A 2015 & 2016 Top 100 Knitting Blog!
Now let’s take a look at what happens when you double down on the Showy Rib by working it on both sides. The rib below is knit with a bulky alpaca and measures almost 1.5 inches deep!
You can see how the rib is worked facing forward and back on the scarf. There is a line of seed stitch (the white dots) separating the ribs and allowing them to rise even higher. It’s certainly not a new stitch pattern, but demonstrates perfectly how the tweaks we’re introducing can have a big impact on your knitting! It’s the kind of thing that makes my knitter’s heart go pitter patter.
Working on Right Side Rows
This pattern uses both a Showy k2tog and p2tog on right side rows only rather than working a k2tog on both sides. I liked this method because it maintains the simple concept of using the right side rows as working rows (decreases) and wrong side rows to connect them with slip stitches. This is the core principle of the Showy Decrease.
This won’t always be the case. I have test knitters working on a reversible scarf that does just the opposite. It’s why I’m so careful about the order in which we announce patterns. I don’t want to leave knitters of any level behind with patterns that are too hard for them. Now when we announce more complex ways to use the Showy Decrease, I can point back to this free pattern and say “Too difficult? Try this one first!”. Offering a free pattern is part of our teaching plan … announce it, explain it, demonstrate it.
What’s the best yarn to use?
This is a nice springy pattern stitch so you’ll want a yarn that works with it. Merino is an obvious, but perfect, choice to add the give you want in your knit fabric. The same holds for most merino blends. For example, the tan scarf is knit with a merino/cashmere blend. Another option is to go for a lofty yarn like the chunky alpaca shown in blue above. It makes a soft and squishy fabric that’s also delightful to wear. I tried a silk/bamboo blend since it never gets cold enough here in San Diego for a true winter scarf, but it was not successful. I could still see the raised lines, but it didn’t have the same feel and fell flat after a little while. You don’t want to knit this pattern too loosely or it loses its structure. Knit close to the gauge on the yarn ball or even a bit tighter. (I know you’ll swatch first.)
The cowl is attached with Flat i-Cords. Did I just say flat i-cord? Why yes, I did. If you haven’t read our post about it you will definitely want to. It’s one of my favorite Nuances with many, many uses we will be exploring soon too. These i-cords have button holes, but instead of using buttons, I
stole borrowed a pair of my husband’s cufflinks to add a bit of pizzazz. He has lots of them so I can change them to match different outfits or moods.
We’ve published the pattern on Ravelry. You can find it here, but the pattern page also has the link to more photos and a list of blog posts that will help you get started. If you take a look at the pattern and it looks a little too difficult for you, then start with the Telluride Canyon Scarf, it’s a bit easier to knit (see how that works!).
I’m hoping you give these a try because the next patterns coming down the line are going to be even more fun!
Update! There’s now a hat brim (or sock) version. You’ll find it in a post called Ban Boring Hat Brims! It’s easier than this scarf since the Showy Decrease is worked on only the outside and it’s knit in the round which makes the pattern easier to spot.
New Pattern Format!
This is our first pattern published after our Pattern Survey. Next post I’ll tell you all about it, what you had to say about knitting patterns and what we’ve changed as a result. In the mean time, you may notice it matches the new blog and website formats perfectly. I love the new look and hope you do too (even if you don’t remember the old one!)
P.S. A brief moment of commiseration for my daughter’s boyfriend, who came down from CU Boulder for a visit and found himself wrapped up in a scarf and in front of a camera before he could bolt for the car. He looked a bit bemused when I started to pull out the special lighting and reflectors, but he was a good sport about it. Go Buffs!