Hooked on Needles

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Version of Martha's Self Tying Knitted Neck Scarf

George the mailman delivered my copy of the January 2009 Martha Stewart Living magazine while we were in the midst of our recent 3 day power outage here. As I was scanning the table of contents, I noticed a picture of a knitted mitten so I quickly moved the flashlight to the description of what was covered on page 58 and was happy to find an article called "In the Skein of Things" which included patterns for fingerless mittens, regular mittens and a neck scarf.

I had seen this neck scarf before. In fact I had MADE this neck scarf before! Was Martha sneaking around in my pattern binder recently? Hmmmm...

Martha Stewart neck scarf pageHere is the page in her recent magazine with pattern and instructions for making this great little self tying neck scarf. It really is a wonderful accessory that keeps your neck warm without adding bulk under your coat. On this page, she even gives instructions and illustrations for how to increase and decrease and how to divide stitches onto two needles. Very thorough.

My neck scarf pictureMany many years ago there was a yarn shop here in town that was going out of business so I went in to check out the sales and I discovered this sample on one of the shelves. I was intrigued by the design of it, having never seen this kind of self tying scarf before, so I asked the shop owner if she had the pattern available for me to purchase. She did not, and in fact she couldn't even remember where she found the pattern or how long ago she had made the sample. Hmmm, what was I to do? I didn't have to wonder long, because she offered it to me to take home and examine as long as I returned it before she closed her shop for good. I was thrilled! I brought it home and took this picture with the tape measure then went to work trying to decipher the pattern for myself. This was only a year or two after I had learned how to knit, and this is what I came up with:

My neck scarf notesThese are my original notes on this scarf. You can see all my corrections and my little tick marks from counting rows as I knitted my own sample. It turned out just like the sample from the shop, but I didn't take any pictures of it and now I have no idea where it is or if I even still have it. I probably gave it away to someone.

My neck scarf notesThis is the other side of that same page where I scribbled notes for making the scarf with a garter stitch border and stockinette stitch middle. Back then I had a real aversion to garter stitch for some reason. It's still not my favorite, but for something like this it really is the perfect thing...quick, easy, thick and cozy.

So I compared Martha's pattern to mine and discovered that overall, they are basically the same. She ends each row by slipping the last stitch purlwise. She also divides the stitches for the little loop onto double pointed needles before rib knitting them. And her row counts are just a little different than mine. Her scarf also has a loop on each end and mine only has one. But the overall result would be pretty much the same using both patterns. I thought that was very interesting.

If you would like to give my pattern a try, here it is:

Using baby yarn and appropriately sized needles, cast on 3 stitches.

Knit 3.

Increase one stitch at the beginning of each row until there are 37 stitches on the needle.

Knit even for 4 rows.

To make loop, (Knit 1, slip 1 to stitch holder) across.

Rib knit (knit 1, purl 1) off needle for 18 rows. Break yarn leaving a tail long enough to weave in later.

Using another needle, rib knit stitches off of stitch holder for 18 rows.

Knit both sides of loop together by alternating one stitch from each needle until all stitches are back onto one needle. This completes the loop.

Knit even to desired length, 13 to 14 inches.

Knit 2 together across.

Rib knit 18 rows.

(Knit 1, make 1) across.

Knit even for 4 rows.

Decrease 1 stitch at beginning of each row until 3 stitches remain.

Cast off. Weave in ends.

Put scarf around neck and pass end without loop through loop on other end.

These are fairly quick to knit and can be made using any type or size of yarn that you like. You may want to adjust the stitch count down to accommodate thicker yarn and larger needles.

If you make one of these neck scarves using my pattern, please send me a picture and let me know how the pattern turned out for you. I love to see other people's handiwork!

Happy Stitching!

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  • I have been looking for a pattern for this scarf. I have 2 upstairs in my bedroom. My mother taught me how to knit them many years ago. I have had the scarf for a long time. So now I want to knit them for xmas gifts next year. I thought that it was called a bowtie scarf. So, anyway I just happen to get to your website after two weeks of searching. I am not a very good knitter, and I hope that I can figure out the pattern. My Mom died in my arms 8 years ago, and I cannot find her pattern anywhere. I suppose that it was in her head. Anyway thank you so much for being so generous in letting knitters have the pattern. Sincerely Jackie Edwards

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 27, 2008 at 6:16 PM  

  • Jackie, you are most welcome! If you have any trouble with it, please email me and I will help you all I can!


    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At December 27, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

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