Pattern by Felecia O’Connell
Featured in KnitScene Fall 2014
Available for purchase on Ravelry:
Skills Needed: Slip stitch
I often have trouble finding manly patterns. I find that a lot of the patterns designed for males are so laden down with cable work the end result is a trussed man in an elegant yarn-rope sweater. Accessories are a beast of their own. Forget delicate lace work or colorful fair isle, scarves for men seem to be cursed with boring stitches and drab colors. Granted, a nice earth-tone has a special place in my heart, but the options seem so limited for men. So, when setting out to knit a scarf for my son’s godfather, my heart was heavy and my hopes were not high. By chance, when thumbing through my Fall 2014 KnitScene magazine, I spotted this Stout Scarf. Perfect! Not only was the pattern boldly displayed in a blue and cream color (not drab at all) it had an interesting looking stitch!
Much to my chagrin, when I asked what colors would be best for the recipient of the scarf, I was told brown. Not exactly the bold, colorful project I was looking for, but browns can be very nice, too. The project is worked with the yarn held double, so the name does not lie. The end result is a stout scarf. It is thick and warm and conjures thoughts of cold days and thick, dark beer. The pattern was easy to memorize, so there was no need to tote around instructions or notes. I will say that the stitch, which involves a slip stitch, is very simple but hypnotic. My warning is to pay attention, don’t get so caught up in the knitting rhythm you forget to check that your work still makes sense.
Also, while the stitch is simple and the pattern easy to follow, it is not necessarily a quick knit. It is dense and long. If you are knitting it on a timetable, I’d give yourself at a good three weeks. Not only is the going sometimes a little slow, but, at least with my wool yarn selection, I had to spend some time blocking my scarf. As with many scarves worked in the stockinette stitch, it curls in on itself. (How annoying.) I would have added a garter stitch border to the pattern had I been thinking, but obviously I was not thinking and thus was left with a beautiful, curling scarf. To help combat the odious curl, I later added a double crochet border along the sides of the scarf to help it lay flat.
This scarf is a great, manly looking project for anyone looking to knit a gift for someone of the male persuasion in his or her life. The two-color lattice can be worked in any number of combinations, drab or otherwise, and it is a nice break from the man=cable mantra. It can be dressed up or down, especially depending on your color choice. This is a fun project.
Summary: This is a six-foot long scarf with a fringe. It is worked with the yarn held double and employs a simple slip stitch to create the two-colored latter effect. Be mindful, it is essentially a stockinette stitch pattern and is therefore at risk of curling in on itself. That was my only complaint about the pattern. This can be minimized depending on your yarn type and guage, but can also be remedied by adding a two to three stitch garter stitch border on either side of your scarf. Works up reasonably fast, though not a speed project.