EASY REVERSIBLE THERMAL SCARF (OR SHAWL OR AFGHAN)
Esther's 1995 Knitlist Gift Exchange Pattern
Copyright 1995 Esther S. Bozak. All rights reserved.
Please read full copyright notice at end of pattern.
I avoid all of the problems associated with having many friends, each of whom
celebrates/observes one or more of the religious and secular holidays of this
time of year, by celebrating a more personal holiday, hobbit style. (For those
of you who are unfamiliar with hobbits and their customs, I refer you to J.R.
Tolkien's The Hobbit. :-)
My hobbit gift to you all is yet another scarf! But wait, it gets better since
you can easily expand this idea to create a shawl or an afghan. And you can use
just about any yarn you like. I'd recommend a sports, DK, or worsted weight.
Gauge isn't all that important either since this is a very stretchy pattern
stitch; I've given you my gauges for this pattern stitch for both sports and
worsted weight yarns as a guide.
The pattern stitch I've used comes from Jane Neighbors' Reversible Two-Color
Knitting. (If you ever see a copy of this book, which I think may be
out-of-print, grab it. It fits very nicely on your shelf of knitting books,
between Barbara Walker's 3-vol. treasury of patterns and Beverly Royce's
Notes on Double Knitting.) It is a thermal stitch (i.e. has little
built-in pockets to trap the air), which Ms. Neighbors calls "Shadow Boxing" and
is an "opposite reversible" pattern. That is, one color/yarn will dominate one
side of the fabric; the other color/yarn, the other side. The result is a
lightweight, warm, truly reversible fabric. The key to this stitch is to use
large needles, much larger than you would normally use for the given yarn you've
You will need two yarns (identified as A & B.) As for what yarn to use, anything
goes so long as both yarns are the same weight. Suggestions: For a bold look, use
two strongly contrasting colors; a sophisticated, elegant look is created by
using shades of the same color. I think 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. You
don't have to work with expensive yarns, such as my above examples, either; I did
my swatches with an acrylic sports weight "smooth" yarn and an acrylic sport
weight "faux" angora. Double the fun by mixing color and texture! My favorite
swatch so far has been the above-mentioned acrylic yarns, one cream and the other
Have fun! :-)
- Yarn:1 2-oz. skein each of 2 yarns of the same weight.
(This should be enough for a scarf approximately 4 feet long; if you want a
longer scarf or want to add fringe, you will need more of each yarn.)
- Needles:1 circular needle, or 2 double-pointed needles,
several sizes larger than you would normally use for your chosen yarn. (This
pattern stitch cannot easily be knit on single-pointed needles.)
- 43 sts = about 8"; 6 rows = about 1" (sports weight yarn & size 8
- 43 sts = about 9"; 7 rows = about 1" (worsted weight yarn & size 10
- Don't worry if yours don't match mine exactly. Strive for a gauge that
will show off the pattern stitch; it should be on the loose side, allowing the
boxes to open after a little stretching during blocking. Also, you may decide to
use a triple wrap in rows 2 & 4.
Abbreviations & Terms:
- slide -- slide stitches to the opposite end of the
circular or double-pointed needles because this is where you will find the
desired yarn for the next row.
- turn -- knitting should be turned around in order to
work back in the direction you just came from (the "normal way of proceeding).
- yib -- yarn in back
- yif -- yarn in front
Shadow Boxing Stitch -- opposite reversible; multiple of 4 sts
Cast on with yarn A, slide.
Be sure to keep the first stitch of each row loose.
Row 1: With yarn B -- K3, * sl 1 yib letting extra wrap drop
(there will be no extra wrap in the very first row), k3, rep from *. Turn.
Row 2: With yarn B -- P1, p1 wrapping the yarn twice around
needle instead of once, p1 * sl 1 yif, p1, p1 with double wrap, p1, rep from *.
Row 3: With yarn A -- K1, * sl 1 yib letting extra wrap drop,
k3, rep from *, ending k1. Turn.
Row 4: With yarn A -- P1, sl 1 yif, p1, * p1 with double wrap,
p1 sl 1 yif, p1, rep from *. Slide.
Repeat Rows 1-4.
Cast on 43 sts for a scarf, either weight above, since 8-9" is a good scarf
width. If you want a wider scarf, make sure that when you add more stitches you
end up with a multiple of 4 plus 3. Work the pattern stitch (given below) until
desired length is reached. Bind off loosely. Block. Add fringe (optional).
- Use worsted weight yarn and make an blanket-sized (60 x 80") afghan with
287 sts and 560 rows. Scaled down with baby yarn but same number of sts and rows
gives you a cuddly baby blanket.
- You can make a 24 x 60" (approx.) rectangular shawl, worsted weight yarn,
with either 287 sts and 168 rows, or 127 sts and 420 rows. The boxes will be
oriented differently in each, creating subtly different looks.
- You can substitute sports or DK weight for the afghan or shawl; just use
your gauge to determine the necessary number of stitches and rows to use.)
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Copyright 1995 by Esther Smith Bozak. All
rights expressly reserved. This pattern may be used by individuals for
personal use only. It can be distributed to and shared with others as
long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice. It
may not be sold, used to produce items for sale, or used in a
compilation or archive of any kind without the expressed written
permission of the designer.
Last Updated: July 30, 1999
Esther S. Bozak