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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 the copyright notice, and no profit is made from its distribution or use.
We don't normally think of traditional colorwork techniques, such as jacquard/fair isle, intarsia and most slip stitch techniques including mosaic knitting, as producing reversible fabrics. However, it turns out that there are a number of techniques and pattern stitches to create colorwork fabrics which do, some of which are described in Jane Neighbors' Reversible Two-Color Knitting.

Below are three reversible pattern stitches from Ms. Neighbors book which I find work well for scarves. All three are what Ms. Neighbors calls "opposite reversible" patterns. That is, one color/yarn will dominate one side of the fabric; the other color/yarn, the other side. Otherwise, the appearance of both sides are identical.

My other three criteria are met, too. Each pattern stitch has texture, either in the form of welts, gentle pleats, or pockets to trap the air, allowing one to use a lighter weight yarn without sacrificing warmth. Each set of instructions is short and easy to commit to memory. The finished scarves are attractive and definitely out of the ordinary.

For each pattern stitch, you will need two yarns (identified as A & B.) When you work these patterns, you will be knitting with one yarn per row. The other yarn is left along one edge, where is can be picked up when it is needed next.

As for what yarn to use, anything goes so long as both yarns are the same weight. For a bold look, use two strongly contrasting colors; a sophisticated, elegant look is created by using shades of the same color. It's equally fun to mix textures. Try a "smooth" yarn (silk, merino or alpaca, for example) with a "hairy" yarn (mohair or angora). A boucle or chenille might work well as one of the yarns, too.

Lastly, there is one term used in the instructions which may be unfamiliar. "Slide" means to slide the stitches to the opposite end of the circular or double-pointed needle because this is where you will find the desired yarn for the next row. Because of the construction technique requiring the need to both turn and slide the work on various rows, each of these patterns are most easily knit on dp or circular needles.