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February 6, 2006

The Co-Worker Scarf

soba-protects-roy.jpg
Exhibit A: Morning Medicating Ritual


I haven't written about knitting lately because I haven't actually knitted lately. At all.

This is what my life has been like for about two weeks: blur, blur, cough. Work work cough. Listen Roy you're taking the same medicine that I am. And yet the vet charges me five times as much. Isn't that something. Cough. Blurry. Sleep. Take your vitamins. Please George Clooney come take me away. Sniffle. Rinse and repeat.

So, anyway! Very exciting. No knitting. Then last night I woke up in the middle of the night actually dreaming that I was knitting. My subconscious must have really been missing the crack cocaine known as "wool."

I'm calling this one "The Co-Worker Scarf" because my co-worker Jennifer showed me a scarf she had made using these stitches (an idea which she got from her sister-in-law) and I already know too many Jennifers so I am no longer accepting friends named Jennifer, but I do have plenty of openings for Elizabeths, Emilys and Rachels. Hi! This makes no sense as I am stoned on cough syrup! Moving on.

The Co-Worker Scarf

Supplies:

I am using Lana Grossa Colore Print in color #005, this is 100% virgin wool, so soft I want to hug it. (Also, totally unnecessary as it is February and OVER EIGHTY FRICKIN' DEGREES here.) My co-worker Jennifer used an off-white Red Heart acrylic and it looked fantastic using this pattern, so any yarn will do.

My needle size is 11. These are plain ol' bamboo from clover. One of my Lantern Moon size 11s has disappeared, probably gnomes. I decided to use a needle size just a teeny bit larger than you normally would for this yarn, to make the yarnovers nice and airy.

coworkerscarf-yarn.jpg


Pattern:

Here's what I'm doing, though I may need ya'lls opinion if you think the edges are too wide, and maybe the whole scarf is a bit too wide. It looked good on my co-worker's Red Heart, but that yarn is way smaller than this bulky wool.

1) Cast on 20 stitches.

2) Knit five rows of garter stitch, which is when you knit every stitch (no purling.) You can knit more or less than five rows depending on how big you'd like the ends of the scarf to be.

3) See how easy this is so far? We're just knitting!

4) On the sixth row, and every row for the rest of the scarf (until you get to the other end, and do the final 5 rows of plain knitting garter stitch) you follow this pattern:

Knit 5 stitches.
Then, for the next 10 stitches, do this:
    Yarn over, knit two stitches together.
    Yarn over, knit 2 together.
    Yarn over, knit 2 together.
    Yarn over, knit 2 together. (see? so easy!)
    Yarn over, knit 2 together.

Then knit the final five stitches of the row.

So. You have a scarf that looks like this:
coworkerscarf-pattern.jpg

5) And that's it. Just repeat the knit 5 / YO-knit2together for ten stitches / knit 5 pattern until you make the scarf as long as you want. Finish with the same amount of garter stitch edging you started with. Wear, be happy, smile at coworkers! (Smiling optional.)

coworkerscarf-80.jpg

So this is mine in bulky wool. But what do you think, are the sides (the five garter stitches on each edge) too much? Should I frog and go with three per side?


coworkerscarf-pattern2.jpg
Another view. Just so you can see the lacy part in the middle.

Can't remember what the heck a yarnover is?

Yarnovering is so easy. I thought it would be really hard and I would do it all wrong, turns out that I was yarnovering a lot when I first started knitting -- only I was doing it unintentionally, and that's why my first scarf had a few holes. Whoops!

You use yarnovers to make holes in the knitted fabric, or to make drop stitches (like the drop stitch explanation here.)

Yarn Over is just what it sounds like -- you wrap the yarn over the needle. It creates a false stitch, it's just this little loop sitting on your needle. The reason you often follow a yarnover with "knit two together" is that you don't want to increase your stitches, right? Especially not in a rectangular scarf. If you just yarn-overed without knitting the next two stitches together, you'd end up with 30 stitches in this scarf.

yarnover drop stitch
(This picture is from this entry.)

Knitting two stitches together after a yarnover makes a nice little bookend to the hole created by the YO. (Also, YO YO... that's the abbreviation for yarn over. I know you figured that out, but I wanted to say yo yo! That is how I roll!) (For the love of God someone please make me stop the geeky faux-ironic ghetto slang.)

This scarf is the perfect way to get familiar with the yarn over, you do ten of them in each row! Of course every now and then you may want to check the stitches on your needle, and count that you have 20 stitches and have not accidentally increased like maybe some people we know who were stoned on cough medicine while knitting. You got to check yourself before you wreck yourself. OH MAKE THE SLANG STOP. Please.

Also, I have to leave you with probably the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Abby, of The Knitlette, told me, "I think you may be interested to learn that I have found a new knitting-related use for wine - and it is this: 'I must get drunk so that I cannot leave the house so that I cannot buy more yarn.'"

Now that is a girl after my own heart!

Posted by laurie at February 6, 2006 11:19 AM