Monday, February 2, 2009

Romantic Beaded Scarf

There's something romantic about long flowing scarfs and twinkling beads. That's why I'm calling this my Romantic Beaded Scarf which ~ serendipitously ~ I finished in time for Valentine's Day!

If you have never played around using different textured yarns in your knitting, you will find it is a fun way to create a unique and complex fabric all your own. The technique of "layering" works best with yarns that are in the same color range. If you are anything like me or my friends (Renee of Renee knits too can attest to this) your stash is likely filled with yarns in the same color tone already. In fact, I personally find it very hard to break away from my "colors" even when I want to. On more than one occasion I've come home with new yarn only to realize - in shock and disbelief - that once again I've bought yarn that is very similar to something that I've already got. But that won't happen again because I. will. not. buy. blue. yarn. again. maybe.

To create a rich and complex fabric what you want besides yarns in the same color range is yarn in different textures as well. Rowan Kidsilk Haze is a great choice for layering because it will soften up any yarn and give it a soft halo of color. My Lace Ruffle Scarf is an example of a project knit using this technique. All you do is hold both strands of yarn together and knit away. Wonderful stuff that kidsilk haze.

The only real design element in this scarf came from a suggestion of my dear friend, Murielle of Murielle's knitwear, who suggested that I try adding a couple of rows of lycra to the middle, which I did. It is for this reason that the fabric breaks very sharply and gives a nice clean modern look to the scarf which is best illustrated in the picture above. I'm actually hoping to get Murielle (a knitwear designer) to write a guest post for us here on Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog and share some of her designing tips and tricks with all of us!

This is the first project that I've knit with beaded yarn and I love the effect. It is hard to show in the pictures but the texture and tactile feel of this scarf really makes it special. I did enlarge the picture below to better show the detail.

Free Pattern: Romantic Beaded Scarf

Materials: Approximately 450-600 yards DK weight yarn (use two or 3 different textured yarns of similar color) I used 3 skeins Tilli Tomas Flurries (colorway skydrop); 2 skeins Tilli Tomas Aspen (colorway skydrop) and 1 skein Rowan Kidsilk Haze (colorway heavenly). Optional: small amount of Lycra or very thin lace weight yarn.

Needles: Circular US 10.5

Gauge: Not terribly important but I like my scarfs to be at least 60 inches in length so swatch and calculate the number of stitches to achieve whatever length you chose. I knit this scarf on 190 stitches and my scarf measures 62" x 6" - without including the fringe.

Note: This scarf is knit in garter stitch and is knit from side to side and not top to bottom - hence the need to use long circular needles. Yarn A = Aspen yarn stranded with Kidsilk Haze and Yarn B = Flurries yarn. Using Yarn A cast on 190 stitches (or whatever your gauge indicates) and knit 2 rows. Knit the next two rows knit using Yarn B. Continue alternating every two rows between Yarn A and Yarn B. To knit the scarf on the bias (which is what I did) on all odd rows increased 1 stitch at the beginning of the row and decrease 1 stitch at the end of the row. I did this on odd rows as follows: K1, make one, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1. The optional middle design is worked on very thin yarn using much smaller needles (I used 2 strands of Lycra and dropped down to US 5 needles) and knit in stockinette for approximately 6 rows. Make the fringe ~ because I wanted lots of texture in the fringe ~ I made my fringe using only Yarn B (beaded yarn) and cut strands 16" long (8" when folded) and attached them using a crochet hook. Have fun playing with different yarns!

And a Little About Valentine's Day while I'm in the mood to talk about Romance!

Fifty years ago the blue velvet heart pictured below held a stand of pearls given to my mother as her wedding gift from my father. That's romantic. But it's even more romantic that he sold his fishing boat so he that could afford to buy my mother a beautiful engagement ring.

Today it displays a beautiful romantic necklace that I purchased from the talented and thoroughly enjoyable blogger, Tracy of Pink Purl, whose Etsy shop is filled with fun and romantic accessories and jewelery. Her blog is a delightful place to visit with wonderful writing, varied craft projects, and tasty recipes! I tell you, some women are so multi-talented it just floors me.

We don't exchange gifts around here to celebrate Valentine's Day but we do try and make it a fun day and an occasion to make each other feel special. That's fun and easy to do if you write a special Valentine poem. To get you started I'm sharing a couple of our Valentine's:

Mr Puffy's Valentine to Mia (Mr Puffy harbors a crush on this little dog who lives next door):

You're so cute
You're so sweet
I'm going to share
My milk bone treat

Claudia's Valentine to Steve:

Hair dark as coal
Eyes blue as the sky
No one's cuter
Than my sweetie pie

Steve's Valentine to Claudia:

I regret this was not printable. It failed to pass the strict family guidelines here at Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog. No good asking what it said as I will not gratify any prurient interest.

But I will share one way that Steve and I keep romance in our lives and that is to eat dinner by candlelight every night. So rummage up some candles (unscented candles work best for dinner) and give it a try this week ~ it's a nice way to relax and begin your evening!


Willow said...

Yes, Tracy is amazingly talented! I love her jewelry and her bags!

I made an afghan for The Professor which I titled Pacific Northwest Woods. I used four strands of different wools in greens, browns and blues. He loves it!

I unfortunately echo your statements about always having the same colors in the stash. Maybe we could just trade our blues!

sweetp said...

Aww I love the poems (especially Steve's one lol). THe scarf is exquisite! Well done, great idea to layer your yarns and the beads in as well makes it look just amazing xx

t does wool said...

the scarf is so beautiful...the eyes continues to see it's own beauty...we all are drawn to what we love...the blue is perfect for you...the beads amazing,and love the bad boy!!

Monika said...

Thank you for this lovely post! The scarf looks beautiful! I've got to get my hands on this beaded yarn to give it a try.
From now on I let Mr. Puffy write my poems - LOL!
I wish I could follow your advice about the candle light dinners!

Renee said...

Your scarf is beautiful, Claudia! It drapes beautifully. imho there is no such thing as too much blue stash. Yeah, I keep telling myself that when I come home with yet again another blue stash enhancement. Kid Silk haze is a wonder ~ it's brilliant.
Between Mr Puffy and Steve's poetry, life must have a very romantic flair at your house. We eat breakfast by candle light. It's very peaceful nice to start the day with romance too.
Steve -- who knew you were a bad boy?! :)

Tracy said...

LOVE the scarf, Claudia! That blue is lovely, and that patten is simple, but just the thing for a great yarn rich with texture or embellishments! Your father's jewels to your mother and stories behind them are ever so romantic. The blue velvet box is pretty--what a sweet keepsake. And I am honored to know my humble necklace creation you bought now resides in such a tender location. :o) I am glad you are happy with the necklace. You are sweet to mention my shop and blog *BLUSH* :o) Those Valentine poems are the best! Surely Mr. Puffy will win his heart's desires this Valentine's with an ole to love and milkbones! Lots of love flying around there already--milkbones, kinky poetry...Gosh, Valentine's is still a week away! Wonder what you'll get next week then?! ;o) tee-hee...((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

What a great scarf! Hmmm, why is it that since I've been reading your blog I hang out at the local yarn shop more??
I'm going to check out the Pink Purl too.....

Pat K said...

Great job on the scarf! And I love the Valentine's story. Mr Puffy has a great literary career in front of him, too. I'm looking forward to his first book of poetry to be published, so that he can become wildly famous and I can say that I knew him when. ;-)

At Home Mommy Knits said...

What a lovely post. First off I want to say I love the scarf! It is beautiful. I love the sentiment behind Valentines Day and candlelit dinners. It is so important to keep romance alive :)

amanda said...

Your scarf is just lovely - that combo of yarns sounds so luxurious! Love the V-day poems :) And, dining by candlelight is a great idea. We ate dinner together while watching Jeopardy last night - how romantic!!

Channon said...

I need to try knitting with beads again...

Love the poems!

Ella said...

Sparkly indeed! I love it!

Hilary said...

That is just gorgeous!!! The combo of yarns is stunning, and I love that bit of sparkle on the pale blue. The strip of lycra in the middle is such a neat addition, too!

Love the Valentine's Day poems! Lol.

Marie said...

That's a true testament to love: selling your sailboat.
I love your scarf! I agree that using several different yarns together can really make a knitted item sing. I have always been thrilled with the results when I have attempted it.
I love Steve's poem. It's probably a good thing he doesn't author Mr. Puffy's blog.

jillian said...

So pretty! Sometimes the right yarn does all the heavy lifting :)

Too funny about Steve's valentine :)

woolywumpus said...

I love your scarf! I love that the beads are so subtle, like little surprises. I know why your stash is overflowing with look so great on you. Claudia, you were made for blue!
Have a wonderful valentine and please tell Mr Puffy his penmanship is truly unrivaled in dogdom.

Denise said...

the scarf looks amazing. I've never knitted with bead before either. I have finally cast on for a lacy shawl, that I think might take me about two years to knit! I've been busy painting our bedroom this past week so I don't have much knitting to blog about. Will hopefully update soon. I am planning a special meal for us all on V- Day, I'm thinking of making our fav spaghetti and making the meatballs in to heart shapes ;-) and of course I'll light some candles.

amanda said...

I love this post. The scarf is beautiful, the poetry is sweet and I love to hear snippets about your parents! Absolutely darling!

sue said...

The jewellery looks very pretty. I love the scarf too.

Frances Robson said...

I really like your blog and glad I found it. The scarf is beautiful.

Danette said...

I love the beautiful blue scarf. I do the same color thing with yarn & even nail polish. I come home to find I have that same shade of pink, red, or cranberry ALREADY!
And I love the Pink Purl blog and etsy shop also!
Tell Mr. Puffy I like his poem!:)

raining sheep said...

Tracy's jewelry is pretty amazing. I have a few pieces as well and love wearing them. You scarf is wonderful...I am the same coloring as you and that grey/blue is an awesome color. I find it sets off your hair very nicely. I love wearing that color as well and have a favorite sweater in that color.

Danette said...

Just want to say~
Have a great vacation!
Hope you're going some place beautiful and relaxing.

Anonymous said...

It takes my breath away that your father sold his boat for your mother's ring. The height of romance. And I love Steve's attitude. And BTW, if blue looks looks good on you buy away. You should see my stash of purple. It's disgusting.

Alison Boon said...

The scarf is beautiful. Glad to hear the romance is being kept alive in your neck of the woods.

tiennie said...

What a sweet post. You guys are too cute. :)

You wear that so well! It's beautiful!

Jewelry Fan said...

The scarf is beautiful. I used to love knitting when I was in high school... Your beautiful work makes me want to pick up my needles again.

Windyridge said...

I've never tried using yarn that way, but it sounds like a fun way to do something different.

Yarn It said...

The scarf is gorgeous! I love it. Such a pretty blue color and the beads at so much to it. I am wanting one!

Love the poetry!

Andrea said...

What a beautiful scarf, I think if I'd knitted it, I would wear it every day until it fell to pieces.
Nice job!

Firefly Nights said...

Your scarf looks great but what I really enjoyed was reading about the blue velvet heart and the nice things your father did for your mother. I'm glad you still have the heart and cherish it.

knitting dragonfly said...

I've never tried beaded yarn, I have a pattern for a shawl, but am too intimidated, I'll have to give it a go.
Yes I also am amazed when looking at my blue stash, but love it anyway..

Cameron Sharpe said...

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

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