Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Multi-directional Scarf — a Short Row Exploration

I recently hosted an instructional knitting circle at Headroom Digital Audio for executive producer Jennifer Hunt’s clients. I introduced the group to the Multi-directional Scarf. This technique lends itself handsomely to scrap yarns, and yarns of variegated color or varying thickness.

Introducing the Multi-directional Scarf This garter stitch scarf is 24 sts wide, but you can use any reversible pattern as long as it uses an even number of stitches. It’s made in sections that meet obliquely at perpendicular angles. The components are the first and last triangles, and a modular short-row section which you’ll repeat to a desired length. Short row is a method of increasing an area in the middle of your work by turning on a stitch and changing direction —a.k.a. “Wrap and Turn” (W&T). Combined with a series of increases and decreases it gives the usual straight path a diagonal orientation.

You’ll need:
- Worsted weight yarn (400 yds or more)
- US# 6 or 7 SPN
- 1 stitch marker
- Tapestry needle

First Triangle
Cast on 2 sts and work flat. Knit 1 front and back (k1fb), k1, turn.
*K1fb, knit to end of row, turn. rep from * until your triangle is 24 sts wide. Congratulations, you got through the first step.

”Knit 1 Front and Back“ (k1fb) is a type of increase that can be made on every row. Knit into the first st keeping the loop on the left needle. Insert the right needle through the back of that same loop on the left needle and knit that st again. 
Modular Triangle
R01: (RS) K1fb, k2tog. Place a marker behind the first st on the left needle. Bring yarn to the front, sl1, return yarn to back, turn.

R02: Sl1, bring yarn to the back, knit to end of row. 

Changing the direction in the middle of your work by slipping and wrapping the yarn around a stitch is known as Wrap and Turn (W&T). Consecutive W&T rows increase a specific working area. This method is called Short Row.

R03: (RS) K1fb, knit until 2 sts before the marker, k2tog. Move marker behind the first st on the left needle. Bring yarn to the front, sl1, return yarn to back, turn.
R04: Sl1, bring yarn to the back, knit to end of row.

Repeat R03 and R04. Stop when you have 24 sts on the right needle. Be sure to remove the marker on the last row. Turn and repeat these modular instructions to create as many sections as you want until you have a suitable length for a scarf.

Last Triangle
R01: (RS) K1fb, k2tog. Place a marker behind the first st on the left needle. Bring yarn to the front, sl1, return yarn to back, turn.
R02: Sl1, knit to end of row.
R03: (RS) K1fb, knit until 2 sts before the marker, k2tog. Move marker behind the first st on the left needle. Bring yarn to the front, sl1, return yarn to back, turn.
R04: Sl1, knit to end of row.

Repeat R03 and R04. Stop when you have 2 more st to the left of the marker than on the right on your left needle (11 to the left, 13 to the right).

R05: (RS) k2tog, knit until 2 sts before the marker, k2tog. Move marker behind the first st on the left needle. Bring yarn to the front, sl1, return yarn to back, turn.
R06: Sl1, knit to end of row.

Repeat R05 and R06 until you have 4 sts on the left needle. Remove marker and finish this section as such: K2tog, k2tog, turn, k2tog. Cut yarn and sew in ends with a tapestry needle. Wash and air dry flat,  There you have it, the Multi-direction Scarf.

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