Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ruffle Scarf: a Challenge!

My Blogging Business Artisans team loves Challenges!  That's why we post one every month--to stretch and grow us, to discover new territory.   

January's Challenge is posed to us by Deb of storybeader:
"Set aside time to work on and complete a new technique that you admire. It can be within your field of expertise, but doesn't have to be. Blog about your project at least once during the month or make a video, if you want."  

 a pile of 3 separate scarves I've made

I've been interested in knitting the new, popular ruffled scarves.  I do knit--but just barely.  So the process of basic knitting is not new to me.  This new material is however.  I also had to discover the best techniques.  My friend Virginia got me started.  I searched online and then made my own directions.  

The material is a yarn made of netting that is about 4 inches wide.  So far, I've used only Sashay brand yarn.  It comes in varigated shades of one color or several coordinating colors.

1 skein of fishnet type yarn
knitting needles  (The holes are large so a range of sizes work.  I used US size 7.) 

1.  The yarn needs to be stretched for easier handling.  In my opinion, the knitting goes more smoothly when this is done ahead of time.  Virginia suggested wrapping the yarn around a book.  I did this at first, but found it less cumbersome to wrap around a towel or another skein of yarn.
This opens up the yarn and makes finding the holes to be knitted in easier.
2.  Fold back about 1 inch of the fishnet yarn.  (The fold faces away from you, although I'm not sure this matters.) 
3.  Stick needle in a loop very close to thick edge through the front of the loop.

4Stick needle in a loop very close to thin edge through the front of the loop.  

5.  These loops (#3 and #4 above) become the first ONE cast on.
the first loop

6.  Cast on as many loops as you like—8 is a good number.  Virginia likes to cast on 6 since it makes a longer scarf.  I like the greater fullness of 8.  You could cast on more for a shorter, fuller scarf.
Cast on by sticking the needle through the back of each consecutive loop.

This video shows you how!

7.  Knit.  
   a.  Put the needle through the next loop and yarn over with a loop from the feeding yarn.
   b.  Skip a loop and knit the next loop.  
See how the large loops are connected by a "ladder"--2 parallel threads close together?  The loop marked "this loop" is the one to use in yarning over.  The loop before it is skipped.

   c.  Knit till you come to that "mess" that was the first loop.  Knit it altogether as ONE loop.
beginning to knit the "mess"
ready to push the "mess" off after knitting it

   d.  Turn the work to begin knitting the next row.  There should be some raw edge that needs tidying.  Stick the needle with all the loops on it into one or two loops on that raw edge.  That new "mess" along with the first loop on the needle becomes the first loop to knit.  Knit it yarning over with a loop from the feeding yarn.
   e.  Skip a loop and knit into the next loop to the end of the row.
   f.  Turn and knit.  You can skip a loop or not when knitting the first loop of each row (I generally did not skip a loop.).  

8.  Cast off, leaving a tail long enough to weave through the scarf--at least 4 inches.  Pull the tail through the last loop.  When weaving the tail, use a large hole tapestry needle and pull the yarn through loops as close to the inside as possible.  
The tail has been fed through the loop but not yet pulled more snugly.
The tail has been pulled snugly.

1.  knitting a ruffle scarf (video). casting off at 2.0 minutes in.  I don't recommend finishing off with a knot at the end of the scarf.
2.  different method of casting on (video).  can see hands well.  However, he skips a loop when starting a new row.  You can skip or not skip, doesn't matter.  AND he says to knit in every loop without skipping.  I did this and the scarf does NOT ruffle.  I've added this link because his hands are very clear to watch.
3. a variation (video).  very wide and long with 2 skeins of fishnet and one of regular yarn.  Intersperse 2 rows of regular yarn in between each fishnet row.  When knitting with fishnet, be sure to skip every other loop to get the ruffle effect.

I've made 5 scarves now in various colors and am currently working on a 6th.  They're all gifts!

NOTE:  This yarn and this pattern are very forgiving!  Don't worry about mistakes such as not skipping a loop here and there or even dropping a stitch (simply make a new one!)  or having too many stitches (simply knit 2 together!).

Visit our BBA team blog to see more completed Challenges!

photos by me © 2012 and 2013


  1. I love these scarves. They're perfect for anytime of year since they're so light.
    I love the colors you've chosen...the pink of course :)

  2. Wow - I'm impressed! Knitting is something I've never quite tackled - the patience it takes is a bit beyond me, I think:) But, the scarf turned out beautifully!
    Found you via Etsy's Blog Team:)

  3. I'm gonna send this link to my daughter! She knits and this will intrigue her, I know!

  4. Wow! These are gorgeous. The pink one especially :)
    I'm a newbie knitter and you explained the process so clearly, that I might even try that - gotta find fishnet yarn first!

  5. I am seeing these everywhere! They have really caught on and everyone in our little town is making them!

  6. Ruffle scarves are so much fun! Congrats on all of your success with this challenge. I love your color choices.

  7. Beautiful! That's a gorgeous yarn. Since I normally use only cotton I have not looked at it in the stores, but I think I'll seek it out just to feel it -- it looks very soft! Great challenge project!

  8. my mom bought me one of those ruffled scarves for Chanukah. I've never been able to knit (or sew), and can appreciate the labor that went into it. Yours are very pretty too! I like the different hues to the blue scarf! {:-D

  9. Someone gave my mom a ruffle scarf and then she started making them. I think they're her new favorite thing! She has them in several colors, but isn't planing to give them away. Well, she may make some for gifts, but she wanted ruffle scarfs in different colors for herself.

  10. Oh how lovely they are. How delicate looking. Love them!

  11. Wow, those turned out beautiful!! Great work! I love the lacy, airy look.

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  13. These are really beautiful scarves and they look so soft!

  14. These scarves turned out so well, Deb. I don't know how to knit at all...tried it one time, but just couldn't seem to get the hang of it.

  15. Oops, Margaret. I had just finished reading a post from Deb on our team, and had two windows open at the same time. So, right after I posted my comment, I realized that my comment should have been for YOU!


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