Herringbone Lace Scarf

Swatching is a dangerous activity.  If you’re not careful, you’ll find you’ve cast on a new project.  Case in point:

I really did love the Herringbone Lace stitch in the leftovers from my Catnip Marigold blanket, so here we go.  I wasn’t about to waste that yarn, and I think it’ll make a marvelous scarf.  This one isn’t going to be very long, but I don’t really like long scarves that much anyway, so this one is for me.  I went up two US needle sizes (8 to 10, or 5 to 6mm) and added one repeat.   It’s about 6 inches wide and 9 inches so far.  It won’t take long to knit up and it will leave me feeling that I made the most out of this yarn, so I think I’m going to be happy.

The change in needle size was crucial.  The pattern shows up better, I think, but even more important, it now drapes quite well.  One of the things you learn after knitting for a while is that drape is really very, very important.  It’s one of the chief reasons that you need to swatch.  If you’re substituting a yarn you may be able to “get gauge” just fine, but if the material is either too stiff or too – sleazy is the word that comes to mind there, then you just aren’t going to be satisfied with what you make.  This is one thing that’s just as true of scarves as it is of sweaters, so it really should be learned early, but I think it often isn’t.  Socks are different – you don’t want drape, or the socks will be too loose and will wear out.  But again, the firmness of the fabric is absolutely crucial.  There’s really quite a lot to think about with knitting, you know?


About Knitterly Anne

A knitter for many years, I have become increasingly involved with designing knit patterns in recent years. Other interests include my lovi
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2 Responses to Herringbone Lace Scarf

  1. Lori says:

    that’ll make a wonderful scarf! it is amazing just how different the hand of a fabric can be when you change needle sizes, isn’t it. i really love the very gradual color shifts in that yarn, so pretty!

  2. Sarah says:

    Great decision,, Anne. It’s really going to be one gorgeous neck cozy 😀

    Wish I have learned that about the importance of swatching early on, Anne! It’s so hard to change but I do try to swatch more now than ever. It is not an easy task for me, mind you. Yes, the drape is so important–it can make or break a project. Like my Helleborus, it is stiffer than I’d normally prefer…and the Paulina that I’m knitting now–is just hard to grasp the gauge. It wants to go everywhere because of the bias knitting. Great food for thought.

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