Once Upon a Skein

I can hardly believe that August is here, and that we’re nearing the end of this incredibly hot summer. But believe it our not, it’s time to be thinking about those quick-knit holiday gifts, and now’s the time to get a jump-start.  No matter how many sweaters I’ve created, I still can’t think of a better project for taking it easy with my knitting than making a scarf. Unlike pullovers or cardigans, there’s no special fitting involved, and let’s face it—they are the quintessential quick-knit gift. Thank goodness that minimal-skein scarves and scarflettes are all the rage right now, because it gives us a wonderful reason to put those single skeins to good use and to have fun with a multitude of stitch patterns, color and embellishment.

I’m sure you remember the day well: You visited your LYS, and there it was—that gorgeous hank of yarn beckoning you. The look and feel of the yarn was so inviting that you knew it was destined for something great. With this intention in mind, you snatched up this wonderful find and tucked it away for safe-keeping. The new House of White Birches book: Easy as 1-2-3 Skeins couldn’t have come at a better time. This 128-page book is packed with an assortment of 1, 2 and 3 skein projects to choose from, it sounds like destiny is calling.

Easy as 1-2-3 Skeins

New from House of White Birches: Easy as 1-2-3 Skeins

A great way to play with your single skeins is to experiment with knitted ruffle edgings. Creating ruffles on projects has become my latest “technique du jour,” because they are super easy and fun to do, and just tweaking a stitch slightly gives you a whole different look. I find that integrating these into a small project is such an easy way to add the look of complexity. A few months ago, I posted a short tutorial: Rows and Rows of Ruffles, where I show you how to easily embellish your accessories with a variety of knitted ruffles. In this tutorial, I offer a few different alternatives for working basic ruffles. One in particular is the Basic Frill, which is a series of increasing and decreasing that gives a special curl and twist to this style of ruffle. I tried my hand at integrating this into a new design, which you can see illustrated in the Lapis Lazuli scarflette. This dainty little piece is perfect for early fall, and it knits up beautifully in Swiss Mohair by Universal Yarn. This yarn is so soft to the touch, making it a great choice for something worn so close to the neck.

Lapis Lazuli Scarflette

Lapis Lazuli Scarflette

Now that I’ve given you a good reason to revive those lonely skeins, I’d love to hear what your plans are for quick-knit gifts this season. Leave a comment to this post, sharing tidbits about your project, what kind of yarn you have in mind and why you chose it. If you have a special and innovative stitch pattern that you plan to use, I’d love to hear about it.  

Is there something special you want to see on this blog? Do you have a question about a technique, or a special stitch pattern in Creative Knitting magazine? I’m here to help answer any questions or concerns and provide feedback to help you gain confidence so that you can be a success in all your knitting endeavors. Staying in touch is just a click away!

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