Friday, August 14, 2015

School Scarf, Harry Potter Style!

I had a sudden moment of inspiration a couple weeks ago for a new knitting project: a school scarf. I wanted something Harry Potter -esque--you know, with the stripes and maybe a logo. On a side note, there are so many variations of Harry Potter scarves online.

It was fate, then, that when I went to Michaels for some yarn, they had a varsity stripes set (scarf and hat) knitting pattern for free. I grabbed a skein of navy and one of gold, and headed home to design the perfect paw print (know where I go yet?).

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I used the same designing technique that I used for the birds and trees hat. I drew the design on a piece of paper, then drew a grid on top, basically making a chart. Then I open an Excel file, square up the cells, and fill the cells according to my hand-drawn chart. The hard part for me is deciding what to do with squares that are half and half. After that, it's trial and error. I knit a sample and tweak it until I have something I love. Make sure you knit the sample the way you intend to knit the real deal. For example, I stranded my samples, but then decided to use double knitting for the real thing. It ended up stretching the design so much horizontally that I had to start all over.

To design the scarf, I had to decide a few things how to deal with the color work and what pattern to use for the scarf. As I mentioned, I decided the use double knitting for the paw designs. I didn't have enough yarn to make the entire scarf in the round, and I didn't want messy stranding work to be visible. To start double knitting in sections, I added the second color (gold in this case) by holding it with the first color and treating them as one strand on a wrong side row. I made sure to pick up the strands under the other one when I got to the double knit sections. To end the double knit sections, I used p2tog on a wrong side row. I'm pretty happy with the results. For the scarf pattern, I used k2, p2 on the right side and purled the wrong side, resulting in ribbing that alternates stockinette with garter stitch. It's supposed to lie flat (I will depend upon the powers of blocking), and I think it makes a nice, neutral base for the stripes.

I'm really excited to be almost finished with this scarf!

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