Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wollaston, and Variations On a Theme (Or, How to Knit a Million of Them and Not Get Bored)

Introducing Wollaston, my new infinity scarf pattern. 

It's knit in tubular sections, making it doubly thick and warm.  It's nice and long, too, which means you can wear it doubled around your shoulders or pulled down for an off-the-shoulder torso hugger,

 or you can wear it unwrapped for a dramatic sweep that shows off all of the sections,

or you can do a simple loop-and-tuck and off you go.
The sample is knit in Elemental Affects Heirloom Romney, a worsted weight wooly-wool that's hand-dyed in lots of gorgeous colors.  The colorway names of Hubbard, and Nettles, and Tomato, and Carrot, and Calendula, and Fig -- well, they should give you a good idea of the color inspiration for this yarn.  Romney is a strong, lustrous long wool.  It's not the type of yarn you'd pick for next-to-skin use, but it does soften with wear and washing.  It's such a delicious yarn to knit with.
Wollaston is knit at a loose gauge in mostly Stockinette stitch, with bands of horizontal chain stitch and tubular sections joined with whip stitch to keep things interesting.  The worsted weight and loose gauge means this scarf knits up quickly, making it a great project when you need something to go with a new winter coat.  Or when you need a gift or two (or many) for the holidays.
So, about this post title.  Of course you're not going to knit a million Wollaston scarves.  But maybe you'd like to knit several.  Here's a few suggestions for simple variations that will keep things interesting, and maybe use up some of that stash you've got hidden away, or bits of leftover yarns just waiting to be put to good use.
  • I chose to make the sample in many vibrant colors.  But worked in a single color, with maybe just a contrasting color for joining the sections, the scarf would make a dramatic statement.  Choose a simple neutral color that will go with most any outfit, or choose a bright bold color.
  • Pick two colors: one for the background, and one for the horizontal chain stitches.
  • Instead of sections, make one long tube (joined at the ends) and vary the frequency of the horizontal chain stitches.  Make the chains randomly whenever you feel like it, or use a Fibonacci sequence, whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Instead of making tubular sections, knit the piece flat on half as many cast-on stitches, for a long basic scarf that can be wrapped around and around the neck.  You'll have a "wrong" side, but that's not really a problem, is it.
  • Choose a soft, luxurious yarn worked at a finer gauge for a smaller scarf with a more elegant look. 
  • Pick different yarns with different textures (but the same or similar gauge) for each section.  This is a great way to use up leftover yarn.
  • Decorate the plain Stockinette sections with embroidery.
  • Wollaston would be great knit in handspun.
Wollaston is available now in my Ravelry store.  I hope you like it.