A craft for cosy Winter evenings...

I wasn’t planning on including this in my project count but actually it brings up some interesting things about the way I work.

I knitted this particular scarf for my daughter, for her Christmas box. I’d bought the pattern from Etsy, but then found some self striping wool and bought that too. The problem being that I’d bought ‘super chunky’ yarn for a pattern written for ‘chunky’ yarn. 

So I made a rough guess and reduced the number of stitches and started knitting. Knitted in a loop, about 10 rounds in I decided it was way too long…

Take 2. Ok, this time I actually changed to the proper needle size for the wool, 10mm needles, and reduced the number of stitches again. I knitted most of the scarf part and realised I was likely going to run out of wool. It looked ok though, so I just ended the pattern early and cast off. Hmm… This time the loop went round my neck once then hung down to my waist. Not long enough to wrap around 3 times, but too long for 2.

So, I unravelled it again.

The actual pattern was meant to have a hood, and this was why I’d chosen it. Third time lucky…

So, based on the measurements I’d made last time around I re-wrote the pattern. I reduced the number of stitches again, and this time, also the number of rows - the pattern repeat was 5 rows, I changed it to 4.

This was going better. I finished the scarf part and moved on to the hood. 4, 8, 12 rows. Another 4, 8, 12. The original pattern had a third set of 12 - did I have enough yarn? I measured it took 2m of yarn for a row. Unwound the remaining ball - 32m. Perfect - 12 rows to finish the pattern, 3 rows to shape the hood, then cast off…


I tried it on and the hood was now way too big. More suited to an ET shaped head... No problem. Where does it need to be? Actually you know those last 12 rows I knitted… yeah, didn’t need them. I unpicked it back past that point, added in the shaping and cast off again. Better. Good enough.

If I’m being honest, and knowing that I’ve got yarn to spare, I would add a few more stitches into the length of the scarf. But that’s not worth unravelling the whole thing for, is it? It really is fine.

The point of this tale is, I don’t have a problem unpicking the whole scarf if it’s not right. I’ve learned that super chunky wool knits up much bigger than chunky. That you need to reduce the number of rows as well as the number of stitches. And I’ve learned 2 new ways to cast off - a variation on ‘yarn over’ and ‘three needle’ cast off. And I enjoy all of it.

I could do with transferring some of these ideas to other work. I suppose you can undo knitting and reuse the wool, but making something and learning from it is really important, as is not worrying about the outcome. You find problems, come up with solutions and try again.

Also, maybe one day I will actually knit a tension square before I start!


Information : :

My favourite little knitting companion book - Cast On, Bind Off. I use this every time I knit. Buy from Bookshop.org or your favourite book shop.

Contact Me

I live and work in Worcester in the UK. If you'd like to email me sayhello@karendewson.com