Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ostrich Plume Scarf

This scarf is actually very simple, but I'm trying to make the directions as thorough as possible.  It has a moss-stitch border of 6 rows on top and bottom and 4 stitches on each side, and uses the stitch pattern KNOWN as Ostrich Plume (hence the name).  There's a 3-stitch decrease using a slip 2, k1, pass slipped stitches over, which creates a nicer look than the traditional slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over technique, but feel free to use the more traditional decrease if you choose.  I used a shorter bottom and top edging to allow the wavy stitch pattern to pull the border into the wave effect, but you could certainly add a few extra rows of moss-stitch to the top and bottom if you would like.

I have written this to slip the first stitch of all but the very first row as I think it makes a nicer edge, but you may choose to simply knit them.  As a matter of personal preference, I never slip the first stitch of the first row--it doesn't work with some cast-on methods, so I leave it out.  You may slip the first stitch as if you were going to knit it OR as if you were going to purl it, provided you do the same on every row.  They both work--they just look a little different.

Materials needed:
* size 5 needles
* approximately 400  yards of laceweight yarn (more for longer scarves, less for shorter)

Gauge:  BLESSEDLY unimportant!

Cast on 57 stitches.

Row 1:  [k1,p1] across, k1
Row 2:  slip 1 stitch, [p1, k1] across

Repeat Row 2 4 more times, until you have 6 rows of moss stitch.

Next row--Row 1 (wrong side): slip 1 stitch, P1, k1, p1, place marker, purl 49, place marker, [P1. k1] twice

Rows 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, and 30: slip 1 stitch, P1, K1, P1, slide marker, knit 49, slide marker [P1, K1] twice

Row 3 (and all remaining wrong side rows):  slip 1 stitch, P1, K1, P1, slide marker, purl 49, slide marker [P1, K1] twice

Rows 4, 8, 12, and 16:  slip 1 stitch, P1, K1, P1, slide marker, [K1, yo] three times, *ssk twice, slip 2 knit-wise, k1, pass 2 slipped stitches over, k2tog twice, [yo, k1] 5 times, YO; repeat from *, end ssk twice,  slip 2 knit-wise, k1, pass 2 slipped stitches over, k2tog twice, [YO, K1] 3 times, slide marker [P1, K1] twice

Rows 20, 24, 28, and 32:  slip 1 stitch, P1, K1, P1, slide marker, K2tog 3 times, *[YO, K1] 5 times, YO, ssk twice, slip 2 knit-wise, k1, pass 2 slipped stitches over, k2tog twice; repeat from *, end [YO, K1] 5 times, YO, ssk 3 times, slide marker [P1, K1] twice.

Repeat Rows 1-32 as established until the scarf reaches the desired length, continuing with the moss stitch borders on the outsides of the markers.  Work 6 rows of moss stitch as established, then cast off loosely.  Weave in ends and block.

Shown using a merino laceweight:
and using an alpaca with a slight halo effect:
Both work quite nicely.

This formula--a moss stitch border around a lace stitch pattern--is an easy one to use for any number of projects.  Barbara Walker's stitch pattern dictionaries--or ANY stitch dictionaries containing lace patterns--are a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration, and this formula will work for most with just a change in the number of stitches cast on.  Such a simple combination of stitch pattern and border is not a true "design" and is shared here because friends have asked for the pattern, and sharing is good.  





Knitting And I Have Made Up!!!!

After ALL the sewing and gardening and embroidery, I'm back with my first love:
We just needed a little time apart, I guess.  And freakishly cool weather in the summer doesn't exactly hurt wool's appeal, to be quite honest.

This is another Ostrich Plume scarf, and after several requests, I will be adding the pattern to the blog later.  It quite honestly takes longer to write a stitch pattern than it does to knit, but I will hope to have it on the blog before the scarf is done.  And considering I just started this last night, I definitely think it could be this month!