It's mid-September now, and business has started to pick up with customers planning on doing some holiday knitting. Scarves and dish cloth sets seem to be popular, as are afghans and hats.
But, I repeat, it's mid-September. If you have several recipients on your holiday knit list, you'd better be busy at it.
Today I played around when I should have been doing other things, but it gave me a great idea.
Believe it or not, my biggest online sales are for size US 36 and 50 needles. Huge honkers! So I pulled out a US 50 and thought I'd play with them. I have a fuzzy, acrylic yarn that failed me as a hat. Less than an hour later, I had a fashionable, chic scarf. Pleased with my result, I thought of you holiday knitters and thought I'd tell you about it.
Here are some other things you should consider when knitting scarves:
1) Use a larger needle size than the label recommends.
If you aren't going to follow a pattern and just have some nice yarn, use a larger needle than the yarn label calls for. A worsted yarn label will suggest a US 7 or 8, but that's more for a sweater fabric. A scarf should have more drape, flow and softness. Do it on a 9 or 10 for a looser weave and a less stiff fabric.
2) Use a reversible pattern
When a scarf is looped around a neck, the back side is going to show. Some patterns have really cool back sides, but a reversible pattern is very tidy as it looks the same from both sides. Some to consider:
Garter Stitch (knit every row)
Seed Stitch (k1,p1) ever row on an odd number of stitches
Rib (kp a certain number and k and p what you see). Examples are k1,p1 (that's a 1x1 rib), k2p2, k3p2, etc. Cast on a multiple of your minimum rib repeat. If you are doing a 2x2, then cast on a multiple of 4. If you are doing the 3x2, then cast on a multiple of 5 and you only have one row to remember.
For the more advanced knitter, look for reversible cable patterns. Those are fun.
3.) Knit at least as tall as the recipient.
For a scarf to wrap around once, its length needs to be as tall as the wearer. If your friend is 5' 2", knit at least that much. Usually people go for 6 feet of scarf, but if your friend is taller than that, you'll want to do 7 ft. Or more - it's fun to wrap it around several times or tie intricate knots.
Have fun with your holiday knitting! The joy of giving is felt each time you work on your projects.