A Tale of Two Scarves

It would appear that my cold symptoms are continuing apace, though in a milder form than they could be, in which case I will renew efforts with vitamins and rest and tylenol and tea. And a bit of knitting on the side of my stack of grading.

But this blog is long overdue for a project update, and I’m finally able to take a moment to tell you about the two scarves I’ve made since mid-October. These, a slouchy beret, and a pair of plain stockinette gloves have all been made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and are all part of my Operation: Don’t Freeze My Ass Off plan for this winter. (Always a good plan, I feel).


The first of these scarves was a plain triangular shawl/scarf that I started on the plane to Rhinebeck in October. I finished it while I was there and it has proven a wonderful bit of emergency insulation, and since our November temperatures were stupidly unseasonably mild (o hai global warming nice to see you), I got more wear out of it than I might have expected.


It’s fairly plain, easy to execute over a couple of days (say, on bleary plane and train rides), and I hadn’t thought much of it but every time I go out amongst knitters, someone comments on it and asks what the pattern is. Well, it’s pretty darned simple is what it is. If you want to make one of these too, here’s what you do:

So Easy I Can’t Even Stand it Triangular Scarf

Note from the future: This is more of a set of guidelines, written with a dash of whimsy. It is not an exact row-by-row set of instructions. If this does not suit you, please consider a different free pattern. Thank you!

1. Pick your yarn, any yarn (did I mention I love Ultra Alpaca?), and use an appropriate needle size. I went up to a 6mm for the worsted Ultra Alpaca because since it is 50% alpaca it can handle a bit of loose drapey-ness and still be warm.

2. Cast on 7 sts. [For extra stability, knit back and forth for 2-4 rows of garter stitch before proceeding.]

and proceed as you would for a regular triangular shawl (increasing 1 st at each end, and 1 st each side of centre stitch, every RS row), something like this:

(RS) K2, yo, k to centre stitch, yo, k1, yo, k to 2 sts before end of row, yo, k2.
(WS) K2, p to 2 sts before end of row, k2.

Work these two rows for a while.

3. Whenever you feel like it, say, every 10-12 rows or so, insert one of the following beginning on the WS of work, while still maintaining the k2 at each end of each row, and yo increases on each RS row:

Paired garter ridges:
(WS) K all sts
(RS) K all sts
(WS) K all sts

Garter eyelet rib:
(WS) K all sts
(RS) [k2tog, yo] repeat
(WS) K all sts

4. Keep going in this combination of stockinette, garter ridges, and eyelet rib until you get the length you want, you run out of yarn, or until you just can’t stand it any more. Work another few garter ridges or a repeat of eyelet rib, and BO all sts. Block if you wish. (I used about 1.5 skeins of Ultra Alpaca for mine, it goes pretty far.)


The second scarf requires a bit more commitment, but pays off big time in the warmth area. Let me tell you, this is going to get me through the cold days like nothing else and I am looking forward to wrapping it around me a few times. This is a fairly classic striped tube scarf, that you can do in whatever combination of worsted weight yarn you please, and change up the stripe pattern however you wish. The only disadvantage is that when you are working with so many colours at once, it doesn’t make for a very portable project, but if you put in an hour or so every evening, the length will start to add up nicely.

Warmest Striped Scarf Ever

Note from the future: This is more of a set of guidelines, written with a dash of whimsy. It is not an exact row-by-row set of instructions. If this does not suit you, please consider a different free pattern. Thank you!

1. Pick your worsted weight yarn, any worsted weight, in a few colours and a 16-inch circular needle in 4.5mm or so. (whatever you need for 18-20 sts over 4 inches).

2. Cast on 80 sts. Join to work in the round, pm at beg of round, and knit all sts on every round.

3. Proceed by changing colours every 3-7 rounds, as desired. Keep going until the entire scarf measures 6 feet, or until you can’t stand it any more. BO all sts.

4. Lay out the scarf lengthwise and flatten it. Work a fringed edging: First cut many many lengths of yarn in 8-10 inch lengths (hint: wind the yarn around a DVD case and cut along one side); take 3 of these lengths at a time and fold them in half, then take a crochet hook to pull the loop through both sides of the scarf edge, and pull the ends through the loop. Do this along the entire edge. (This creates a fringe AND closes the ends of the scarf).


And then you have a very warm scarf. Ta da! (Caution: be careful about promising to gift people with these. I knitted 4 tube scarves one year as gifts and it just about did me in.)

Since I know someone will ask about how to handle the yarn for stripes, all I did was simply to carry the dormant colours up the inside of the work so that they rest against the inside of the jog. When you flatten the scarf at the end, you can do so so that the jog moves to the side of the work like a seam, and no one will notice. I am pretty blase about my striping jogs. Just be sure that the yarn actually lies flat on the inside of the work, and that you don’t pull it too tight so that it bunches up.

Happy knitting this Thursday, and stay warm, won’t you? Keep the knitting close by!


  1. I’ve been admiring that striped scarf ever since you started it. After Min Ulla, I am a total convert to tube scarves! They are sooooooooooooooooooooo warm. You will not freeze this winter. And you will look smashing in your two new accessories!

  2. Great FO’s! Your tube scarf is awesome! I love the colors. Now I want one, but it wouldn’t get much use here in California. I hope your cold goes away soon and you feel better.

  3. gorgeous gorgeous colors! i hope your cold passes quickly!

  4. I know what you mean about stupidly mild weather. While I’m sure it’s significantly colder in Toronto than it is here in Virginia, we’ve also had stupidly mild weather. It’s DECEMBER and today it was 65. I wish it would cool down so it’s cold enough to wear my awesome shark mittens.

    Also, kudos for you for making it through a six foot tube scarf. I really don’t think I could take it (yours is super cute, btw).

  5. Lovely alpaca goodies! It’s cold here, too, and those look very tempting.

    I don’t care much about jogs in my stripes, either; I find them charming. Until a gift recipient wears the jog front and center…

  6. The triangular shawl sounds like a perfect project for waiting: waiting for meetings to start, waiting in waiting rooms… Yours came out beautiful, and it looks very, very warm.

  7. Very nice. ANd I have a few colours of worsted weight 100% alpaca in the stash somewhere….

    Can’t wait to see the beret. F. was admiring one in a shop the other day and I’m thinking maybe I could knit her one.

  8. Love both of these! How much yarn did you use for the triangular one?
    I love the idea of a tube scarf. I could have used one this morning, in fact! One of my favorite Meg Swansen DVDs is when she makes a tube scarf with Swedish two-color patterns and then finishes up the ends like a huge sock with decreases and kitchener toes.

  9. awesome scarves, both of them!! Thanks for the tip regarding dvds and the perfect length for fringe, that’s definitely a keeper.

  10. You’re going to have the toastiest neck around. They are both just beautiful!

  11. Thanks for sharing the patterns. I love the very warm scarf – great idea for strips & not sew in the ends.

  12. Wow these are two awesome projects. The shawl is simple but lovely. I adore the tube scarf, the colors and great and it looks super warm. I will have to make both of these when i have more time after my cowl christmas present knitting binge (12!!!)

  13. Oh, yes, those both turned out beautifully. I’m sure no one would mind if I abandoned all my Christmas knitting and started making myself a scarf instead…everyone likes boxes of Quality Street, don’t they? Thanks for the instructions!

  14. Northmoon · ·

    Feeling warmer just reading about those lovely scarves!

  15. So glad to find your blog. Love both of these projects. The scarf colors are just lovely. What am I looking for under the tree this year? More time to knit!

  16. That scarf is just delightful. I adore solids with a little “life” to them like that. You make the striping sound so easy, but I can already hear the over-analytical voice in my head screaming about bulk from carrying more than one color at a time, even though I’ve not attempted stripes yet. *sigh* And the obsessive-compulsive voice, as amusing as she often is, is verbally shaking her head at the other option, which is to finish all sorts of ends. *rolls eyes*

    Me thinks I just need to shut up and cast on and let things happen. The absolute worse that could happen is that I need to rip back, and it’s stockinette — I can think of worse things to rip. Of course I’d need to spend more money I don’t really have on yarn….

  17. Can you post the size of your “So Easy I Can’t Even Stand it Triangular Scarf”? I saw on Rav that you used two skeins… worsted weight… I’d love to know the finished dimensions!

    Thanks ~

  18. I am totally making the triangular one. Going to pick the yarn tomorrow!

  19. Those are both lovely … now I want a tube scarf…

    (Is it getting cold out your way… it was 10 here … )

  20. I love them both. Great choice of colors!

  21. So sorry to read your tweet re: the loss of the triangular scarf! Any chance someone turned it into the bus Lost and Found?

  22. Can you please tell me what color Ultra Alpaca you used on your triangle shawl and the striped scarf? I absolutely LOVE the colors you picked out!


  23. By name the colours are:

    * Lobster Mix * Lilac * Stone Wash Mix * Prune Mix * Marsh Mix (I think…it’s a heathery green)

    …but I do not know the shade #s.


  24. Thanks, Glenna, for that information. Your work is beautiful!!

  25. Jo Gent · ·

    RE Triangle scarf

    I would like to to the above scarf in Manos silk blend, I only have one skein of 270 mtrs to be knit on 4.5mm is this sufficent? or will it look to small.

    I new to shawls please help



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