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Arctic Wrap

My mom and I have a deal. Every Christmas she gives me an IOU for a class I’d like to take, and in return, I share with her what I learn. Over the years I’ve taken quilting classes, Italian, calligraphy, weaving, machine knitting, the list goes on… What will this year’s class be you ask?!?! Indigo dyeing!

I picture this class in a flower-filled garden or a breezy field (proof, I suppose, that I’ve grown very tired of winter). While I wait to find this perfect springtime class, my imagination fills with inky blues and seeping dyes, and so, I decided to translate the as-of-yet unknown art of indigo dyeing into something I do know… knitting. And since this polar winter is seemingly endless, it feels just right for right now!

For my Arctic Wrap I used Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist merino in the color Heirloom White as a constant backdrop and Purl Soho’s Alpaca Pure for beautiful, shifting color. In a basic 1 stitch x 1 stitch Fair Isle pattern, the blooming halo of Alpaca Pure hovers over the smooth finish of Worsted Twist, highlighting the textural difference and softening the pixilated stitches into a gorgeous knit translation of a dip-dyed fabric.

Working on this generously sized wrap has kept me cozy warm as I daydream about my indigo dyeing class, the sun on my cheeks, my fingers stained deep blue. Are any of you chronic class takers? What are you most curious about lately? Whatever it is, I hope it inspires you to create… maybe even this Arctic Wrap! -Laura

PS: You can get all of the yarn you'll need for this wrap with Purl Soho's Yarn for Arctic Wrap kit!

PPS: Two of my all-time favorite classes have been Improvisational Patchwork with Denyse Schmidt, which my mom and I actually took together, and a Calligraphy Workshop with Maybell Imasa-Stukuls, hosted by Bellocq, whose shop and tea I just LOVE.

Materials 

Purl Soho’s Yarn for Arctic Wrap kit includes…

  • Main Color (MC): 5 skeins of Purl Soho's Worsted Twist, 100% merino wool, in the color Heirloom White
  • Contrast Color 1 (CC1): 3 skeins of Purl Soho's Alpaca Pure, 100% alpaca, in the color Artemisia
  • Contrast Color 2 (CC2): 2 skeins of Purl Soho's Alpaca Pure in the color Steel Blue
  • Contrast Color 3 (CC3): 1 skein of Purl Soho's Alpaca Pure in the color Timeless Navy
  • Contrast Color 4 (CC4): 1 skein of Purl Soho's Alpaca Pure in the color Dark Loam
You’ll also need…

Gauge

  • 20 stitches = 4 inches in Fair Isle stitch (see Rows 1 and 2 of Work First Section of Fair Isle, below)

Finished Size

  • Approximately 90 inches long by 20 inches wide

Notes 

In the TRANSITION sections of the pattern, you will be working with three strands of yarn. I devised an untraditional stranding method in order to disrupt the pattern on wrong side of the fabric as little as possible. Below is a photo tutorial with detailed instructions on how to carry the yarn across the back when working with three strands during these TRANSITION sections.

For Rows 1, 5, and 7 (right side)

Identify the working yarn. Pull it straight up towards you, separating it from the other strands.

Take the working yarn towards the right, then under the other strands and knit.

For Row 8 (wrong side)

Identify the working yarn. Pull it straight up towards you, separating it from the other strands.

Take the working yarn towards the right, then under the other strands and purl.

For Row 9 (right side)

For the Contrast Colors, work in the same way as described above for Rows 1, 5 and 7: Identify the working yarn, take it towards the right, then under the other strands and knit.

For the Main Color, carry it across the top of the one Contrast Color to its left.

Pattern

Begin with a Rolled Edge

With MC, cast on 104 stitches.

Row 1 (right side): Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one time.

Work First Section of Fair Isle

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC1, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for 38 inches.

Transition to CC2

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC2, [k1 with MC, k1 with CC1] three times, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC2.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: *K1 with MC, k1 with CC1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Row 5: *[K1 with MC, k1 with CC1] three times, k1 with MC, k1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC2.

Row 6: Repeat Row 2.

Row 7: Repeat Row 1.

Row 8: *[P1 with MC, p1 with CC1] two times, p1 with MC, p1 with CC2, repeat from * to last two stitches, p1 with MC, p1 with CC1.

Row 9: *K1 with MC, k1, with CC1, k1 with MC, k1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC1.

Row 10: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row.

Work Second Section of Fair Isle

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for 26 inches.

Transition to CC3

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC3, [k1 with MC, k1 with CC2] three times, repeat from * to end of

row. Cut CC3.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: *K1 with MC, k1 with CC2, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Row 5: *[K1 with MC, k1 with CC2] three times, k1 with MC, k1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC3.

Row 6: Repeat Row 2.

Row 7: Repeat Row 1.

Row 8: *[P1 with MC, p1 with CC2] two times, p1 with MC, p1 with CC3, repeat from * to last two stitches, p1 with MC, p1 with CC2.

Row 9: *K1 with MC, k1, with CC2, k1 with MC, k1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC2.

Row 10: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row.

Work Third Section of Fair Isle

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for 12 inches.

Transition to CC4

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC4, [k1 with MC, k1 with CC3] three times, repeat from * to end of round. Cut CC4.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3: *K1 with MC, k1 with CC3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Row 5: *[K1 with MC, k1 with CC3] three times, k1 with MC, k1 with CC4, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC4.

Row 6: Repeat Row 2.

Row 7: Repeat Row 1.

Row 8: *[P1 with MC, p1 with CC3] two times, p1 with MC, p1 with CC4, repeat from * to last two stitches, p1 with MC, p1 with CC3.

Row 9: *K1 with MC, k1, with CC3, k1 with MC, k1 with CC4, repeat from * to end of row. Cut CC3.

Row 10: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC4, repeat from * to end of row.

Work Final Section of Fair Isle

Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC4, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: *P1 with MC, p1 with CC4, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for 6 inches.

Cut MC.

Finish with Rolled Edge

With CC4...

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one time.

Bind off in knit.

Weave in the ends and block as desired.

60 Responses to Arctic Wrap


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  1. purl bee says:

    Hi Alison.
    Yes, this is a very easy pattern to adjust. If you'd like to change the width of the wrap just be sure to cast on a multiple of 8 stitches. For approximately 1/2 this width (at the same gauge) I would cast on either 48 or 56 stitches. For approx. 1/3 this width, I would cast on 32 or 40 stitches.

    I'll let Whitney know how much you love the Stitch Block Cowl. She'll be happy to hear it.
    Thanks,
    Laura

  2. Nigella says:

    Hi Laura,
    I love the Artic Wrap but would like to alter it for a warmer weather. How many skeins of the Line Weight yarn would I require for a similar sized Artic Wrap? If not Line Weight, what other types of yarn would be suitable?

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Nigella.
      My apologies for the delayed response to your questions.

      I adore our Line Weight yarn, but it is incredibly thin and perhaps not ideal for this scarf. I would suggest Blue Sky’s Sport Weight in either Solids or Melange. It does very well in fair isle stitch patterns. Another great yarn for this would be Anzuala’s Cricket. In fact using the Blue Sky Sport Weight for the white or off white color and then the Anzula Cricket for the colors could be a wonderful combination… using an aplaca and a merino together, like the original! Or you could flip flop that idea and use the Anzula for the white and the Blue Sky for the color. This would probably work out better yardage wise!

      As for yardage… That is a very tricky conversion to calculate. The original is quite generous in size. For a nice size wrap, I think that 7 skeins of Blue Sky + the same yardage in white (770 yards) would be a great amount. But you could go up to 10 skeins of blue yarns in Blue Sky Sport Weight + 1110 yards of white. Personally, I would make a swatch of an entire skein and then calculate how many more skeins you’ll need. It’s kind of an undertaking, but perhaps worth it to get the materials right from the start.

      Please let me know if you have any questions at all! I promise to be quicker with my next response.
      Thanks for writing in.
      Laura

      http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/714-Blue-Sky-100-Sport-Weight-Alpaca-Solids
      http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/1105-Blue-Sky-100-Sport-Weight-Alpaca-Melanges
      http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8710-Anzula-Cricket

  3. Claude Salomon says:

    I would love to try this wrap, but I knit Russian style and feed the yarn from the left. Will I have to modify the pattern since my knit and purl stitches are done differently? Please advise.

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Claude,
      Interesting question. I do not believe that you will have to modify the pattern. The only portion that may be tricky is when you’re twisting 3 yarns across the back. You may need to twist them in the opposite direction, but I believe this will become very clear as soon as your swatching it up!
      Let us know how it goes!
      Thanks for writing in.
      Lauta

  4. Emma says:

    hi! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH I CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT IT AHHHHHH
    Ahem.
    I will likely make this when I a) have enough money to buy the yarn, and b) when I have a bit more knitting skill.
    Anyways I have been studying this pattern. (Obsessively) and I was wondering… In the picture it looks like there is a fair amount more of the MC (white) on one end of the scarf than the pattern describes? Am I missing something? It says to do 4 rows of MC only, (In the begin with a rolled edge section) but it looks like.. a whole lot more?
    Just looking for some clarification. No rush.

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Emma!
      You are so sweet. I thrilled you like the pattern so much.

      As for the ends… the pattern is correct. There are just 4 rows of stockinette before the fair isle pattern begins and just 4 rows of stockinette after the fair isle ends.
      Thanks for writing in.
      Best,
      Laura

  5. lisa says:

    I’ve only read up to “Working first section of fairisle” and I’m already confused.

    It’s probably because I’m not a knitter but I’m inspired to try knitting this beautiful scarf. The instructions, however, read “Row 1 (right side): *K1 with MC, k1 with CC1, repeat from * to end of row.” and I don’t know how that second colour of yarn, the CC1, gets integrated into the row. I’m sure this is probably basic knowledge to a knittter, but I’m only learning to knit so may someone clarify this for me? Thanks!

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Lisa.
      I love that you’ve picked such a great big project to learn how to knit.
      This wrap is knit in Fair Isle. It’s a type of colorwork knitting that involves carrying multiple strands of yarn across your work at once. In terms of joining CC1 to the work, when it’s time to start using CC1 simply begin knitting with it. There are lots of tricks to fair isle knitting. I wish we had a more intensive tutorial about it. I hate to send you to another site, but maybe take a look at this tutorial on the basics of fair isle… http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/fair-isle-color-knitting
      I think it may help you.
      Please let me know if you have any questions at all!
      Thanks.
      Laura

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