up on the opposite side of your work, creating the same texture on both sides. I hope that makes sense!

This is the Folded Mini Dress, showing the folded fabric technique in action! Love this!

Here’s the technique again used a bit differently in the Folded Scarf.

The ingenuity of this book doesn’t stop there. Check out the Winding Path sweater by Whelan Chia. I’ve lifted the page to show you both ways it can be worn, right side up and upside down!

Or how about Teva Durham’s Geometric Dress, worn right side out or inside out? Too cool.

I can’t get enough of this book. The projects are edgy and fun and super inspirational. It really speaks to the knitting geek in me. I hope you’ll be inclined to check it out at your local bookstore or visit the STC Craft website for more photos.

Eeek. I just looked out the window. I better hit “publish” on this post before we lose power again, it’s wicked out there! At least if we do I’ll have my Drift scarf to wrap up in.

Stay warm wherever you are!

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Showing 27 comments
  • Refashionology

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Thank you for posting the stitch you used. I must try this! Stay warm in the blizzard!

  • Marybeth

    Wow! What an inspirational book! Thanks for telling us about it… BTW – love your scarf!

  • Helsbells

    That scarf is so amazing. I am always so jealous of knitters!! They seem to weave magic with those two sticks. Well done!

  • house on hill road

    that scarf is fantastic! it looks like a perfect project to knit during the olympics.

  • Kar

    Gorgeous scarf! Thanks for mentioning the book. I just might have to go look for it now. :)

    Keep warm!

  • R.J.

    The dresses and the scarf are very impressive. What an interesting technique.

  • Cheryl Arkison

    That whole post was in a foreign language to me because I am not a knitter, but I love the pics. Stay warm.

  • Amy

    I am just dying over that reversable sweater! I have never seen anything like that! So smart and so cute! I wish I was a better knitter to commit to something like that! I am loving your scarf too! We have some snow in the mid west but nothing like what your seeing!

  • Caroline

    I wish I was an experienced knitter! That scarf looks dreamy!

  • Nicki C K

    OH MY GOSH, that scarf if G-orgeous!! I LOVE IT! I wish I had knitting skills because I would make myself one in a heartbeat. GREAT JOB! Thank you for sharing!

  • Sharon

    Love the blizzard scarf…not su much the blizzard! We are in VA and had 6 more inches this morning and lots of wind…SUN is out now though!!! Take Heart!!!

  • Ms. Givens

    The scarf is great. The snow missed us for once this winter. I am so ready for Spring.

  • Michelle Engel Bencsko

    It’s all so beautiful… but *gulp*, I’m just trying to tackle a basic seed stitch… got about 8″ of rows (and only had to undo about 2″). Something to aspire to.

  • patricia

    I LOVE that scarf and the book looks like it would be right up my alley (style-wise) – thanks for the recommendation. Stay warm!

  • greenrabbitdesigns

    Your scarf is great!! I REALLY need that book !
    Vivienne :)

  • luciana


  • tale of many cities

    really lovely! :) inspires me to drag out my yarn!!

  • munsonmassage

    I love that scarf!!!! It makes me want to learn how to knit! Lots of snow in Pittsburgh and the wind started today!

  • zees5

    In no way is the bulk on that scarf overdone – it will keep you warm and cozy. I live inland in S. California, but freezing as I type in our 1920’s house we rent. I have on two sweaters and an angora scarf I knit to keep me warm. No snow, but original 1920 windows and chilly nights can still be pretty cold in S. California, surprisingly.

    I love the pattern, but don’t quite get it. When do you do your second tuck – on the next right side row? I have just the yarn for this. Yours is lovely. Thanks for sharing. That book is the bomb, too!

  • Turid

    Nice :-)

  • Betz White

    Hi Zees5,
    Ok, Let me see if I can clarify.

    In step 5, you make your tuck as shown on every knitted rib across the row. My scarf had 2.

    In step 6, keep knitting and purling, following your rib pattern normally for as many rows as you want. You’ll need enough to give yourself room to “tuck” so to speak, so maybe 8-10 rows. Then on an odd row (which would be the back of the work and opposite side of the first set of tucks you made) you would work another row with the tucks.

    The result will be that the tucks alternate ribs and both sides of your work will look the same.

    I hope this helps!

  • Elisa

    That’s amazing – I am in awe! I loved your snow drift inspiration photo. :) Stay warm!

  • Gallimaufry

    Wonderful scarf!
    We have some snow in England, but nothing like the blizzards you guys are having! Keep safe and keep warm!

  • Annie

    What a cool technique! Love that the scarf also matches your wavy hair in the picture too!

  • Vikki

    how many stitches did you cast on?

  • Betz White

    Hi Vikki,
    For my scarf I cast on 24 stitches, a 6 x 6 rib.

  • Samanta

    Hi, Betz! My knitting group decided to try the ’10 scarfs in 2010′ challenge in Ravelry, and I’ve suggested your Drift Scarf to be one of the patterns. I’ll start with it this weekend (fingers crossed). Thought you’d like to know it. :) We still have a few months before winter comes to Brazil, so I think it will be done by then!

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