Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Swiss Check Scarf

Swiss Check Scarf

If I had one inspiration for this scarf, it was the planned color pooling pictures that keep popping up in my Facebook feed (dude, I follow a lot of knitters). If I had two inspirations for this scarf, it was PCP (such a bad acronym!) and laziness; the idea of fiddling with a yarn and a design until I had nailed a certain color pattern seemed about as appealing to me as taking all three of my children to the dentist by myself for concurrent appointments. So I went with a more relaxed take on the same theme; namely, a slip stitch color pattern worked with two skeins of the same variegated yarn that still creates a fancy pattern but requires much less precision! :)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Viva (100% Merino Wool; 120 yards [110 meters]/50 grams); #0020 - four skeins

A closer look at the Swiss Check.
So Swiss, no?
Needles: One pair of straight needles in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

And now that we've gotten the basics down, let's make a scarf! And let's begin by talking some shop: specifically, addressing the fact that this scarf is worked with two skeins of your variegated yarn at once, and that even though they're the SAME DARN COLOR (or combination of colors I suppose), I will be calling one skein A and one skein B. Of course, that's because they need to be worked alternately in order to produce the slip stitch color pattern (and for that reason I also recommend that you make sure to begin the slip stitch pattern with a portion of your skein B ball that does not match your skein A ball at whichever point in the dye you're in after the edging rows). So let's proceed as follows:

Using your skein A yarn (aka any whichever one of your skeins you pick up first), cast on 39 stitches loosely and work the edging rows as follows:

Edging Row 1 (right side): purl

Edging Row 2: knit

Edging Row 3: purl

Edging Row 4: knit

Edging Row 5: purl

Work these 5 rows, and then we'll begin our main pattern, which is Swiss Check from page 90 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes as follows. But before you begin, take note: the main color pattern is a slip stitch pattern, so you need to leave your yarn behind the slipped stitches quite loose. HOWEVER, the three edge stitches make a faux i-cord, so when you're directed to slip the first three and last three stitches of the row you can cinch 'em as tight as you like (without, of course, accidentally cinching together the rest of the stitches in the row!). And with that, we'll proceed like so:

Row 1 (wrong side): using skein A, purl

Row 2: using skein B, slip 3 stitches purlwise with yarn in back (sl3 wyib), k1, sl1 wyib, * k1, sl3 wyib; rep from * until you have 6 stitches left in your row; then, k1, sl1 wyib, k1, sl3 wyib

Row 3: using skein B, p4, * p3, slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front (sl1 wyif) * until you have 7 stitches left in row; then, p7

Row 4: using skein A, sl3 wyib, k2, * sl1 wyib, k3 * until you have 6 stitches left in row; then sl1 wyib, k2, sl3 wyib

Row 5: using skein A, purl

Row 6: using skein B, * sl3 wyib, k1 * until you have 3 stitches left in row; then sl3 wyib

Row 7: using skein B, p5, * sl1 wyif, p3 * until you have 6 stitches left in row; then sl1 wyif, p5

Row 8: using skein A, sl3 wyib, k4, * sl1, k3, * until you have 4 stitches left in row; then, k1, sl3 wyib

Knit rows 1 - 8 until scarf measures roughly 56" and you've just finished row 1 or row 5 of the pattern. Clip your skein B yarn, and we'll work another edging in skein A as follows:

Edging Row 1 (right side): purl

Edging Row 2: knit

Edging Row 3: purl

Edging Row 4: knit

Edging Row 5: purl

Complete edging rows 1 - 5 and bind off loosely. Block scarf, and finish with 4 roughly 7" tassels, one affixed at each end of the edging! :)

And a wrong side pic, for good measure!

25 comments:

  1. Thank you, what a great idea.

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  2. I just ordered yarn for this! I love it, but I hope the edges won't curl.

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    1. Yay! So glad you're excited about it!!! And of course the edge-edges will curl, since they're designed to be faux i-cords, but you'll have the best luck keeping the rest of the pattern flat if you keep your slipped stitches very loose and then, of course, block. Good luck! :)

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  3. Absolutely LOVE this scarf! Exactly how long and wide did yours measure? Also, what colorway did you use? The colors are amazing!!! You keep outdoing yourself!!

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    1. Hi Kimmy!

      This scarf measures about 7" across and 58" long (you could probably get it a bit bigger with 4 skeins but I didn't have much left after the tassels). Anyway, it's colorway 20, and very pretty! :)

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  4. Hi Gretchen. Just a bit of confusion here. On pattern row 2, where is the yarn B held when I slip the first stitches at the beginning of the row? I have never added a new color while slipping, so i just can't picture it in my head. lol Thanks!

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    1. Just add it as you normally would without the slipped stitches - you will begin to create your faux i-cord on your next right-side row (and when you tuck in that end you can use it to cinch it closer if you need to). Does that help? :)

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    2. So should I just slip the first three stitches, then knit the new yarn on the fourth stitch? I got my yarn yesterday and it's beautiful! Thanks

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  5. What does the back look like? how do you keep the second yarn from being loopy along the back?

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    1. Hi there!

      I added a wrong side pic at the bottom. The yarns are a bit loopy, but I personally don't mind the look. Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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  6. I am not normally drawn to variegated or tassel patterns but this is eye catching!
    Classy and whimsical, great job.

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    1. Thank you! I love variegated yarns because they're colorful but am often disappointed when I see them knit up... This pattern solves many of the inherent problems!!! Anyway, I'm glad you like it. :)

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  7. So, do you mean you actually use only one variegated yarn but several balls, call it color A and color B, just being sure that you start color B at a different place in the color repeat than color A? Thanks.

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    1. Yes, exactly! As long as you start the two balls (of the same yarn) in different spots in the variegation you shouldn't get too matchy-matchy. I ended up with a few small areas where the colors were nearly identical, but not many (you'll also use one ball more rapidly than the other, so that helps too!). :) Let me know if you have any other questions!!!

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  8. Hiya Gretchen,
    Blimey I have sent you a lot of posts tonight (actually it's some ungodly hour of the morning as I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep)
    Anyway, I have just ordered some "colour cakes" I think they are called. They hVe only just hit our shores here in Oz. Do you think they would knit up ok for this scarf? Hope those arms of yours are getting enough rest Darlin

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    1. Hi Sue!

      To answer your question, I think it really just depends on the variegation and the look you're going for. If you started one cake from the opposite end as the first you would probably get a really cool effect, although you might have a large section where the colors from the two skeins are the same in the middle! :)

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  9. Yes that's true. I might try and find something really close to the one which you used.
    Gee you are a sweetheart answering all these messages. Thank you Darlin. Xx

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    1. Of course! I aim to please. :) And let me know if you have any more questions!!!

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  10. I clicked the DOWNLOAD but am still unable to print the pattern. Help!

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    1. Hi!

      First off, I can't tell if you're using the "PrintFriendly" button at the bottom of the page, but if you aren't, that's definitely where you should start. And, unfortunately, if you are using it and still having problems, I don't think I can help - everything seems to be working on my end. Sorry I couldn't be more help! :)

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  11. I love this pattern and love your website. I am curious to know which Barbara Walkers Treasury you used? She has 4 volumes. Was this is in the 1st? That Barbara Walker is kind of a genius isn't she?

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    1. First off, yes, Barbara Walker is awesome, and I have all four treasuries! Secondly, this one is the first one - all three others have "second," "third," etc. in their names. They're the only stitch pattern books I ever use, though, and I've looked at plenty of others!

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  12. Would it be possible to make this scarf narrower by eliminating some of the pattern repeats? e.g. by casting on 31 stitches instead of 39? Or would it ruin the integrity of the pattern? I love the concept behind this scarf, its gorgeous!

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