I am not a shawl knitter. I tried once, investing in some of that handspun-looking yarn that’s all the rage these days. After careful consideration (friends, there are A LOT of shawl patterns out there), I settled on a pattern that seemed to carry with it the promise that all who knit and wore it would be instantly cool, if you could figure out how to drape it just so. And if you wore it with linen overalls and one of those hats that dust bowl migrants wore squashed on their heads in the 1930’s.
All I had to do was knit the thing, and my new life as “cool girl who effortlessly throws on shawls of a morning” would be within reach.
Well, I didn’t knit it. I knit like a 1/4 of it and was in danger of needing life support out of pure boredom. Not only that, it didn’t look cool at all. The medium-sized triangle I had listlessly cranked out looked like a shapeless blob you’d throw over your shoulder to keep the draft away while sitting upright in a cold hard pew in your droughty old church. (Yes, I know, blocking, but even with blocking I can’t imagine it would look much better).
So I’m firmly Team Scarf. Whatever happened to scarves? You don’t see much of them these days. Brooklyn Tweed has kept the faith, reliably putting out a few glorious scarf patterns a year, but on the whole, scarves have certainly been banished to the cupboard under the stairs, haven’t they? Which seems grossly unfair considering so many of us learned to knit on the noble little scarf.
The main reason I wanted to knit a shawl in the first place was to keep my neck warm on our daily walks. Since that misadventure ended in ruin, I decided to invade my stash and knit myself the most glorious, colorful, squishy scarf I could dream up.
And that’s how the Stash Dive Scarf was born. I wrote up a pattern packed full of tutorials for the newer knitters among us. You’ll learn how to knit in your ends as you go so you don’t have to weave them in at the end. There’s a lesson in jog remediation at color changes, how to choose color pairings for your stripes, how to close the ends up (including a full tutorial on Kitchener stitch!), and of course the pattern itself, which is as simple as it gets. The Stash Dive Scarf is a simple tube, knit in the round (no friggen’ purling!), with a strand of worsted yarn held together with a strand of fingering yarn (prepare to make a serious dent in your stash of odds and ends and leftovers!)
If you are viewing this blog post in the year of our lord 2021, in the month of January, there’s a knit-a-long (or KAL) happening too! Starting January 18th (that’s today) and running through February 19th, we’ll be knitting together, in a show of solidarity for the humble scarf! I’ll be giving away weekly prizes generously donated by Row One Yarns, a subscription-based service that brings you a glorious selection of the finest Indie-dyed yarn delivered right to your door every month! The KAL is taking place on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there, and use the hashtag #stashdivescarfkal to be eligible for the prizes!
I’ve also got a YouTube video that walks you through all the steps of the scarf, from knitting in your ends as you go, to using Kitchener stitch to close up the end.
So that’s it! If you hate shawls too (or if you like them, but you’d like to mix it up a little with a scarf), I hope you’ll join us for some mindless, colorful, stash-busting knitting this winter!