Friday, November 26, 2010

The 500 scarf pattern development

Like many of you I’m sure, it’s been a challenge to navigate work, family, holidays lately…but I have been making a point to make time for knitting. I’m just trying to multi-task as much as possible. As I've posted about recently, I'm involved in thethe super scarves program for the 2012 Superbowl that will be hosted by the City of Indianapolis. 

The super scarves program is an opportunity to engage many knitters (and teach many new knitters) to make a scarf that will be given to a volunteer working at the 2012 super bowl in Indianapolis (US football). That’s 8,000 scarves. No set pattern, just have to incorporate blue and white. I’ve been helping to teach new knitters at the library 4 times a month. I’ve been coming up with some simple slip stitch patterns that allow then to incorporate some color work while still mostly knitting.  Slip stitch patterns have been around for a long time, as a way to work in two colors at a time without having to carry both colors at the same time.  These patterns can generally be completed in all knit  (garter) and don't have long floats across the back, which makes them suitable for a scarf pattern -even though they aren't always reversible, the back side is still somewhat presentable.

For this pattern, I wanted to come up with something that would really say “Indianapolis” - In my mind, nothing says “indy” like the Indianapolis 500. So I worked up a slip stitch mosaic design of an Indy car. Those slip stitch designs are tricky little devils… seems so easy when you look at all of Barbara Walker’s designs, but I quickly found out there are a lot of rules. I swatched out three different versions. The all solid versions look more like a car, but have too many slipped stitches in a row that causes the piece to roll and pull. So I had to work in some alternate color slip stitches to keep the piece flat and to avoid long floats.

For the scarf design itself, I’m mixing in a checkerboard pattern from B Walkers second treasury with 11 rows of three cars abreast. That’s the traditional line up for the start of the Indy 500 - 33 cars total.

After knitting the first block of cars, I added a couple of rows of plain white garter to off set the cars.  Blocking is going to be a must based on the slight changes in tension between the different blocks of stitch designs.   I'm working on the chart and the pattern write up and will post it soon.


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