Scarf Style/Wrap Style Knit-Along

The inspirations for this knit-along are the Scarf Style and Wrap Style books (from Interweave Press); should you wish to share your creations from the book, this is a wonderful place to do it. Also welcome are helpful tips, corrections, ideas for variations, and suggestions for materials. This knit-along will last indefinitely, so join any time!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Double Helix Ruffles

(to be fair, I've noted that another blogger noted the "double helix" comparison earlier - cool)


I'm new to the knit along and new to knitting! In fact, my very first project is a rendition of the popular "Ruffles" scarf. A few inches into it, I became curious to see what other people were doing with it, and I was delighted to stumble onto this blog. Seeing all the different "Ruffles" variations you've all come up with, as well as the other projects, has been fun and inspiring.

I've always wanted to knit, but never got to do it. But recently, I graduated from my college in Chicago and moved out to a small school somewhere in Wisconsin for graduate work - without a car and without the ability to drive (Spent most of my life in Taiwan, where every corner had a 7-11.) I've been finding all sorts of creative outlets to keep me sane - kiting, embroidery, music...and knitting! Together with a few brief "Learn to Knit" beginner booklets, I bought two first books, and the ones that made me feel inspired were Scarf Style and Loop-d-Loop. I started "Ruffles" first, and in the meantime started and finished a cowl from the other book.

I wanted a first project that would be challenging enough to hold my attention, attractive enough to motivate me, and straightforward enough that I wasn't going to get a headache trying to read charts. After a few hours of teaching myself knitting and purling, I tried to begin three times. The fourth time, I tried the cable cast-on, and it was a success.

But after a few rows, I desperately wanted the spine to be a different color. So that's what I've tried to do. In the picture, there are some stitches where I screwed up the travelling yarns a bit, but for the most part, I got both sides to look the same and moderately neat. Also, my stitches are not very perfect yet. In the more recent rows, I've been practicing combination knitting on one side and western on the other. I'm having trouble making knit and purl rows exactly the same tension, and keeping both legs of the stitch the same tension.

Yarn is Classic Elite Montera (wool/alpaca)in four different colors (a light blue not shown) - yes, it's a rather heavier yarn than recommended (because I didn't understand yarn labels back then!) but aside from the scarf being heavier, I do like the stiffness it adds to the structure.

My dream right now is that someday, the experience I gain from working this project will allow me to create a scarf that looks like DNA.

Obviously, I am having way too much fun :-)



  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Chef Messy said…

    You definitely have to go check out! One of her recent posts has knit DNA!

    Your scarf is looking great! I love the bright colors! This is a fun one to knit, eh?

  • At 12:51 PM, Blogger lisaO said…

    I also just started this scarf. I love the colored midline. How did you do it? It is the last knit and the first purl? Would love a little instruction.

    Thanks, lisa

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger KarenK said…

    And here's a link to a two-dimensional DNA scarf pattern:

  • At 7:04 PM, Blogger Julian said…


    I'm a total beginner, feel free to improve on my naive solution, which produces some short horizontal yarns (fortunately not conspicuous) and a running stitch pattern due to the wraps:

    You know how each side of the scarf is 11 sts, for a total of 22 sts? The basic idea is to do a midline of 4 sts, which means 2 knit and 2 purl. I tried doing 2 sts, but it just did't look substantial enough.

    I started the colored midline an inch or so into the scarf, so I haven't tried doing it from the start.

    After knitting one repetition the pattern, I worked the 2nd repetition until you reach the row where you knit into the wrapped stitches. Proceed as usual until the last wrapped stitch (#9), and after having put both the wrap and the stitch on the needle as normal, attach the new color onto the main yarn BUT DO NOT CUT THE MAIN YARN. Knit this stitch with new color, K1, move both colors of yarn to front between needles, P2, and purl to end with original color.

    Proceed as usual with the next repetition - the only thing unusual is that you will be wrapping the main color around a new color stitch at the k8 row. When you reach the row where you knit the wraps again, simply remember to knit the last wrap-and-wrapped stitch pair with the new color yarn, which will be hanging there.

    That's it!

  • At 7:06 PM, Blogger Julian said…

    And thanks for all the DNA patterns! Wow, looks like people find ways to knit just about everything - that first link was like knitted sculpture or something and the second one looks really cool!

  • At 9:21 PM, Blogger lisaO said…

    Thanks for the tutorial. What you said makes perfect sense given that I'm about 2 inches into the scarf. It helps to know that you already tried the two-stitch version and didn't like it. I wonder if it would work to cast on 24 sts and then have a 4 stitch midline in a different color that didnt' involve that last wrapped and turned stitch. Did you try that by any chance? I'm just thinking about the next time I make this pattern. I think you were quite brave to start innovating right away. Happy knitting.

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger whatever said…

    Most IMPRESSIVE knitting start, my friend!! Well done :-)!! As I looked at your beautiful scarf and read your post I know that you are indeed a designer @ heart! That's why I LOVE knitting...the only limitation is your imagination!

  • At 2:07 AM, Blogger Julian said…

    Thanks Becka! I agree - part of the reason I never got into knitting earlier was that I had the impression that all people did was follow instructions. That's fine and relaxing of course, especially since knitting patterns still allow so much more individuality in things like yarn and texture and gauge than "paint-by-number" stuff, but for me, innovation is the motivation :-)


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