The Stockholm Scarf Experiment

Questions:

Once I started my Stockholm Scarf, I realised that I had some questions about the pattern:

a) Where do I hold the yarn when slipping stitches?  Does it get held to match the preceding stitches (in front for a purl, or back for a knit), or the following stitches (ditto)?

b) Do I slip the stitches knitwise, or purlwise?

Hypothesis:

I’m probably overthinking, and it doesn’t really matter what I do.  But on the other hand, I could knit 10 rows of 252 stitches and then discover I’ve done something terribly wrong.  That’s 2520 stitches, and that’s a lot of stitches to re-knit.

Method:

Knit a swatch with the following pattern variations (do click on the above link to look at a copy of the pattern, it may make more sense!).  I’ve included the pattern for Row 2 to give an example of how I did it (once again, look at the pattern link above for context!).  I want to see if there is a major difference between how the pattern turns out with a few different combinations of where I hold the yarn, and whether I’m slipping the stitches knitwise or purlwise…

1)  hold the yarn as for the preceding stitch, slip one purlwise

e.g. ROW 2:  K1, P1, K1, YO, K1 [hold yarn in back], S1-purlwise, [bring yarn to front] P2, PSSO

2) hold the yarn as for the following stitch(es), slip one knitwise.

e.g. ROW 2:  K1, P1, K1, YO, K1 [hold yarn in back], S1-knitwise, [bring yarn to front] P2, PSSO

3)  move the yarn *before* slipping one, to match the following stitch(es), slip one purlwise

e.g. ROW 2:  K1, P1, K1, YO, K1 [move yarn to front], S1-purlwise, P2, PSSO

4) move the yarn *before* slipping one, to match the following stitch(es), slip one knitwise

e.g. ROW 2:  K1, P1, K1, YO, K1 [move yarn to front], S1-knitwise, P2, PSSO

Results:

As you can see in Figure 1 (a) and (b), there is not a huge difference between the different methods of doing these stitches.  Remember that there is not really a “right” and “wrong” side to this pattern, since it is reversible.  I just wanted to show what each side looks like.  The “right side” is the one where you are working rows 2 and 4 (the ones with all the flash stitches in them) and the “wrong side” is where you are knitting rows 1 and 3, with just knit and purl stitches.  Of course, if you’re knitting in the round like I am going to do, everything is the “right side”!  It shouldn’t make a difference to how the stitches look with the variations on where you’re holding your yarn, and how you’re slipping your stitches though…

Figure 1 (a) “Right Side”

Figure 1 (b) “Wrong Side”

Discussion:

So, you can judge for yourself.  They all look quite similar at a glance, but I have decided that I do prefer Variation 3, which is where you move your yarn to match the following stitches before slipping the stitch purlwise.  The main point of difference can be seen in the purly bits, they just look tidier and nicer than the other ways of doing these stitches, in my opinion.  A close up of this variation can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2: “Close up of Variation 3”

I should also point out that I have knitted these swatches on 4mm needles, and have decided to knit the Stockholm Scarf on this size also.  I like the tighter stitches and the slight sturdiness of the fabric more than the somewhat loose fabric that the 5 mm needles were producing for me.   The original pattern calls for a 6 mm needle – wow!  I think I must be quite a loose knitter, because even with the 5mm needle I was losing stitches left right and centre.  I think that’s also to do with the Paton’s Totem Merino, which is quite thin for an 8ply/DK yarn…  Anyway, I’ve cast on more stitches than the pattern calls for  (it doesn’t matter how many stitches you have for this pattern, as long as they are a multiple of 7 when knitting in the round, or a multiple of 7 + 2 flat).  I think I have 301, hopefully it’s long enough!

Conclusion:

I hope this helps anyone else who is thinking of knitting the Stockholm Scarf pattern, and tends to overthink things as I do!  Hello and welcome if you are going to knit this along with me and Alice!  I also found this chart (Ravelry link) from Love and Knitologie to be very helpful for knitting in the round.  I’ve never been much into charts, but this totally makes sense to me!  Also, her scarf is teal too, so I’m biased!

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Two Cowls for Sisters

I said yesterday that I cast on a new project, which is neither a tea cosy nor a pair of socks..  It is however, a cowl.  I’m using the Stockholm Scarf  pattern (available for free!) which looks so gorgeous and warm.  I have 50 g balls of merino (Paton’s Totem, which I got cheap because the colour has been discontinued)…  Starting this project made me remember that I forgot (what a funny phrase) to show you this:

It’s a cowl that I made for my sister, finished just before Easter… I used the pattern for A Noble Cowl, but made it longer so that it could be wrapped around twice (I don’t like the picture of me modeling it, so sorry that’s not going up here!).   It’s also knitted with Paton’s Totem Merino, in a dark grey – it was going cheap as an end of the line also…  It’s lovely to knit with, though it’s so slippery that you have to be careful not to drop stitches!  It’s a crepe wool, I’ve tried to find out what is different about crepe wool, but all I get is how to make pancakes!  I’ll have to ask my Mum about it…  Anyway, I bought three balls (all that was left at the shop) and made my sister this cowl.

Here is a close-up of the lace pattern, it’s like interlocking shields (although I also think they looks like tropical leaves), and is so pretty .  It looks fairly difficult, but once you have done a few rows, there is a pattern (haha) to it, and it’s fairly easy to pick up.  As you can see in the top picture, the cowl is starting to curl at the edges, which I don’t quite like because you can see the “wrong side” of it.  I’m sure non-knitters don’t notice the reverse stockingette stitch sneaking out from behind the “right side”, but it does bug me a little!

That’s why I decided to use the Stockholm Scarf Pattern for *my* cowl, because the lace is reversible!  What a clever idea.  I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out if I’m doing the stitches right, and already frogged the first 4 rows when I realised that converting the pattern to the round did not just mean reversing the knit and purl stitches in the uneven rows.  Luckily I found some helpful posts through Ravelry, so I’m on to the second round of the second round!  I’m still having trouble with some of the stitches, because the pattern does not have much detail (if you’re a knitter, have a look – I don’t know whether to hold my yarn in front or back when I slip the stitches, and whether to slip them knitwise or purlwise…).  I’ll let you know how I go – at the moment I am just holding the stitches where they ended up *before* the slipped stitch (ie in front if the preceding stitch was a purl, behind if it was knit), and I’m slipping the stitches purlwise, which tends to be the default.  I’ll have to knit a few more rows to see how it looks, but hopefully it will look good, even if I’m not quite doing it right!  I’ll let you know how it goes…