>> Thursday, February 11, 2010
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm no fantastically talented knitter. The most impressive project I've completed is a pillowcase. And that not really that impressive. So, if you have two hands, basic knitting skills (know how to cast on, cast off, and knit a basic stitch), and some motivation . . . this project is totally for you.
What's so mystical about an eternity scarf? Nothing. Seriously. The "trick" is that you knit a scarf . . . and then sew it together. That's it. But I'll cover some basic knitting techniques for those of you new to the craft. (And for those of you who have no idea why I'm sharing this project -- it's because I featured my handmade creation in my latest style post: Personalize Your Style the Homespun Way.)
Step 1: Clear the area of any cats. As you'll see in my photos. I do not follow this crucial step as I begin work on yet another eternity scarf to add to my collection. But it makes for some fun photos.
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies.
- You'll need knitting needles (I recommend size 13, 9mm -- bamboo or metal or plastic, doesn't really make a difference);
- 2 skeins of some good medium to chunky weight yarn (I got mine at a local joint, but didn't save the wrapper. It's 100% wool, hand-dyed. The nicer the yarn, the nicer the scarf -- but if you're new to knitting, you might want to get some cheaper stuff to practice with first.);
- and a yarn darner is helpful (it's a big needle that you'll use to sew the two ends of the scarf together . . . but I didn't use one. I just used my fingers).
Step 3: Cast on. If you're a visual learner, check out these step-by-step instructions -- with photos -- on how to cast on using two needles. You can also cast on with just one, as you can view in this YouTube tutorial that got rave reviews. Personally, I like the two-needle approach. But you have to do what's best for you. Anyway, cast on around 15 stitches, depending on the weight of your yarn.
Step 4: Knit away. I didn't use any fancy stitching to make my scarf. Just the basic knit stitch. If you're unfamiliar with how to do it, just view this helpful (and illustrated) tutorial. It covers both the knit and purl stitches. Despite even the best tutorials online, I have always found it helpful to ask others who knit how to do stuff. So, I'm sure you know SOMEone who knits. And that SOMEone should be willing to help you if you're confused :) Once you get the hang of it . . . it's easy. So, knit away until your scarf is long enough for you to stretch it fingertip to fingertip across your chest (or between 5 and 6 feet long).
Step 5: Cast off. Again, this helpful (and illustrated) tutorial can give you all the tips you need, and if you're more into video, check out this great video. Once you're totally cast off and cut the umbilical cord . . . you can continue to the final step!
Step 6: Sew it up. Congrats! The "hard" part is over. Now, this is where the yarn darner comes in handy. Make a big loop with your scarf . . . and then hold the two ends together and use some leftover yarn to sew them together with a basic whipstitch (Uhm, when I say "whipstitch" it makes me feel like I'm all hardcore, like Christina from Grey's Anatomy -- sewing up people, not scarves -- photo from ABC). If you'd like to be EXTRA anal (like me), instead of it just being a whipstitch, you can also tie off each time you stitch so there's a little knot. It's hard to explain, but when you're looping around, tie the loop so it's secure and continue to your next stitch. This might not sound very technical . . . but whatever you can do to bind the two ends together securely is FINE.
And that's how you make this season's most stylish accessory -- the all-by-you, super-duper-handmade, homespun way. Feels good, right? Looks even better (the scarf, not me!) . . .
And if you're a veteran knitter with some tips and tricks to share with us all -- PLEASE DO. I'd love to hear from you, so either leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also. Today's your last day to enter our giveaway of Martha Stewart's Cooking School cookbook. The lucky winner will be announced tomorrow AM.
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