I've written several books with the words "Last-Minute" in the title, so you can imagine that I occasionally relish the exact opposite! Especially in the depths of winter, I love to sink my teeth into a project whose gratification may not be immediate but whose pleasure is deeply satisfying. My Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf is just that!

Not only does this scarf represent a month or two of on-again-off-again knitting, but its pinstripes actually serve as a record of my production. I wanted the stripes to be syncopated and unexpected, but have you ever tried to be intentionally random? It's hard! So instead, I devised a rule that would ensure arbitrary line-placement: If I put the project down for more than eight hours I would start the next knitting session with a stripe. I figured my available knitting time was the most random thing I could chronicle!

For a three-season decandently soft scarf, I used our very own Line Weight. It creates such luminosity with its fine halo of downy merino, and in Heirloom White with fine lines of Dark Loam, the effect is like a graphite drawing on cotton rag paper, loose and mysterious.

For long-term knitting, I almost always choose garter stitch. I love its rhythmic certainty, its simplicity and lofty warmth. And knit on the bias, garter stitch has a fresh, graphic impact that satisfies my inner aesthete! I hope you enjoy the mesmerizing cadence of my Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf as much as I did! -Joelle

Materials

  • Purl Soho's Line Weight, 100% merino wool.
    • Main Color: 3 skeins; I used Heirloom White.
    • Stripe Color: 1 skein; I used Dark Loam.
  • US size #3, 24-inch circular needles, or size required to achieve gauge (Note: I used a circular needle in order to have enough length to accommodate all 120 stitches; this project is NOT knit in the round).

Gauge

7 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in garter stitch

Size

Finished Dimensions: Approximately 11-inches wide x 74-inches long

Note

Do all slip stitches knitwise with the yarn in back.

Pattern

Increase Section

NOTE: There are no stripes in the increase or decrease sections of the scarf.

With Main Color, cast on 3 stitches.

Set-up Row: Slip 1, knit into front and back (kfb), k1. (4 stitches)

Increase Row: Slip 1, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1. (1 stitch increased)

Repeat Increase Row until there are 120 stitches.

Main Stitch Pattern

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1, k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

NOTE: If you want, place a removable stitch marker (or safety pin or scrap of yarn) on the right side of the work to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1, knit to end of row.

Stripe Pattern

At the end of a wrong side row, cut Main Color yarn.

Stripe Row 1 (right side): Switching to Stripe Color, slip 1, k2tog, pick up tail end of Stripe Color and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

Cut the Stripe Color yarn.

NOTE: When working each of the next 2 rows be sure to knit the nine double stranded stitches as only one stitch each.

Stripe Row 2 (wrong side): Switching to Main Color, slip 1, k1, pick up tail end of Main Color and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to end of row.

Stripe Row 3: Slip 1, k2tog, pick up tail end of Main Color from 2 rows below and k9 using both working yarn and tail, drop tail, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1.

Stripe Row 4: Slip 1, knit to end.

Trim tail ends that have been knit in. Carefully weave in tail of Stripe Color from the end of Stripe Row 1 through the stripe stitches. For the most invisible results use Duplicate Stitch for garter stitch. Trim tail end.

Continue with Rows 1 and 2 of the Main Stitch Pattern, working the Main Stitch Pattern and Stripe Row as desired, until work measures approximately 74 inches from the cast on to the top left corner (with right side facing you).

Decrease Section

Decrease Row: Slip 1, k2tog, knit to end of row. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat Decrease Row until 2 stitches remain. Cut yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches.

Weave in beginning and end tails.