Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Heavenly Handspun Scarf

Sometimes it's the simplest things in life that bring the greatest pleasure. The feel of the sun warming your skin after it has rained or a walk on the beach as seagulls circle overhead. I forget these things until we return to San Clemente, California, as we always do, the week after Christmas where we have no TV or computer access and nothing important to do but remember that time to relax is important too.


In the spirit of keeping it simple I'm wearing a scarf that goes everywhere and looks great with everything. This scarf does not have a bold look but it is subtly rich in color and texture and dresses up or down depending on what I'm wearing. It's my favorite scarf. Ever. I used a handspun yarn and if you look closely you will see that the spinner plied dark gold and dark silver glass beads randomly throughout the skein adding twinkle and glimmer to the fabric.

I suspect the spinner who lives in Scotland and dyed the yarn in a Scottish tartan color, in a style that reminded her of a Scottish grid, would be surprised that her yarn ended up not being worn while hiking the Hebrides Isles but rather just chilling out on the beaches of Southern California. The internet makes the improbable possible.

Particulars: Kocurek Etsy Shop Handpainted and Handspun yarn; BFL and Seacell wool top; glass beads randomly plied throughout; Scottish Tartar colorway; 66 grams; 452 yrds sport weight, WPI 18; 1 ply; US8 needles; spinner is Kocurek on Ravelry and she writes the blog Kocurkoweconieco. This is a simple scarf knit in the linen stitch which, based on swatching, created the prettiest fabric. I've named it Heavenly Handspun Scarf and I've written out my notes below. Washed and blocked dimensions: 6" x 50."


Heavenly Handspun Scarf Pattern:

This scarf is based on a slip stitch pattern known as the linen stitch. The resulting fabric has almost a woven and/or tweedy appearance that is slightly different on each side. This scarf is designed to be a light weight accessory worn to accent an outfit and achieving drape is important.

Yarn Suggestion: light sport weight yarn with a fluid drape such as yarns blended with silk, bamboo, seacell, etc. I think handspun and/or handpainted yarns look particularly nice in this stitch due to the complex appearance of the yarn.

US 8 needle ~ or size to achieve desired drape and dimensions.

CO 42 stitches
R1: Slip 1 purl wise (K1, slip 1 purl wise with yarn in front)
R2: Slip 1 purl wise (P1, slip 1 purl wise with yarn in back)

Repeat to desired length.


Designer Tips and Tricks:
To add individual flare and a designer touch you can add a panel of contrasting or complimentary yarn of similar weight in seed stitch which is a suggestion that came from my friend and knitwear designer Murielle (of Murielle Knitwear). Following her suggestion, at approximately the midpoint I changed yarn (I used leftover yarn from my wristletts with an edge) and switched to seed stitch for approximately 4 inches at which point I changed back to the original yarn and pattern. I'm glad I added this design element as it added both length and visual interest to my scarf! N.B. If you find your gauge is looser in the seed stitch (which mine was) you can either go down a needle size or every inch do a little runching (gathering) stitch (i.e. a row of evenly spaced decreases followed by a row of evenly matched increases) which is what I did. This will help keep the edges of the scarf even throughout.

P.S. Other scarf patterns in the linen stitch that might interest you are the Cerus Scarf a free pattern from Hilary of The Yarniad (knit lengthwise and designed for a man) and the Linen Stitch Scarf a free pattern compliments of Needleworks, Inc. (also knit lengthwise but using multiple colors of yarn and is gender neutral).

Until next time, be well and love well and think about the simple things in your life that bring you pleasure - and then do at least one before the day ends! I suggest putting your feet up and enjoying a cup of hot tea while you consider the endless possibilities.

30 comments:

Monika said...

Lovely photos! Handspun yarn works wonderful with this stitch pattern. The scarf turned out very nice.

Rebekah said...

Very pretty! The internet is amazing, an entire world has opened up and at the same time made the earth seem rather small. Sometimes I think the internet is one of the worst inventions stealing us of time, but then when you can find yarn you'd never be able to find locally, or talk with fellow Ravellers around the world, I rethink my thoughts and deem it a miracle.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Claudia the scarf looks great on you. Perfect for relaxing on the coast. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and new year!

Andrea said...

That really is a very simple and lovely scarf. The perfect thing to show of a handspun!

Kristen said...

I love this scarf, the colors are beautifully blended. Happy new year to you!

Bubblesknits said...

Very nice. : )

Willow said...

What a great way to begin the new year--with a fantastic new scarf knitted in a creative way!

I am going to take your excellent advice right now and relax!

Channon said...

Beautiful - you, the beach and the scarf! Love the backstory on the handspun too.

subliminalrabbit said...

absolutely gorgeous! what a beautiful scarf! i love linen stitch.

simple things... tonight a bit of nice whiskey and water to stave off the cold and the remainders of sunday's nyt followed by a bit of knitting and spinach pie. works for me!

Allie said...

Claudia that is really lovely - very luxurious looking! Glad you had a good time!

Froggy said...

What a lovely scarf! Thanx for pattern!

t does wool said...

Claudia what a beautiful succession of images...the scarf is amazing..
hope this new year brings all you wish for and more~~xx

knittergal said...

It's a beautiful scarf and a reminder how perfectly wonderful simplicity is. I envy your time without tv and computers. It's so hard to find anyplace where it's not front and center!

gMarie said...

beautiful scarf, but more and more your closing and resonating with me these days. I try to take a minute or two each day to watch the sun go down as I have a fantasic view from desk - might as well take advantage right?

May your day be filled with little things. g

Kocurek said...

I enjoy very much, that my spun yarn was in your hands.
You are very talented master of knitting, this pattern is absolutely amazing.
I agree that the Internet brings people together, I am glad that I could meet you:))).

Thank you so much.

raining sheep said...

So pretty Claudia. I do love that color and the fact the yarn is handwoven. Happy new year by the way. I have not even considered doing a post yet. I am just getting over the shock of being back at work after my two week break.

Tracy said...

Happy New Year, Claudia! Sounds like a very good Christmas... plenty of relax time--always a good thing. ;o) LOVE the scarf--I really love the subtle textural variation and tiny hint of sheen with the beads, and not least the richness of the color way! Simple is often the sweetest I find. I find myself every intrigued with complex knitting patterns, but invariable often turn to more "simple" designs & patterns as I know they will last me the most in terms of enjoyment and wearing level. Thank you for a lovely pattern & sharing. Wishing you & yours all the very best for health & happiness, peace & joy in 2011--and not least creativity! ;o9 Happy Days, my friend ((BIG HUGS))

Hilary said...

Oh hey, thanks for linking Cerus! Don't you love linen stitch?! It's so lovely and creates such a nice fabric. And, wow, the yarn you chose made for a spectacular scarf. Just perfect.

betty said...

Happy new year! It's a very pretty scarf. I'm glad you had a relaxing getaway week. I can do without TV, but no internet access?? Dude, seriously...

Kathy said...

a beauty with a truly woven look. Thanks for the freebie pattern

Renee said...

simple ~ lovely ~ heartwarming ~ handspun ~ handknit ~ heavenly!

Jenny Hodgson said...

This is really beautiful! I'm always so inspired seeing handspun yarns...especially knitted up into something as lovely as your scarf! Thank you for the nice comment on my blog and for the spin-spiration (I know...cheesy ; )

Larissa said...

Love the 'softness' of this scarf! It's so beautiful with your hair color. oh, i agree that time away from the internet is important - but so fun to come back and see what all your friends have been up to! Happy New Year to you, C.

Prairie Rose said...

What a special scarf!
I just love handspun yarn,its just has a feel to it that makes the project seem so special while you are knitting it up.
I love the stitch you used,as well.

kim said...

This is such a lovely scarf. I was sure that you had taken up weaving in your spare time! Beautifully done.

knittingdragonflies said...

Happy New Year! That is a lovely scarf! I keep looking at the color mix.
I've never tried this stitch, but love the look of it with this yarn!
I'll put it on my to do list!
Vicki

Knitting Out Loud said...

Another very moving post. I'm not sure it isn't always the simplest things which bring the greatest pleasure. Oh a week with no electronics!

Your scarf is so lovely. And Kocurek's blog is amazing - did you see that wedding shawl she knit?

Ally Johnston said...

That's a great scarf pattern. The internet is a truly marvellous machine.

Katherine said...

The scarf is beautiful! Such gorgeous colors. It is surprising to me how popular scarves have become. The girls in our family are begging me to knit "lot of scarves" for them. It must have something to do with the extra cold weather we have had in Texas.

Thanks for the interesting pattern! I will try it.

Rachel said...

I'm glad to hear you got a week to relax away from the internets! I need to be better about accepting how important it is to just relax!

This scarf is simply beautiful! The colors, the pattern...your linen choice stitch was perfect!