Friday, September 14, 2007

Twisted Rope Seaman's Scarf

Twisted Rope Seaman’s Scarf
(cable design adapted from Harmony Guides Vol 3 , pg 51)

Seaman’s style scarves are knitted with two flat panels divided by a section of ribbing. The ribbing fits closely around the neck. The two flat panels, the ‘tails’, are knitted from the middle, working from a provisional cast-on. This enables the pattern to match as the scarf lies on the wearer’s chest, rather than having one side with the pattern upside down.

However, since this cable pattern really has no direction, you may choose to work it straight from end to end, without the neckline ribbing section.

This scarf is done over 42 stitches. Each side has a 4-st seed st border; you may wish to make a 6-st border on each side. The 2 outside panels have 3 2x2 ribs which cross over each other in alternate pairs. The central panel has 2 2x2 ribs which cross over each other in alternate directions. All cables are twisted every 6 rows. The design ribs transition smoothly to the neck ribbing pattern.

Gauge, Yarn and Needle Choice
Gauge is not important for this scarf. Choose a yarn you like and a needle size that suits your yarn, probably close to the size recommended for the yarn. This pattern can be knitted in nearly any yarn, though it will be narrower in a lighter-weight yarn. If you use a circular needle, you will be able to knit the two tails at the same time.

The photos show a scarf knit with approximately 350 yards of worsted weight wool (Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, color Deep Blue Sea), knitted on a size 7US (4.5mm) needle. Unblocked, it is approximately 6in wide by 57in long.

  • B4 - k1,p1,k1,p1 (seed stitch) If you choose a 6-st border, read this as B6 [NOTE: you may wish to slip the 1st st and knit the last for a chain edging]
  • CN - cable needle
  • C3F - Move 3 sts to CN, hold in front; k3 sts, then 3sts from CN
  • C3B - Move 3 sts to CN, hold in back; k3 sts, then 3sts from CN

Cast on 42 sts, using a provisional cast-on, such as the Crochet Provisional Cast-on. Knit one row. Beginning with the right side, follow the instructions for Twisted Rope Panels. Knit one repeat of the pattern, to get comfortable with it.

Pick up stitches from the provisional cast-on, and follow the instructions for Transition Ribbing; then the Ribbing pattern to the desired length, based on the neck size of the intended wearer; the length should be nearly the actual neck size. When the ribbing is the length you want, begin the second tail following first the Transition Ribbing and then the Twisted Rope Panels patterns.

Work both tails to the length you desire, based on the height of the wearer. It is best to end with the 3rd row (WS) after a cable twist row. Rows 1 and 2 of the Bottom Border pattern will reduce the stitch count to avoid the border ruffling, and will give a nice edge to the top of the border, setting it off from the cables.

Twisted Rope Panels -
Outer Cables
Row 1 (RS) B4; k1,p1;k2,p2,k6,p2; k2,p2,k2; p2,k6;p2,k2; p1,k1; B4
Row 2 (WS) B4, knit the stitches as they present themselves (knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts), B4
Row 3 B4; k1,p1; k2,p2, C3F,p2;k2,p2,k2;p2,C3B,p2,k2; p1,k1; B4
Rows 4-8 Repeat Row 2 and Row 1 twice, then Row 2 once more
Rows 9-20 Repeat Rows 3-8 twice
Row 21 Repeat Row 3
Rows 22-24 Repeat Row 2 and Row 1, then Row 2 once more

Inner Cables
Row 25 B4; k1,p1;k6,p2,k2,p2; k6; p2,k2,p2,k6;p1,k1;B4
Row 26 Repeat Row 2
Row 27 B4; k1,p1; C3B, p2,k2,p2; C3F;p2,k2,p2,C3F;p1,k1;B4 (See NOTE)
Rows 28-32 Repeat Rows 26 and 25 twice, then Row 26 once more
Rows 33-44 Repeat Rows 25-32 twice
Row 45 Repeat Row 27
Rows 46-48 Repeat Row 26 and 25, then Row 26 once more

Repeat Rows 1-48 for pattern. NOTE: On alternate repeats of the Inner Cable section, in Row 27, change the center C3F to C3B; this will alternate the direction of the central cable.

Scarf shown was worked with 2 full repeats of the pattern, then ended the 3rd repeat with Row 36.

Transition Ribbing
Row 1 K4, (p2,K2)across to last 4 sts, k4
Row 2 P4, (k2,p2) across to last 4 sts, p4
Repeat rows 1 and 2 twice more

Row 1 K4, p4,k4,p3,k4,p4,k3, (p4, k4) twice
Row 2 P4, k4,p4,k3,p4,k4,p3 (k4,p4) twice
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 to desired length, ending with Row 2

Bottom Border
Row 1 B4, k1,p1;(K2tog, k2, k2tog; k2, k2tog,k2) twice; k2tog, k2, k2tog; p1,k1,B4 (34 sts)
Row 2 B4, p1, k across to last 5 sts, p1, B4
Row 3 B4, work across in seed st; B4
Continue to work seed stitch rows until the bottom border is the same width as your side borders. Bind off from the right side in pattern.

I first became aware of this style of scarf here and here. Then I found Myrna Stahman's book Stahman's Shawls and Scarves at Marsha White's Needle Arts Book Shop. At the moment (9/14/07) neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble have new copies, so the link is to the Needle Arts Book Shop. Besides patterns for many beautiful Faroese-style lace shawls, Myrna has adapted the same stitch patterns for seaman's style scarves.

© 2007, CatBookMom's Yarns. This pattern may be used only for personal or charitable purposes.


jillian said...

Wow - you've been busy! Those are beautiful scarves!

Deborah said...

I just saw this over at smariek's blog. This is really beautiful. I feel another project coming on.