Introduction: Plaid Blanket Scarf
Have you checked out Wool & the Gang yet? Essentially they have been partly responsible for making hand knitting ‘cool’ with their chunky knits spotted on the needles of many a celebrity. I appreciate that many of their projects are pretty straightforward so there are many options for beginner knits and that they sell kits with everything you need. One of my favorites from their collection is the No Doubt Warmer, but at the time I was looking to make it a) I didn’t want to spend $125 on supplies and wait a week for the kit and b) I was visiting my hometown where there was a new-ish yarn shop and I wanted to support the shop. So I went ahead and calculated how much yarn I’d need in every color and found skeins I liked in my LYS. For a time I was a tiny bit stumped as to the construction of this piece, as it looked more complicated than the beginner rating. And WatG didn’t sell this pattern outside of the kit. (UPDATE: Now sold as a standalone pattern!!) My mom took a look at the picture and said, “it’s just a regular scarf wrapped around and attached to the long edge of the scarf.” Bingo!! That’s why it is a beginner pattern, as it is essentially a very wide stockinette stitch scarf. Using clues from the WatG website and pictures of their warmer, the following steps are the pattern I developed.
For WatG yarn: 5 balls main A, 5 balls contrast B, 4 balls contrast C. Each skein is 50g/43yds
For the yarn I used: 2 skeins main A, 2 skeins contrast B, 2 skeins contrast C
A & C: Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash in Ruby (893) and Jet (1913) (100g/128yds)
B: Ella Rae Classic Superwash Chunky in Berry Heather (05) (100g/121yds)
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 MM; darning needle
Step 1: Techniques
This scarf requires three stitch types: Twisted Rib, Garter, and Reverse Stockinette
Row 1 (RS): *K1 through back loop, P1. Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2 (WS) : *K1, P1 through back loop. Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat Rows 1-2.
Knit all stitches
Row 1 (RS): Purl all stitches
Row 2 (WS): Knit all stitches
Repeat Rows 1-2
Step 2: Knit Knit Knit; Weave Weave Weave
Cast on 72 stitches.
Work in twisted rib for 12 rows in color A.
Work 4 rows garter stitch in A, 4 rows in B, 4 rows in A, 4 rows in B, 4 rows in A.
Then, in reverse stockinette*, work 12 rows in B, then C, then A and repeat until the scarf is as long as you’d like (or when your yarn runs out, that’s when I called it quits).
Work 4 rows each ABABA in garter stitch in same fashion as the beginning and then 12 rows in twisted rib.
*all this means is that the smooth side is the backside in this piece. The stitch is the same as regular stockinette.
Did you think that endless stockinette stitch was tedious? (it’s why I don’t enjoy making plain scarves) Get ready for the even more tedious job of weaving the perpendicular stripes! You must block your scarf before moving on. I put a dry towel under my scarf, pinned it to the carpet and then left it to dry for a few days. (I live in Seattle though, maybe you don’t need to wait that long…) Block however you wish, but I found it extremely helpful to have mined pinned in place for this next step. Essentially now you have to weave under and over every row of the bumpy side of the stockinette using your darning needle. I found it best if I put enough yarn on my needle for 3 rows of weaving, so I did not have a bazillon ends to weave in at the end. Work 6 rows in each color across the scarf. WatG describes this as “Tartan Knitting,” but in the pictures for this step you can see how I wove in the stripe colors. My cat's favorite toy is string, so it made for an interesting time when weaving!
Finally, take one end of the scarf and stitch it to the long side of the scarf on the other end - see final picture for a visual of this part, it is what confused me the most when planning! There's no particular way to do this final step, I just tried to sew it up flat, but if you want a guide, the "invisible vertical to horizontal" from Vogue Knitting looks like a good option.