Thursday, April 22, 2010

Give Yourself a Swirly

A Swirly Scarf, that is.

If you are under the age of 16, a swirly probably has a completely different meaning.  As a matter of fact, if you are under the age of 16, you probably shouldn't be here. This blog isn't entirely appropriate for children.

In this case, however, if you are an adult and more importantly a knitter, then you can give yourself - or someone you love - a Swirly and I promise that you will like it.


This is my version of the popular ruffled scarf, sometimes called a potato chip scarf.  I'm not sure why it has that name, but it may have to do with not being able to stop at one.

This one is a little different than most patterns because you are only working with 20 stitches at most rather than miles and miles of stitches.

You can make it from almost any weight and with any size needles.  I think it looks especially lovely when it is made from a yarn with a long color repeat, but it's also beautiful with a solid or even a yarn with short color repeats.

The pictured scarf is made with Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel-Wolle.  I used the purple and blue colorway, but I'm making another one in gray and red.

The pattern is easy.  If you have knit short rows before, then it will make total sense to you.  If you haven't knit short rows, just trust the pattern.  When it says "knit 8" then just knit 8 and turn your work and proceed to the next row.  You are only going all the way across every 7th row.  

Swirly Scarf

Set up:
Cast on 20 stitches
Knit 1 row

Work the following:
Row 1: K8, turn
Row 2: K8, turn
Row 3: K6, turn
Row 4: K6, turn
Row 5: K4, turn
Row 6: K4 turn
Row 7: K20

Repeat Rows 1 through 7 until the scarf is the desired length and then bind off.

You can use pretty much any weight of yarn and any size needles.  I used a size 4 with the fingering/sock weight yarn.  I'm currently working on another scarf that will be more of an outwear weight made with a thick worsted and I am using a size 11 needle.

Don't worry when it doesn't start to curl right away - it takes several inches before it starts to swirl and twirl.

I loved knitting this because you are never working with more than 20 stitches, usually no more than 8, it's all knitting, and it makes a very dramatic piece that starts a lot of conversations if you are KIP (knitting in public).

So give yourself a Swirly.  Give your best friend a Swirly.  

You could even give your childrens' teachers a Swirly.  But if you get a detention, don't blame me.