For this blog post and the next, I’m going to explain how to design your own fashionable “infinity” scarf. This style is a cozy, knitted loop, to wrap singly or as many times as you desire around your neck. The second post shows you how to neatly sew scarf ends together without an obvious seam. I hope you attempt a DIY infinity scarf, and send me a photo of your finished project (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let’s get started!
1. Choose your yarn. Yarn amount is somewhat of a guessing game. In deciding on the amount, think about the size of the scarf and the pattern stitch you want. Approximately 20-25″ around the neck will give a close fitting scarf, and by doubling this number you can wrap it around the neck a couple of times, or make it longer. Generally, the more complicated the pattern stitch, the more yarn you need. To give you a rough idea, approximately 2, 100g balls of chunky yarn with about 100-120m per ball knits a close fitting scarf (approximately 20″). The sales person at your local yarn shop can help with yarn quantity.
2. Make a swatch. Decide on the pattern stitch and needle size. The yarn ball band gives a guideline as to needle size and gauge, but remember this is only a guideline. Everyone knits to a different tension. The simplest pattern stitches are garter stitch, stockinette stitch, seed stitch and rib. Stockinette stitch curls at the edges, so you might not like this look. You may have to experiment with a few swatches to get the look you want. Make the swatch at least 4″ square to obtain an accurate gauge measurement. Record the number of stitches casted on and the number of rows to complete the final swatch. Also, decide if you want to knit in the round or on straight needles, as this affects the direction of the pattern.
3. Measure the total width of the swatch in the chosen pattern stitch, and calculate the stitch gauge per inch. Row gauge is not as critical, since you can just work to whatever length. Take into account “multiples” in more complex pattern stitches when calculating the number of stitches to cast on. As an example, my rib (k1,p1) swatch measures 5″ wide; I casted on 25 stitches, therefore, 25 divided by 5 = 5 sts/1″. Now, I want my scarf to be 10″ wide and 45″ long; multiply gauge of 5 sts x 10″ = 50 sts. With garter stitch you can just go ahead and cast on 50 sts. In my example with the rib pattern I would like a knit stitch at each end on the right side of the work, so I have to cast on 51 sts, as every right side row will be worked as follows: K1, (P1, K1) across to end. If I was working a pattern with a “multiple of 6 plus 3”, I would cast on 51 stitches, since 8 groups of 6 sts = 48 sts + 3 extra stitches = 51 sts.
4. Work to desired length. Keep in mind when knitting in the round that the right side is always facing you, and this can affect how you knit the wrong side rows of a complex pattern stitch.
5. Bind off in the round or bind off a straight piece, and sew both ends together. Weave in yarn ends. Wash to block. Lay flat to dry.
You are finished your DIY Infinity Scarf!
See you next time, when I will show you how to sew the scarf ends together.