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.
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!