Monday, January 6, 2014

Free Pattern: Handspun Scarf/Cowl

Last year's Tour de Fleece and Spinzilla events left we with a healthy stash of handspun yarn. I have gifted many skeins to knitting friends (especially those who don't spin), but there are a few skeins that I knew I wanted to save just for me. I was particularly enamored with a Falkland 2-ply I'd made with hand-dyed roving from Hearthside Fibers and Pumpkinhaus. Both of my winter coats just happened to coordinate perfectly with the resulting yarn, and I decided on a simple knit to let all of the variegated colors take center stage.

I should preface this by saying that I really hate knitting scarves - they seem to go on and on without end, and I usually tire of the process. However, I have tons of cowls and shawls in my collection, and it would be nice to have an actual scarf that is big and snuggly. As I was knitting, I thought it would also be nice to have the option of draping it around my neck several times like a cowl, so I decided to add buttonholes before binding off, allowing me to convert it into an infinity scarf if I was so inclined. 
The result is a versatile accessory that is my absolute new favorite. I'm sure there are plenty of garter scarf patterns out here, so I don't claim to have created something brand-new here. However, I thought I'd share the details for anyone who is interested in making something similar, whether it's using handspun or commercially available yarn. 


Handspun Garter Scarf/Cowl by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

  • Approx. 257 yards 2-Ply Falkland Handspun Yarn (6 WPI) - a Bulky or Super Bulky yarn would be an appropriate substitute if you are looking to use a commercially spun yarn
  • US #13 (9mm) straight needles
  • Darning needle
  • 4 Buttons (1" diameter)


12.5 sts and 20 rows = 4" in garter stitch; however, it is not crucial for this project.

Finished Measurements: 

Scarf measures approx. 7" wide and 80" long.


Cast on 24 stitches. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for approx. 76 inches (or desired length). Be sure to leave enough yarn to work the following rows: 

Buttonhole row: [K3, YO, K2tog] four times, K4. 

Next row: K all sts. 

Bind off knitwise. 

Sew buttons on opposite end of buttonholes/bound-off edge. 

Wear and enjoy! 

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