Thursday, 1 August 2013

Coral Infinity Scarf

After making the first Infinity Scarf (link here), I was kinda hooked and really wanted to do another one. I'd seen a few patterns on Ravelry and in particular this SUPER cool chunky "cowl". (I get really confused between the terms snood, cowl and infinity scarf, to me they all mean a circular scarf!) but after reading the pattern and sort of having a go, I was very put off by the need to use circular knitting needles. It's one of my knitting goals to be able to knit "in the round", so I can knit hats. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I dress my son in all kinds of crazy hats, so I'd really love to be able to make my own.

Anyway....I found some amazing bright coral coloured wool on sale at The Warehouse (buy 2 get one free)

so I bought what I thought I would need for a decent length scarf (6 balls) and then tried to find a pattern I could use that wasn't using circular needles. I happened upon this video, after scourging Youtube:

I actually can't believe how easy this pattern is! You can adjust it to accommodate any width you'd like, and keep going with the length depending on whether you want to wrap around once, twice or three times. Keep in mind that the more stitches you cast on, the wider your scarf will be. I actually made a mistake with this and cast on too many stitches to begin with, and ended up with a scarf about half a metre long and about as wide! I also added a variation whereby about every 30 rows or so I did either 1 row knit stitch then 1 row purl before returning to the rib pattern, or 3 rows knit stitch or 3 rows purl. Hopefully that makes sense! What I ended up with is sections like this:

The arrows are pointing to the sections where I added my own little pattern! I'm not sure if it was a good idea or not, but I certainly wasn't undoing it a second time!

Here's what it looks like when I've got it on!

(NB: I have to make a comment about the colour here! All four of the pics show the wool in a different colour! This last pic is probably the most accurate. It's not orange, but it's not pink either!)

I really wanted to make the scarf quite wide and flat. I believe the best way to do this is by a technique called "blocking" whereby you wash and/or stretch out your finished knitted item and as it dries it "sets" the shape and flattens it out. It seems the general belief is that an item made of acrylic wool cannot be blocked. After much googling, I came across this post which specifically talks about blocking acrylic yarn using a steam iron. This is also a good video, even though it is actually about crochet.

 Pretty simple actually. So I used this method before I sewed the ends together. I'm not sure that it worked perfectly but it definitely helped to flatten it, and it did seem to soften the wool a little as well. I'm really hooked on making these so I 'm having serious thought about repeating this same pattern in a different colour, maybe a charcoal gray? What do you think? I'd really love to know if anyone else has had any experience with blocking acrylic yarn and any tips? Leave me a comment below!

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