It’s time to share the very first design in the Something to Knit Together – Winter Edition: the Assembly Scarf! This is the first of five mystery patterns that’ll be released throughout December 2020 and January 2021, and what better way to start than with the one item that many beginner knitters choose as their first project? Scarves are a time-honoured favourite.
When I began working on the collection, I was very clear in my mind that I wanted to create stitchwork that was rhythmic, relaxing and soothing. This is something that I build into all my designs, but it was particularly important here because the pattern needed to be accessible to beginners but also engaging for knitters with more experience. Here are five ways in which I did this.
- Every right-side row is a plain row
With the exception of the cabling, every other row is plain knitting. Actually, there are relatively few purl stitches in this collection! This gives you time off for what I call ‘good behaviour’ and, once the stitch pattern is set, makes it easier to keep track of where you are. Working the pattern on only one side of the knitting is great for long-term concentration and peace of mind.
- All the cables twist in the same direction
If you’re new to the cabling technique, you’ll appreciate this very much. You can absorb the learning and master the cable needle without having to worry about whether it should be at the back or front of the knitting. It will always be in the same position regardless of where you are in the pattern. Another bonus is that the border cables and internal cables are numerical factors/multiples of each other, which helps with counting rows between cables. The number of rows between twists remains the same throughout, so you won’t have to fill your notebook with many numbers at all!
- The pattern is hackable
I’ll be coming back to pattern hacks in future posts – hack-ability is a design feature of the entire collection, but it’s far too early to give everything away! – and eagle-eyed knitters with a penchant for customisation may have spotted an opportunity to put a new twist on the Assembly scarf (pun intended). Although the scarf is beautiful as it is, you can choose to incorporate the following hacks if you have experience and/or confidence:
– have two of the four cables twisting left instead of right as directed in the pattern. Effectively you could split the pattern down the middle to have each pair of cables (border and internal) twisting in different directions. The movement of each pair of cable twists could face in towards the centre, or out towards the borders;
– create a tighter twist on the larger border cables by cabling them simultaneously with the smaller internal cables. This would create a puffier, more doughnut-like effect;
– turn the scarf into a cowl – Jen has included instructions for those who might want to do this, so you can get two accessories for the price of one!
- The stitch pattern helps you to keep track of your knitting
I created a large basketweave-style texture incorporating garter stitch and stocking stitch, and you can see that this offsets to create what’s called a half-drop pattern repeat. Each square of stocking stitch and garter stitch is worked simultaneously for an identical number of rows before being offset. If you look closely at the texture, you’ll see that there are six ridges of garter stitch in each square. So between the cables and the garter stitch, you’re in safe hands!
- Accessibility options
Speaking of safe hands, it would be remiss not to mention that Jen and Jim have lovingly put together photo and video tutorials to help anyone learning to cable. There are interactive links in the pattern for accessing the video content, and the pattern instructions are in charted AND written form. Seasoned knitters can follow their preferred mode of instruction, whereas those new to either charts or text can gain familiarity with both and see how each mode of communication works to produce identical results. If you don’t already know how superb the Arnall-Cullifords are at teaching, you’ll soon find out!
Although the discount codes in my previous post have now expired, you can still get your hands on some of the yarn kits if you aren’t knitting from your stash. As well as buying the ebook, you can grab an accessories kit that will do for all three of the accessory items in the collection. As I write, the Blue Lovers colourway of the accessories kit has sold out, but there are four more gorgeous options and all include free worldwide shipping. You can also see more photos of Jen modelling the scarf on Ravelry and the A-C Knitwear website. (Note: more photos will be added to these pages with each pattern release.)
Finally, all knitters are warmly invited to join the Knitalong Hub on Jen and Jim’s website! They have created a group especially for the collection, and do keep an eye out for details of Zoom meetups on the Arnall-Cullifords’ blog and Instagram over the next couple of months. You’ll be in excellent company (if I do say so myself!), and there’ll be friendly support from other knitters working on their Assembly scarves.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to introduce the next pattern in the collection, so stay tuned – and I’m looking forward to seeing some of your Assembly scarves pop up in the wild!
Happy knitting x