close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, September 23, 2011

Make This: Scarves

I have been asking around about what you all like to see here on our little blog.  Aside from the shop updates and free patterns, it seems you all want me to show you what to make!  Lucky for you, my brain is constantly thinking about fabulous pairings of patterns and yarns.  Call it my version of Fantasy Football.  In an effort to make project planning and selection as easy and fun as possible, I'm starting the "Make This" series.  I'm going to kick things off with scarves.

Sneak peek of one of my new designs...not quite as basic as you might think
Most of us learned to knit by making a basic scarf.  Over the years, I seem to have stopped knitting them, because I have the hardest time finding one each fall.  I've been wearing a store-bought acrylic mess I received as a gift years ago, and that seems a little silly.

I love knitting scarves for several reasons: precise gauge is not critical, they make great gifts, the knitting is usually pretty straightforward, and they don't require an exorbitant amount of yarn.  I'm going to share some patterns with you and give you a few yarn options at different price points.

Tristan Scarf
Tristan Scarf by Nancy Ricci is a shop favorite.  Two skeins of chunky yarn and an interesting but straightforward stitch pattern, and you have a great scarf for anyone who might deserve it.  If you have mastered the garter stitch scarf, this is a great next project.

Under $40: 2 balls Rowan Cocoon
Under $40: 3 balls of Classic Elite Ariosa
Under $30: 2 skeins Misti Alpaca Chunky (shown in the sample)
Under $30: 2 skeins Cascade 128 Superwash
Under $20: 2 skeins Lamb's Pride Bulky

Miss Jenni Shawl
Also from Nancy, the Miss Jenni Shawl in classic feather and fan stitch.  If you have never tried lace, this would be a great choice for your first lace project.  Feather and fan employs the most basic lace stitches for a very impressive result.  The pattern is written for two yarns held together, a fingering weight and a lace wight mohair.

Under $65: 2 balls Karabella Lace Merino Silk + 2 balls Kidsilk Haze
Under $50: 1 skein Classic Elite Alpaca Sox + 2 balls Kidsilk Haze
About $50: any of our fabulous sock yarns + 2 balls Kidsilk Haze

If the thought of doubling yarns makes you nervous, you could easily make it work with a single strand.  I would choose something with a little mohair to achieve that nice fuzzy halo.

Under $90: 2 skeins Artyarns Silk Rhapsody
Under $35: 3 balls Rowan Kid Classic

Rain on the Prairie Scarf
The Rain on the Prairie Scarf from Interweave Knits Spring 2011 is a sweet little tuck-in scarf, perfect for that one skein of pretty yarn you can't resist.  You'll need less than 400 yards of anything from lace to sport weight.  There are dozens of options at the shop; here are a few of my favorites.

Under $25: 1 skein Misti Hand Paint Suri & Silk (shown in the sample)
About $25: 1 ball Kauni Effectyarn
Under $25: 2 balls Rowan 4 Ply Soft

Bias Scarf in Firefly
The popular Bias Scarf I designed for Classic Elite Firefly works really well in other yarns, too.  We have the beautiful orange sample, which has been getting a lot of love.

Bias Scarf in Fresco
This scarf would be great in something with a little silk or linen to accentuate the drape of the bias.
Under $40: 3 skeins Debbie Bliss Andes
Under $35: 3 balls Classic Elite Soft Linen
Under $30: 3 skeins Classic Elite Fresco (shown in the orange sample)
Under $30: 3 skeins Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool

I would love to have samples of all of these to show you, but we just can't knit that fast!  So, you'll have to use your imagination and trust me that these will be fabulous.

Sadly, it looks like the cost of fiber is increasing across the board this year for a wide variety of reasons beyond the control of retailers.  We will continue to do our best to keep our prices where they have been, but we wanted to give you loyal and fabulous customers a little heads-up on the whole thing.  That being said, come get your yarn while my numbers are still good!

I am gearing up for the release of my own designs, including a few scarves.  I've included some sneak peeks for you here, so stay tuned for more on that soon.

Sneak peek of another work-in-progress
Hopefully this little overview will get you jump started on scarf knitting, either to protect yourself from those chilly winds right around the corner or to wrap up as gifts.  What do you want to talk about next?


  1. Leah,
    Thank you for all of the wonderful ideas. Fall is in the air and it is time to knit. Loved the sneek peek and can't wait to see your other designs!

  2. Leah,

    Returned home from another excellent knitting night on Wednesday to discover Nancy Ricci THE feature on NYC's Knitty City blog. Wonderful write up with nods, of course, to CloseKnit.