Many of these new knitters are choosing to knit garter stitch scarves - beautiful, non-rolling, reversible fabric that is generally color blocked in some manner to use the blue and white colors that have been selected for the Super Scarves.
|Garter Stitch - "public" side|
|Garter Stitch - "non-public"side|
But what if we could make that little variegation work for us instead of against us. By just introducing one slight change, we can make an entirely different pattern. Take a look at this next swatch - both sides are exactly the same. (here I've used some super bulky yarns so the stitch definition shows up, and I'm letting my Michigan side show through!)
And the fabric remains non-rolling. What was the one little change? Just knit 1 row of each color at a time instead of 2. So the pattern goes like this. Cast on in blue, knit 1 row yellow, knit 1 row blue, knit 1 row yellow, knit 1 row blue... you get the picture. Fascinating no? This creates those lovely little 2-color raised ribbons on a stockinette background.
Cool, sure, but if I only knit one row of each color at a time, won't I have to cut and rejoin the yarn every row???? That's way too many ends to weave in, and a huge waste of yarn. Here's the trick: use a double point needle or a circular needle instead of typical straights. I vote for the circular if you have to go purchase some 'cause they are so versatile. Everything you can do on straights, you can do on a circular needle, but you can do so much more on a circular.
Now for the trick - after you've knit the first row - do not turn your work to knit the next row. Instead, slide all the stitches back to the other end of the needle, and the other color of yarn should be waiting there for you. Knit across with that color, and now both colors should now be at the same end of the needle. Now you can turn and work each color back across, one color at a time, in the same order as established on the previous row.
What ever color you knit first across the row will form the outside bumps on the raised "ribbon". In this swatch, the blue was knit first, followed by the yellow. An entirely different look is created.
Have fun with this technique - I'll be writing up a pattern for a Super Scarf using this technique shortly. UPDATE - The pattern is available over on the right hand side of the blog under the complimentary patterns section - look for "The Trick Play Scarf."