Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hoofprints Lace Scarf

I wanted to create a scarf for my sister who loves horses, and found a Barbara Walker stitch pattern named "horseshoe" (A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p 209). I looked "around" (read "googled") and found this free pattern (uses a different version of this stitch pattern) and one from the latest Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere pattern book. But they weren't quite what I wanted. So I created my own pattern incorporating the details I wanted. I used Ms. Walker's stitch pattern but changed the double decrease to one that I prefer. The length was made-to-order – it had to be as long as an existing French scarf that went round the neck twice with ends that stayed in the front when the wind blew. And if the scarf is wound around the neck, it can't be too wide or bulky. Finally, this pattern reminded me of hoofprints, not horseshoes – but the important part? She loves it. This free pattern may prove there are no (well, okay, rarely) new ideas. But even though there are similar ones out there, maybe another one to choose from isn't a bad idea? Click here to download a free pdf of the pattern. (Finished: Oct. 6, 2006) Finished Measurements: 4.5" x 80" Materials:

  • Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight [100% alpaca; 110 yds/100 m; 50g skein]; Color: #516 Petal Pink; 1 skein; Color: #520 Avocado (green); 1 skein; Color: #008 Natural Streaky Brown; 1 skein.
  • Blue Sky Alpaca Melange [100% alpaca; 110 yds/100 m; 50g skein]; Color: #800 Cornflower (blue); 1 skein; Color: #803 Licorice (charcoal grey); 1 skein.
  • 1 U.S. # 4 / 3.5mm circular needle
  • tapestry needle
Gauge: Doesn't matter. That's why scarf-knitting is so nice (one of the reasons). I used a needle size that worked for me, but choose any size you want to make the scarf any size you want. Pattern: S2KP – slip 2 stitches purlwise, k1 and pass 2 slipped sts over the knitted st – a double decrease Horseshoe Lace Stitch Pattern Row 1 [WS]: K1, p to last st, k1. Repeat this row for all WS rows. Row 2 [RS]: K1, *(k1, YO, k3, S2KP, k3, YO) repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 4 [RS]: K1, *(k2, YO, k2, S2KP, k2, YO, k1) repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 6 [RS]: K1, *(k3, YO, k1, S2KP, k1, YO, k2) repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 8 [RS]: K1, *(k4, YO, S2KP, YO, k3) repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2. Row 9 [WS]: Repeat Row 1; then break yarn. Note that I use a circular needle, but knit back and forth as if on straight needles. You can use straight needles, but after row 9, you'll need to transfer all stitches to the other needle so that you can work two WS rows, one after another. The circular needle makes this switch easier. Directions Start with blue yarn and CO 33 sts. Work rows 1-9 of stitch pattern, breaking/cutting the blue yarn (leave 2" of yarn dangling) at the end of row 9; then move the scarf to the other end of the circular needle. With the WS facing you, start row 1 with the charcoal grey yarn, leaving 2" of yarn hanging at the beginning of the row; knit the last st of this row with both the grey and blue yarns together. Continue with row 2 of stitch pattern, knitting the last st of row 2 with both the grey working yarn and the grey yarn hanging at the start of row 1. Continue with rows 3-9 of stitch pattern ; move the piece to the other end of the circular needle and cut/break grey yarn. Repeat rows 1-9, including knitting the last st in rows 1 & 2 with 2 yarns, but change colors after every 9-row repeat in this sequence: green, brown, pink, blue, grey, and then start the sequence over again with green, brown, etc. Continue until the scarf is 80" long or as long as you'd like it to be. End with a pink color block. When working row 9 of the pink color block, BO all sts. Break/cut yarn. Weave in all yarn ends. Block.