Thursday, March 15, 2007

that "H" Mall Store Rib Knit Scarf

A couple of years ago, the 'baby' of the family was working over the winter holidays in one of those trendy teenaged clothing stores at the mall. Rather than call it out by name...we'll refer to it as that 'H' Mall Store. The company hires a LOT of teenagers, but gives them each very few hours. I think they're waiting for them to spend their whole paychecks and their parents' paychecks on the clothes in the store. (Not too bad a marketing idea-eh? Lots of teenagers, few hours to pay each, no benefits, lots of teenagers handling the clothes, thus wearing their paychecks around the high school, free advertising to the rest of the teenaged population...)

They do have a rather great selection of scarves in the fall. Unfortunately, I didn't know early enough that she wanted a particular one until the last moments of that holiday 'rush/crunch/when do I pick it up while she's not working/so she won't know ahead of time/will I get the right one' shopping season? of those moments.

Taking her sister into the store on her night off (praying we wouldn't run into her shopping at the same time) helped me to figure out which scarf she wanted. Wouldn't you know it, they were out of the white color she wanted but did have a red one in stock. According to her co-workers there, who swore to secrecy, they would be getting in another shipment in the next few days post Christmas, and daughter would be able to exchange it at that time. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...uh ahhhhhhhhhh......I think that group of kids would be able to sell ice cubes to Eskimos, too!

While they did keep the secret, the shipment never happened. Big surprise? The more I thought about the scarf the more I knew I could duplicate it in her preferred white color. Why? Because I've seen a comparable yarn from Lion Brand both in the chunky and worsted weights. The red one as I eyeballed it, appeared to have been on size 11-13/s with the chunky yarn. I also figured it would work with double stranding the worsted if the chunky didn't work out well. The chunky did work well...and I am now working up a second scarf with double strands of Plymouth Encore using 2 colors of green sage. Not at the same time. I'm using each color for 4 rows at a time and like the way that's turning out as well. That gives two different looks for the same pattern that knits up very quickly.
A few notes here. I slipped the first edge stitches both as if to knit and as if to purl on different sides of the scarf. I liked the way the edges laid using both, rather than my usual 'slipping as if to knit' for both sides. With the ribbing it looked better.
To slip as if to knit, use the first stitch on your left needle. Insert your right needle to the left of that first stitch, from the front of your left needle towards the back of your work. Now, rather than using your yarn to create a new stitch, just slide that stitch off of the left needle onto the right needle. Continue with your pattern as needed for your second stitch.
To slip as if to purl, insert your right needle from the right side of your stitch toward the left, in front of your work and slip that stitch off of your left needle onto your right needle. Again, proceeding with your pattern with the next stitch. Clear as mud?
The rib knit on this scarf works well with both weights of yarn. It 'springs' back toward itself making it a very warm scarf to wear. Use either size 11 or 13 needles, the larger ones giving you a wee bit bigger scarf and loser fabric. It's a scarf, so you don't need to have it 'fit' as if you were making a garment to wear. Your preference.

Daughter came home from the frozen country yesterday and when she saw the new white scarf, she was plenty happy with it. I'm sure she will give me an update next week after returning to the below zero temps. However, she quickly tossed it to the side as she dug out her bathing suit while her friends were in the driveway waiting for their trip to the beach. We've had between 88-92* temps while she had been walking between classes in -11*F back there. Happy she was, but not wanting to invest much time in the wool blended scarf. (I wonder why!)

She has some very definite ideas of the clothes she will wear, and what she won't wear. I wouldn't say picky, just knows what she's looking for. Why knit something she's not going to pull out from under the bed? (ya, like three red and white scarves when I wasn't paying attention to what I'd already finished? and she's not a big 'wear the school colors in college' kinda girl. She'd prefer to wear colors that go with her clothes that look nice. mmmm...go figure. ha ha ha)

Hopefully your computers can see the 'sparkles' in this yarn. The camera didn't pick it up nearly as well as your eyes can see it. It is there. I promise.

Steph’s Sparkle Scarf
That ‘H’ Mall Store Rib Knit Scarf
© Cathy Waldie, February 26, 2007
2 skeins, Lion Brand Chunky Wool-Ease [Label: 5ozs. 140 gms, 153 yards, 140 m, 14 sts/18 rows on (US) 10.5 (6.5mm) needles]
Gauge in pattern: 17 sts/14 rows
Finished size : 6” x 78” without fringe
(US) 11 (8.0mm ) needles

If the scarf is going to have fringe, cut your fringe first from both skeins of yarn and set them aside. This will give you almost an identical amount of yarn length from both skeins as you knit. That means at the time you have to add the second skein while you are knitting the scarf, your join will be somewhat in the center of the scarf. I cut 15“lengths for this. 26 x 2 = 52 strands. I used them double on each end, meaning, 13 x 2 strands for each end of the scarf.

Cast on 29 stitches
1: k1, (p1,K1) 14 times
2: sl 1 as if to knit, (k1, p1) 14 times
3: sl 1 as if to purl, (p1, k1) 14 times.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length. Bind off.
Add fringe if desired. 26 strands each end, 2 x 13 across each end.