Merry Christmas! If you don't already have this pattern, I think you should. The Sampler Scarf pattern (PDF) is a fun mix of crochet and knitting, so you can work a variety of knit patterns and crochet techniques. I know the download's been put out there before, but I haven't seen a lot of project pages for it on Ravelry. So I wanted to put it out here on the blog for another round of discussion, and to bring it to you in case you missed it because I don't think there's much better this time of year than a nice scarf.
Scarves sometimes get badmouthed by experienced crafters, and I'm not sure why. "Back when I only knew how to make scarves," they say. And "If you want to move beyond scarves," gets tossed around when they talk about improving your station in life or something. For a long time I only made scarves and got annoyed with myself because I wanted to make other things, but was too scared to branch out. But if you really like making scarves, then there's a ton of different ways to do it. Even if you're making the same thing over and over again, you're usually not doing the same thing over and over again. And even if you were, you'd have to give a lot of scarves as gifts before people got tired of receiving a handmade object that keeps them warm. Trust me. But you can knit a few long rows, or a bunch of short rows. You can do garter stitch, stockinette, basketweave, and my personal favorite is a ribbed scarf because those are really sturdy and warm. Scarves are a great way to show off a lot of different techniques (and then there's the part where they keep people warm).
Which is why I like this pattern a lot--you can mix the pattern squares according to your tastes. If you wanted to skip the crochet squares, or the knit squares, you can. If you didn't want to work the pattern repeats, you could crochet the ends together after just 6 pattern blocks and presto! Cowl!
I was thinking of alternating the Knit Check piece, the Knit Basketweave piece, and the Knit Pennants piece for a cowl. The combination would make a nice texture for a cowl and would change enough for me to stay entertained. Most cowls are about half the length of a scarf, which is why I suspect so many people make them for Christmas gifts. It's pretty rare when the stylish and prettiest option is also the easier one. Jump on this bandwagon and ride it for as long as you can, friends. This is a dream come true for the time-pressed crafter.
I think this is a great pattern for a quick and beautiful gift, or maybe even a fun project to work on for yourself during this time. Yes, you can make stuff for yourself during the holidays! I may start doing it myself. I really want a new scarf now! I haven't made one in a couple of years, and I caught myself bunching up a shawl the other day just because I like wearing bulky scarves.
Which reminds me: if you're interested in Knooking more scarves, Leisure Arts also has Simple Scarves Made with the Knook.
|Pine cones are not included, which is too bad because they'd look great in your house this time of year.|
I wish I could tell you what I thought about it, but before I ever had a chance to open my copy and flip through it, my friend Jessi asked to borrow it and I haven't seen it since. I guess that tells me all I need to know! Until then, I'll think happy thoughts of scarves and projects finished on time. Best wishes in all your holiday crafting endeavors!