For me, colour and texture rule and most of the inspiration feeding my imagination comes from the natural world. I see knitting as art, as viable as any other, and no matter what the tool or preferred palette, in human hands, magic happens.
Click here to learn more about Jane's fiction
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
FREE PATTERNS: The Free aRnge Scarf
Recipe for Free Range Scarf
Go on, try a little adventure knitting. This is a fun, easy project and might bring some lovely, if totally unexpected, results. But be brave. You need to take a few risks for projects like this. Are you ready? Read on…
Recipe for Free Range Scarf
First, study your stash. I bet you have favourite colours in there, some you might want to go free-ranging with. Gather all those beauties together, ignoring weight and all other knitterly restraints. That includes guage. In free-range knitting, the tyranny of guage is abolished! Anarchy rules!
I chose a jewel-coloured lapis lazuli shade because I had been rooting around my bead stash that day and jewel colours inspired me. I used a bit of Prism's Inspirations yarn in 'Night Music' and added in some glorious ribbon. Try Judi&Co's rayon in Pine for the same look. It's thick and lucious or go with any satin or grosgrain woven ribbon hanging about in the right colours. Besides cotton yarn, I also used silk, mohair and eyelash, all different weights.
As for color, think of a base color with a bit of light/dark values included. It's often a question of balance. The eye wants something to spark the sameness of similiar colors. I used emerald green and bits of amethyst purple, all in keeping with the evening mood I was after.
Ready? Pick up one of your yarns (perhaps the one you have the most of) and your needles—try 5 or 6mm—and cast on three stitches. Knit in seed, adding a stitch at the end of each row until you have the width you want. I kept mine skinny with no more than 10 stitches. Change yarns. Alternate rows of garter and seed, changing yarns whenever you want as often as you want.
Try doing something really risky like decreasing stitches until you're down to maybe three keeping your scarf together. Knit a few rows. If you knit this part in stockingette the rows will roll together and you can tack the edges together to form a tube. You can then back over these tubes with beads or a little embroidery afterwards. I wrapped my 'throttled' bits with ribbon, tacking the whole thing down with needle and thread. After you've throttled your scarf a bit, increase those stitches again until you're back to where you were before the decrease. Or go bigger. This is an organic scarf. It grows. It shrinks. It lives.
Add a few inches of drop stitch. That's where you wrap the yarn around your needle a couple of times and then drop the wraps on the purl row. Try this with a ribbon or a ribbon yarn, if you've got some. Or with a railroad (ladder) mixed with cotton yarn for a really cool effect.
Keep knitting, having fun. If you're not enjoying this, loosen up. Stop worrying about the end result. Think about the ride, not the destination. Adventure Knitting is about explorations and you know some of the best places are found totally by accident, right? I know there are control freaks out there. You know who you are. Think of this as therapy.
I even let a few of my ends hang down so I can tie them off and stick a bead or two on the ends. Not sure how to work with beads? I'll be adding info on that under the TIPS category soon.
Think of making this the nubbiest, texturiest and lashy-like scarf ever. Imagine yourself wearing it with a plain top (maybe basic black) for a night out.
A scarf like this gives you attitude and intrigue. It's for young women of all ages who refuse to blend into the woodwork.