Scarf, Neck Warmer, Or Wrap… You Choose


This project was unplanned and unexpected. It was more of an improvisation just like many things I do.

The yarn

At the check out time in one of the woolen mills stores in Ireland, I was short a little in order for my purchase to be shipped home at no extra charge. I picked up a couple of souvenirs and still did not have enough. Then I thought that some yarn should make up for the difference. Without any particular knitting project in mind, since I hadn’t knitted in such a long time, I just grabbed three hanks of yarn at random in whatever color came into my hand.

The scarf

When I came home I couldn’t wait to start knitting my green wool yarn. However, I had no idea what to do with it. I knew it wouldn’t be enough for a major project like a sweater or even a vest and didn’t want to waste it on a smaller project like a hat and had leftovers I could not do much with and had to get more yarn. I figured that it might be sufficient for a scarf without knowing precisely how long the scarf would be. I thought that if the scarf came too short in the end I would continue with another type of yarn of a different color until I got it to a decent size. Its width was only thing I was able to decide on from the beginning.

The patterns

I definitely wanted to create an interesting cable pattern. I was a bit afraid that if I chose something intricate the design might “eat up” my yarn pretty fast. It would also look too chunky and not be as noticeable once it was wrapped around the neck. So, I came up with this pretty simplistic pattern and design.

First appearance

I approximated by eye the size of the first pattern that I used at both ends of the scarf and knitted until I used up almost the entire yarn. The second pattern was a series of repetitive “vines”. I had just enough yarn left to fix the brim of a hat I was working on at the same time. The finished product wouldn’t exactly qualify as a “scarf”. It looked too short, was twisting a lot, and had to be adjusted every time I tried to wear it. I didn’t like how its back looked either no matter how neat the pattern turned out to be and how well the knots were hidden. I had to scratch my neck quite often because the wool was so itchy. I was not pleased with it.

*** See back of patterns below.

The scarf liner idea

Then I thought that maybe I should add a liner made of a soft fabric to put a stop to the itching feel of the wool. I searched a few Fabrics Stores for a fine fleece and could not find what I liked. The fleece I found looked was cheaply made like it was going to fall apart anytime. I was almost ready to give up until I remembered that I had just the right thing in my closet. I knew that the old black fleece scarf I bought a long time ago and had never worn was going to do the trick. Luckily, the length of this scarf was sufficient to cover the entire surface of the back of my new scarf. I cut the black scarf flat in one piece. I had to use its two types of fleece fabric since one face was not as wide as the scarf I made. This is how it originally looked like.

I ironed and steamed the green scarf first to get it stretched out a bit and find out what size liner I needed. I cut the black scarf to size and sewed its edges to the edges of my scarf. I used the entire specked portion of the fabric and the plain black fleece for the remainder of about four inches. I actually liked the two – color look because it offered more wearing options. I ended up with a big “rectangle” that was still kind of short to be called a good size “scarf”.

While I was turning and twisted it around my neck I folded one edge and noticed it had started to take the shape of a “collar”. I tried it both ways, with the two different kinds of fabric up, and really liked each look and soft feel of its inside. I attached a broach to it and liked it even more. I was very pleased with the final look of my project. I called it scarf/neck warmer depending on how I decided to wear it. It started to take the shape of a small wrap as I was lowering it on my shoulders. A simple knitted rectangle became a stylish and versatile piece of clothing that I could wear indoor and outdoor.

*** Place cursor on each photo for description

Making “something” like is very simple. You will need:

  • close to 300 grams/10.5 oz. of wool yarn (rectangular shape with length of 48 inches and width of 12 inches)
  • needles: size 5 mm/US 8
  • liner: any fabric and pattern you like (you may choose a plaid design, for example)
  • crochet hook for hiding knots and yarn ends
  • basic hand sewing skills, sewing needle, thread, and scissors
  • basic knitting skills
  • level of difficulty: advanced beginner
  • working time: about three days with breaks and one or two days for assembling and ironing

Be creative and have fun! Let me know if you need further instructions.

Live simply and happily. You can do it.

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