Monday, April 10, 2006
Prime Rib Mohair Scarf
I ended up abandoning the snake scarf. The curves irritated me and it was too skinny and I decided that I preferred the other short-row scarf patterns I had already done. But my aunt still deserved a scarf and I still had the blue colourway skein of mohair begging to be knitted up.
I ended up using a stitch called 'Prime Rib' that I had never heard of before reading Elizabeth Zimmermann and am still unsure why it is not in more common use. Because it is a really easy, fast knit for the intermediate knitter. It is not a beginner stitch, because the one bad thing about it is that you can't go back and correct mistakes without knitting every stitch back - but the same is true of every cable stitch and this is much easier than cabling.
So here is my 'Prime Rib' scarf pattern. Ingredients - 100 grams of 12-ply (that's 'aran' or 'heavy worsted' or 'triple knitting' for the Americans) brushed mohair and one pair of 9mm needles. Cast on 20 stitches (note, must be an even number).
Set up row: Knit one, *bring yarn forward, slip as if to purl, then with the yarn remaining forward knit one (thus creating a double loop). Repeat from * to last stitch, bring yarn forward, slip as if to purl.
All remaining rows: Knit one, *bring yarn forward, slip as if to purl, then with the yarn remaining forward knit two together (which still creates the double loop). Repeat from * to last stitch, bring yarn forward, slip as if to purl.
Don't be phased by all the words; just do it and it will make sense and it will be the most simple and fastest rib you have even made (as you never actually have to complete a purl stitch - EZ hated purling and invented a multitude of ways to avoid it). The main thing is to ensure at the end of every row you have exactly 20 stitches in the pattern of a single on each end and a pattern of single, double loop, single, double loop, etc in between, and all will be well.
The scarf ended up being 245 cm or 98 inches in length and 15 cm or 6 inches in width, which is very respectable for a mere 100 gram skein. I cheated a little by tugging the length as I knitted but in retrospect it did not even require that.
The colourway and the fluffy pattern give the scarf a very 1980s look but it is warm and cosy and the 1980s are very retro and trendy for those who care about such things.
My aunt will just see a handknitted scarf made out of a yarn and colour her sister would have loved. And that has more meaning than any fashion.