UPDATE: THE KUREOPATORA SCARF PATTERN IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EASY TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT PDF FILE AT THE KNITTING PATTERNS BUTTON LINK ABOVE.
I’ve finished my Snake Scarf. It’s about 58″ long, which works. I’ve used all but about four yards of my fancy yarn. The jury is still out on the edging thing. Perhaps something very narrow in black just to give it a contained, outlined look. Perhaps not. Lots depends on whether I have time to hit my LYS, as there’s nothing suitable in stash. Or I may just leave it as it is.
I played a long time with the final section, trying out several ways to do it that preserve the look of the ribbed sections that went before, because the usual way of ending off an Entrelac section lost the directionality of the ribbing. My corners don’t exactly match, but that’s because the entire piece has a definite beginning and end. If you were to work this idea like a seaman’s scarf, with a center third of plain ribbing, and both ends worked out from that ribbing, they would match exactly. Perhaps that’s the next step, provided I find a suitable yarn in a color set I like.
I make no claim as to inventing this concept. Entrelac is pretty standard. I’ve seen recipes for it going back to instructions for sock tops printed in the 1890s or so. Nor is doing it in a narrow strip unique. Quick searches on the Web will surface lots of other people’s experiments with directional knitting and narrow scarves. And I certainly can’t lay any claims to ribbing, or to using long repeat multicolor yarns in a narrow scarf. However, I can claim the serendipty that happened when I played with all of these concepts together. The trumpet like manner in which the ribbing spreads and curves is (to me at least) both amusing and graceful, and presents a different effect than working this idea in garter or stockinette stitch. I did work out the ribbed treatment for the final end, and have provided my own graph for it.
As far as using this with other yarns since the Kureopatora is now long gone – I suspect that Noro Silk Garden or Kureyon would work nicely, as would some of the Daikeito yarns that are
beginning to show up here in the US. (I haven’t seen the latter in person, but I’ve read reports of them on the Web.) What you want is a yarn in which each individual color lasts for about a yard (or more) before shading into the next one. The glorious hand-painted yarns that are hank-dyed in skeins that are about a yard around would NOT produce this wide stripe effect. They’d be lovely, but the color sections would not be long enough to make dramatic stripes like Kureopatora’s.
Just to annoy the natural-fiber-only crowd, I do observe that the yarn for this project needn’t be a top-drawer luxury product. There are some very inexpensive acrylics that have exceptionally long color repeats. I’m not fond of working with them in general, but if you’re thinking of knitting a rugged scarf for a little kid, those yarns might be worth considering.
KUREOPATORA’S SNAKE – A KNITTING PATTERN
- US #6 needles
for this project, taken over 1×1 ribbing, at the midpoint of a section
where it isn’t particularly stretched out: approximately 6 stitches (3
ribs) per inch
- 30 stitches at widest point
- Width of scarf: about 4.25 inches. Length of scarf: about 58 inches.
yarn consumption for this size: About 250 yards of a multicolor worsted
weight yarn that normally knits in stockinette at 5 stitches per inch.
for working method, this scarf is done in a pretty standard Entrelac
edge column technique – think Entrelac project reduced to just the right
and left most columns, without the basket weave effect sections
Row 1: Cast on 1 stitch, knit in the front, then purl in the back of this stitch [2 stitches on needle]
Row 2: Knit in the front, then purl in the back of the first stitch, K1 [3 st on needle]
Row 3: Purl in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, P1, K1 [4 stitches on needle]
Row 4: Purl in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, P1, K1, P1 [5 stitches on needle]
Row 5: Knit in the front, then purl in the back of the first stitch, finish row in established K1, P1 ribbing [6 st on needle]
Row 6: Knit in the front, then purl in the back of the first stitch, finish row in established K1, P1 ribbing [7 st on needle]
Row 7: Purl in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, finish row in established P1, K1 ribbing [8 st on needle]
Row 8: Purl in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, finish row in established P1, K1 ribbing [9 st on needle]
rows 5-8, adding one stitch in each row but doing it to maintain the
K1, P1 rib pattern. Keep doing this until you have 30 stitches on your
Entrelac body section:
Row 1: Knit in the front, then
purl in the back of the first stitch, SSK. Turn work over so the next
row heads back in the other direction. Note that this first row is only
3 stitches long.
Row 2 and all subsequent even numbered rows: Work P1, K1 ribbing as established.
3: Purl in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, P1,
SSK. Note that from now on this row-ending SSK will be composed of one
stitch worked on the previous row, plus one stitch from the dormant
stitches on the left hand needle. Turn work over so the next row heads
back in the other direction. You now have 4 stitches in the row.
5: Knit in the front, then purl in the back of the first stitch, K1,
P1, SSK. Turn work. You now have 5 stitches in the row.
Row 7: Purl
in the front, then knit in the back of the first stitch, P1, K1, P1,
SSK. Turn work. You will now have 6 stitches in the row.
to work in the manner of rows 5-8, adding one stitch at the edge of
each right-side row in the established rib pattern until you have
incorporated all of the dormant stitches on the left hand needle. You
will again have 30 stitches on the needle. At this point your segment
is done. To do the next one, flip the work over (the and begin again
from Row 1 of the Entrelac section). Continue adding entire trumpet
shaped sections until your scarf is of sufficient length. (Mine maxed
out at about 58″).
Rows 1-25 – work as for
a standard Entrelac section. At the completion of Row 25 you should
have fifteen active stitches on your right hand needle. The left hand
needle should hold the other fifteen stitches. Work Row 26 as usual
(marked in blue on accompanying chart).
Row 27 and all
subsequent odd numbered rows: SSK, work in established ribbing, ending
row with SSK and turn in the same manner as in the Entrelac section.
Rows 28 and all subsequent even numbered rows: Work P1, K1 ribbing as established.
Continue in this manner until you have completed Row 50, and three stitches remain on your needle.
51: Slip, slip, slip, knit all three stitches together through the back
of the loop (this is a three-stitch variant of the standard two stitch
Darn in all ends.