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Copyright 1998 Esther S. Bozak. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and freely shared with others so long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice, and no profit is made from its distribution or use.
One of the local charities I knit for is the Oswego chapter of the Red Cross. Last winter I discovered that scarves are among their most often requested cold weather accessories, and they get very few donated to distribute when such requests come in. This got me thinking about scarves, how to make them more fun to knit, as well as creating attractive, lightweight, and warm fabrics. I came up with four criteria:
  1. each scarf should be reversible, that is, it should have no wrong side and preferably be one whose two sides are identical or very nearly so;
  2. the pattern stitch must be easy to remember so I don't have to carry its instructions with me;
  3. the fabric must have some texture, in the form of pleats, welts, or pockets, to help trap heat so I can use lighter weight yarns; and
  4. the scarf should be a bit out of the ordinary in looks.

I found a number of patterns which meet these criteria. Here are four of my favorite reversible pattern stitches from this group. Using sport or DK weight yarn and the size needle you would normally use for this yarn, cast on 40-50 stitches (or around 30-36 for the Syncopated Brioche Stitch) for a 5-7" wide scarf (unstretched) and knit until you reach your favorite scarf length. Do not block; steam lightly only if necessary to retain as much heat-trapping texture as possible. Fringe is optional.

Part 2 of this series will focus multi-colored reversible scarves.

Last Updated: June 28, 1998
Esther S. Bozak
URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/esb-patterns/scarves-part1.html