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January 17, 2008

Mistake Rib: What a difference a gauge makes!

Although I have seen lots of folks online making pretty little "Mistake Rib" scarves, for some reason I thought this stitch was a much harder combination and would require me to count, which is not something I can do once 1) wine and 2) TV come into the equation.

However, this stitch is easy-peasy! I was poking through one of my books that has stitch patterns featured in blocks (I like finding patterns that work well in blanket squares and using them as scarves) and when I read the stitch repeat it sounded too good to be true. You just cast on stitches and do the simplest ever knit/purl rib repeat, like so:

"Mistake" Rib Stitch Scarf

• Cast on stitches in multiples of four, plus three extra stitches

For example, I cast on 27 stitches -- that's 24 stitches (24 is a multiple of four) plus three extra stitches. You could cast on 15 stitches, or 23 stitches, or 31 stitches. It just has to be some number which is a multiple of 4, plus 3 extra stitches.

• Knit two, purl two all the way across the row. You'll have one leftover stitch at the end of each row -- just purl it!

Seriously, that is the whole stitch pattern. I am not even lying to you.

mistake-rib-pattern.jpg

It's so easy I can even do this when I am on the bus, half-asleep, pre-caffeine and listening to an audiobook (I have found that if it isn't a freakishly simple stitch I'm knitting, I'll lose my place when an audiobook really sucks me in!) (Later for kicks, I may try to walk and chew gum at the same time. Film footage at eleven.)

But for knitting that is so easy, it sure makes a pretty and complex-looking pattern:

mistakerib-big-closeup.jpg
Notice the quality difference of this image as opposed to the other two where I am just starting the knitting. Those were taken with my old camera which died soon afterwards. Death of camera was totally not connected to scarf in any way. This shot was a close-up taken with new camera.

I started out knitting it on a size 10 1/2 needle, I have no idea why. I think it was the first set of needles I grabbed one morning as I was running out the door and by the time I got on the bus and realized they were too small, I was already... you know. On the bus. So I cast on anyway and started knitting. By the time I got a few rows in I knew I needed to go WAY up on my needle size or else this scarf would be so dense it could stand on its own. That night after work I knitted the same amount of stitches on a larger size 15 needle. It's the exact same yarn, exact same stitch count and pattern, just a different gauge:

mistake-rib-gauge.jpg

Much nicer on a bigger needle. The pattern is airier and the scarf actually drapes (as opposed to being an impenetrable wall of yarn.)

This yarn I am using is Moda Dea "Tweedle Dee" in the color "Blue Heather." I love the color, which sort of shades in and out from light to dark. It's a soft, lofty blend of acrylic, mohair and wool and I used two full skeins for a nice, full scarf that loops once around and still has good length. The best thing about this yarn is that it's not scratchy at all (sometimes pure 100% wool scarves, which I LOVE, make me itch) and it's pretty affordable yarn, about $7 USD per skein. Two skeins of it gave me a scarf this long:

mistakerib-finished.jpg

mistakerib-top-secret.jpg


Loving the mistake rib!

Posted by laurie at January 17, 2008 6:52 AM