I like scarves. Take your plain dumpy outfit, toss on an attractive, long scarf and, la Voila, interesting in one fell swoop. You’ve seen one of my dyed rayon scarves – great for spring, summer and early fall – in my previous posting. But now, with the chill of late fall in the air, we can focus on the warmer scarves of winter.
I have a friend with a beautiful crazy quilt style scarf that I love and have been meaning to make myself a version of. When I get to it, you’ll be the first to know. For today, we’re going to talk about the tres simple, ANYONE CAN DO IT, handmade scarf. Oh, but knitting and crocheting take time to learn to do it well you say? T’is true, but anyone can master a Knifty Knitter loom. It’s so simple – it seems like cheating. And, you can do beautiful items with it.
The above scarf is Kidlin Mystic, a linen and mohair blend. The easiest loom stitch gives you a stockinette stitch – knit one side, perl the other. Simply loop around the pegs, I go back and forth on the round blue loom, as opposed to around and around, for a scarf. I’ve held up the bottom of the scarf in the picture above so you can see the “backside” of perl. This really requires little concentration, so it’s great to do while with others or watching tv. When choosing yarns remember that the beautiful wool and mohairs are hand wash – NO dryer – no Mr Bill, NO! – unless you want a potholder instead of a beautiful scarf ….). I have some I give gifts to that simply don’t want hand wash items and would rather have scarves from acrylic yarns. Also, forget those “one skein” yarn patterns – the ones I’m sharing take 2 or 3. You can do a short “around the neck only” style with one skein.
This is my favorite made from Zitron Prisma yarn (82% mohair). We had a lovely yam shop in Murphys that closed down, so I started ordering my fancier selections online – mostly from ebay (as I write this I see there’s some Zitron Prisma there now) or All About Yarn in Oregon. We now have a new yarn shop with very knowledgeable help so, if you come to town, be sure to stop by Maisie Blue.
For those that insist on the washer and dryer, use a heavier weight of yarn like the Deborah Norville chunky above and 3 skeins. With sport weight or thinner yarns, double or triple the strand you use to work with to get a nice looking scarf that won’t stretch all out of shape. You can do big loops or lace patterns on a mohair, but on a sport weight yarn, even blocked, it will just stretch and get really loooong. Be careful with fringe and bulky weight yarns – if I added more strands to the fringe below, the knots would have been bigger and it would have resulted in those bottom rows being much wider than the rest of the scarf. I’ve seen them out there with that stretched out of shape look, not a fan.
So, no sniffing and turning up the noses on the little plastic contraptions you can get at the hobby store. You can make beautiful items with them. It’s very easy to make horizontal stripes by just knotting in a new yarn every so many rows or using a variegated yarn as I have. You can mix yarn and the ribbon yarns, you can tie in yarn with longer ends on the knots to make fringe along the vertical sides where you change yarns, you can bring in beads and you can weave or tie in other fibers or yarn, decorate with fiber roses and so forth to further customize your creation.
I’m coming back in to edit this post as I think I need a few picture of the loom to illustrate how absolutely simple this is. You simply wrap yarn around the pegs, make a second row and use the little hook to pull the first row up and over thesecond. Wrap, hook, wrap hook – repeat. Mindless, fast and simple. I flipped the end of the scarf in the bottom picture so you can see the perl side as well as the opening where I don’t go round and round (you can make tubes and with the large size round loom really fast cowl/hoods).
Special thanks to Andrea over at Train to Crazy’s Make It Wear It for highlighting this post.