Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Squishy Sentimental Scarf

A few weeks ago I had a reason to go looking for my knitting needles. I found them all packed away in a box, along with balls of yarn, and projects at various stages of completion. There were hats just waiting to have the ends woven in,  fingerless gloves that needed to be seamed, swatches of this and that, and this scarf-- still on the needles.
The Squishy Sentimental Scarf by Make It Handmade-- With Free Pattern!

It made me very sad. Although I have a vague memory of packing all this away, I can't remember what made me suddenly decide that I didn't have time for this-- for me-- anymore.  Couldn't I have found the few  minutes it would have taken to finish these projects? As a pregnant, pumping, working mom with a 7 month old baby at home, the answer was honestly no.

The Squishy Sentimental Scarf by Make It Handmade-- With Free Pattern!

On the bright side-- my babies are now toddlers, and I'm finding more time to do the things I love! The first was finishing this scarf.

Although this may not be the most attractive or complicated scarf I've made-- it's my favorite. It's made of the little bits of leftover yarn that I couldn't bear to part with. Some of them are over 10 years old, but I still remember where most of them came from.

The black is from the first scarf I knit for my husband, the blue is a skein of bamboo yarn I picked up while traveling in Japan, the white is from Mexico, there is even a teensy bit of left over yarn from this bunny I knitted for my kids, before I had kids.


The Squishy Sentimental Scarf by Make It Handmade-- With Free Pattern!


The scarf is huge-- over twice my height. It's warm and squishy, and is my most stolen scarf-- my husband, son and daughter all love to wear it, because there is so much love inside.

You can make your own sentimental scarf too! The scarf is knit sideways back and forth along the length. Your scarf will look different depending on the yarn you choose, but here are the general instructions.

The Squishy Sentimental Scarf:

Materials

Gather all of your worsted weight yarn (Consider holding two strands together if you want to use a lighter weight yarn.) The key to making this work is to pick one or two color families-- don't throw your whole yarn scrap box at it! I chose to use neutrals, although you can see a bit of blue in there if you look closely.

I used size 8 circular needles. Although this scarf is straight knitted (not a circle), a circular needle helps reduce hand fatigue-- this scarf gets heavy!

Instructions

Cast on 250 stitches loosely onto the needles.

Knit all stitches (garter stitch). Switch yarn whenever you run out, or whenever you feel like it! Consider using the Russian Join for a near invisible join between your yarn strands.

Once your scarf is wide enough (or you run out of yarn) bind off.

Finishing

I chose to crochet a border on the two long sides of the scarf after binding off (this is optional.)
Weave in ends, and block your scarf! The blocking process is absolutely essential to making the scarf look nice. Blocking will even out your stitches and make all the different yarns and fibers play nice. I'll share my super fun, easy way to block a scarf soon.
The Squishy Sentimental Scarf by Make It Handmade-- With Free Pattern!

This was a perfect project for me to jump back into knitting with. I loved the feeling of the yarn running through my fingers, and the sound of my needles click-clicking. It was a lot of mindless straight knitting but it was totally worth it to see all the colors come together, and to have those spare balls of yarn disappear  from my stash.

Has anyone else ever rediscovered a hobby? Or, what do you like to do for 'me' time?


15 comments:

  1. I've got a scarf going, but I'm doing the rows short-wise, it's not doing the multiple yard thing as well as this one! Might have to frog it and start over!

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    1. I like the short rows too, but when you have tiny balls of yarn, going sideways makes a neat effect. Some of my yarn only made it across the scarf once! It also keeps the scarf even.

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  2. I've never made a scarf doing the long rows, but this one is so great you may have just inspired me to finally try it out! So lovely!

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    1. Thanks Steph! I really enjoyed all those long rows-- it was a fun way to jump back into knitting.

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  3. Your talent amazes me! It's beautiful. We ended up being sick over Halloween (who am I kidding we're still sick! Kindergarten is killing us:)) - we need to get together!

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  4. Lovely! I love the look of a lengthwise knitted scarf. I find I have so many more unfinished knitted items than fabric ones - and it's always the things that need sewing up!

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    1. It's true! It just takes a lot longer to finish. For now I'm trying to have a 1 knitting project at a time rule. (We'll see how long it lasts).

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  5. I learned to knit as a little girl (40+ years ago.) But sewing captured my imagination and time until a big snow storm hit North Carolina in 2002. We had no power and we were bored. My daughter pulled out her crochet projects so I dug out my old knitting needles and some yarn. I haven't stopped since then!

    Thanks for sharing your scarf with us!

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  6. You mentioned your "super fun, easy way to block a scarf" can you tell me how you do that? I usually only block sweaters, is it really that helpful to the look of the scarf? :) Sue

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  7. Yes can you please tell me how you blocked your scarf? Many thanks and I will give your pattern a try with all my old yarn!!

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  8. Me too.... am anxious to know your "easy way to block a scarf"! How will we know when you have the great reveal?

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  9. I love the look of the scarf knit lengthwise. Right now I'm knitting one with the short rows - made up my own pattern with cables in it. I'm waiting to hear how you block scarves. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

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  10. 250 stitches makes a scarf how long? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. mine is just about 6ft long, although yours will vary depending on your gauge.

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