Lengthwise knitted scarf for beginners

Well, it's a good job that this is not usually a knitting only blog, as you're probably getting a good idea of how slow my knitting pace is now. Here's a scarf that I knitted for my son, as it was about time I made something for him (the blanket isn't going to be finished any time soon...).
Every time I knit a scarf, I tend to spend a couple of evenings just knitting / crocheting several inches, not liking it, unravelling it, knitting / crocheting another pattern, unravelling it and so on. So I thought I'd share with you what I have learnt while experimenting endlessly on which stitch I wanted to use for a scarf:
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Knitting is far easier to unravel than crochet.
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And that's about the extent of my knitting / crochet wisdom.
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My problem is that I like scarves to be soft yet not roll at the edges too much - especially if they are for a lad. I also like scarves to be pretty solid (not holey) if they are for a lad, too. Solid crochet and plain garter stitch don't roll, but they also feel a bit too solid and unyielding. The stockinette and ribbed style scarves feel much softer around the neck - but roll a lot and end up looking a tad too narrow for a bloke.
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So after a couple of evenings of unravelling experiments, I finally had an unoriginal idea, which about 10 minutes of Internet searching would have probably produced (with far less swearing involved), but still... The solution to my problem was to knit in garter stitch lengthwise on circular needles. Genius! Or it would be if no one else had ever thought of such an obvious and simple thing before.
Still, if you're like me, and haven't thought to look up scarf patterns on the 'net, here's how to do it:
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The yarn I used was classified as 5: bulky and two 3oz (85g) balls of 135yds (123m) were needed to knit this 60 inch long 5 inch wide scarf. I used size 10 (6mm) circular needles.
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1. Knit a swatch of about 50 stitches using your chosen yarn, for a few rows (disclaimer: I didn't do this. Yes, you know that someone who will sit knitting, then unravelling, then knitting and unravelling again for a couple of evenings would never actually do something as sensible as knit a swatch. But you can still learn from my first failed attempt at guessing how many stitches to cast on...).
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2. Decide how long you wish your scarf to be. I chose approximately 60 inches. Measure the width of your swatch of 50 stitches. Divide 50 by the width, then multiply that number by the length you wish your scarf to be. The resulting figure will tell you approximately how many stitches you will need to cast on to achieve a scarf of that length.
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eg. a swatch 50 stitches wide of my yarn is about 13.5inches wide. 50/13.5=3.7
I want my scarf to be about 60 inches long so 3.7 x 60=222
So I cast on 220 stitches, as that was near enough.
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3. This would be a perfect scarf for a beginner, as all you do is cast on the number of stitches found in step 2 (220 in my case) onto your circular needles (those knitting needles that are joined by a cable to each other). Knit garter stitch (ie. knit every row) until your scarf is the desired width. Cast off loosely. Done.
Very unoriginal. Don't forget you can make stripes by changing yarn colours as you go (just tell me when you want me to stop stating the obvious...).
I've been doing some other knitting, too, but I'm not sure what this will be yet. I want to felt it, but first I have to try and identify where all the ink that ended up on my last load of laundry came from. Yep, a whole load of clothes ruined and I can't find the culprit (a pen?) anywhere. For once the kids might have learned a few naughty words from me instead of their dad - I wasn't a happy bunny. There goes my chances of winning Homemaker of the Year award AND Mother of the Year award, all in one fell swoop...
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Ok, translation of the day:
UK English: bloke = a fellow, a man in US English.
UK English: bird = a chick, a woman in US English. As in, a lad would refer to an attractive woman in a bar as a 'bird', maybe call his girlfriend 'a bird', but would be unlikely to call his old maiden aunt a 'bird'.
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I can't think of the female equivalent to 'bloke' - pretty much all terms for a member of the female sex seem to refer either to a girl's attractiveness or feistiness. There doesn't seem to be a slang term for just a random member of the female sex. Probably the nearest I can think of is the Australian term 'Sheila' - or maybe 'lass', although that's usually used for younger women. hmm.
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Hopefully it won't be as long before I blog next. My husband was off work last week and hogging the computer... Take care, all.

19 comments:

  1. Oh this is fantastic! And I love that it's perfect for beginners. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ill be linking. And I love your English translations! =)

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  2. beautiful.......too bad I crochet!

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  3. Clever bird. The first knitting project (yes that's right, FIRST)was a scarf for me that was knit lengthwise on circulars wit a ruffle. At some point there was 1000 stitchest on the thing. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it...

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  4. Excuse my poor typing. Knackered. ;)

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  5. Welcome back!! Great knitting project.

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  6. What a great scarf ~ thanks for the tips. I've yet to try circular needles ... I'm too busy pulling out current projects!

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  7. I've always found stating the obvious to be extremely helpful when it comes to knitting!

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  8. Great scarf! My brothers are always bugging me that they want a scarf and that looks like the perfect pattern.

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  9. This is awesome! I love long, simple rows of knitting. This scarf looks like something I might cast on tonight while I'm watching my Tutors DVD. Thanks! =)

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  10. Man, I wish I knew how to knit!

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  11. Yay, I just learned to knit and this seems like the perfect project. I'll have to give it a try.

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  12. Okay - so another one of my projects is learning to knit - so far I can't get any farther than casting on and I'm sooo frustrated! I LOVE the robust look of the red scarf though - great work!

    Additionally, I love your blog title and "translations." I was born and raised in England, my family moved here when I was 13 and I constantly, even now, have to "translate" - at the oddest of times!

    Anyways, cheers!

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  13. i like this! i saw this pattern, but i only have straight needles right now. wish i knew what to tell you about how the seed stitch feels, but honestly it is the first thing i have EVER knitted, so i have nothing to compare it too. i just love the look of it (and was terrified i would forget how to purl if i didn't try it!) and am using just cheap acrylic yarn, so it is probably not the softest ever anyway. trust me, you don't want to be asking me about knitting! i'm so excited about it now though that i am going to have to figure out to read an actual pattern and do fancy things like increasing and decreasing and switching colors ;-)

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  14. You got linked by oneprettything--way to go!
    Thanks for your comment--I have so many unfinished scrapbooks, it's not even funny. I don't think my kids will have anything but a a file of digital photographs to remember their childhood with. Well, and this *one* thing. Maybe there's hope...

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  15. Perfect scarf for your little guy! I know exactly what you mean about knitting with the rolled edges and such... I've never knit a scarf but may have to try this one! Thanks for the tips. x

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  16. Hi , I,m cottonreel, an englishwoman living in the east midlands. It,s been cold enough to get the knitting needles clacking. In the last couple of weeks I have crotchet 2 curly scarves, I think the pattern for them was on the long thread. Today I puchased yarn for a long waistcoat. Red.I,ve done the rib for the left front.hopefully I will be well on the way with it tomorrow. I am a patchwork and quilter most of my spare time. Love your blog, bye.

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  17. what a gorgeous post! love all things knitty

    love MrsB x

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  18. I love your red scarf, it must be a popular colour,
    I have just knitted a red scarf too but using feather
    and fan stitch.
    Happy knitting.
    Cheers, Anita.

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