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Tuesday
Nov152011

Whit's Knits: Rick Rack Scarf

I recently unearthed the first project I ever knit, a moth-eaten stockinette scarf. I made it over twenty years ago while I was spending a school year in rural France. My French "mother" was the town librarian and an amazing knitter. She opened her stash basket to me and walked me through every step of that crazy scarf.

Since then I've made dozens of scarves, and I wonder sometimes if I've run out of fresh ideas for the next one. After all, the criteria for a scarf pattern are rather stringent: something that lies flat, that looks good on both sides and that has a soft and beautiful drape. I was so happy to discover this Rick Rack Rib; it meets all of those standards and also happens to evoke one of my all time favorite things, rick rack! Thanks, Barbara Walker!

With the holiday season upon us, I made sure to use a super special yarn for the super special people on your list, including scarf-o-phobe men! Jade Sapphire's softer-than-soft 8 Ply Mongolian Cashmere amazes everyone with its cloud-like loft and downy touch. This is definitely a far cry from that first wonky scarf!

 

The Materials

  • 4-5 skeins of Jade Sapphire's 8 Ply Cashmere, 100% Mongolian Cashmere. This color is Sterling. Four skeins will make a 53-inch long scarf and five skeins will make one 66 inches long.
  •  US #8 knitting needles, straight or circular.

 

The Pattern

Gauge

6 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in Rick Rack Rib

Finished Size

With 5 skeins: 7 inches wide and 66 inches long

With 4 skeins: 7 inches wide and 53 inches long

Begin

Cast on 46 stitches. (The Rick Rack Rib works over any multiple of 3 plus 1.)

Row 1 (right side): P1, *skip first stitch, knit into back loop of second stitch (leaving stitch on left needle), knit into front of first stitch (removing both stitches from left needle), p1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2 (wrong side): K1, *purl into second stitch (leaving stitch on left needle), purl into first stitch (removing both stitches from left needle), k1, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 53 or 66 inches long (depending on how many skeins you're using), ending with Row 2.

Bind off on a right side row in a p1, k2 pattern.

Weave in your ends and gently block!

Here's How to Do It!

Row 1:

To "knit into back loop of second stitch" bring the right needle to the back of the work and insert it into the back of the second stitch on the left needle and knit:

Then, leaving that stitch on the left needle, go on with "knit into front of first stitch" by bringing the right needle around to the front of the work and knitting the first stitch through the front loop, just like you normally would:

Now take both stitches off the left needle, bring the yarn to the front of the work and purl 1 stitch.

Row 2:

To "purl into second stitch" bring the yarn to the front of the work and purl into the second stitch on the left needle, just like a normal purl stitch:

Then, leaving that stitch on the left needle, go on with "purl into first stitch" by purling the first stitch through the front loop, like you normally would:

Now take both stitches off the left needle, bring the yarn to the back of the work and knit 1 stitch.

And here's what the right side of the Rick Rack Rib looks like!

Reader Comments (76)

Hi Erica-

Here is a tutorial about how we suggest blocking things. It's very gentle so it won't felt your scarf!

Thanks for writing in!

Molly
October 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there - I don't have quite enough time to read through all of these comments to see if you already answered this, so sorry if this is duplicate! I'd love to do this with two colors to have vertical stripes going up the scarf, but I am wondering if having to carry the strands over when switching colors would ruin the look of the stitches? Have you ever done this with more than just one solid color? Thanks!
November 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Hi Danielle,

I haven't tried it, but it sounds like a great experiment! I think you'll have to start with a little swatch to see how it goes. If it goes well, you've got yourself a very cool scarf idea!

Thanks for asking!
Whitney
November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I really like your rick rack pattern! thank you for sharing it with us :)
I tried to make a rick rack ribbing for my hat, but it doesnt seems to work out well.. I guess I make mistake somewhere...

Does anyone has tried the round knit pattern?
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterputri
Hi!

I love this scarf but I'd like to ask if it's possible to do it in 2 colours - for example the rick rack in grey and the flatter stitches in black? And if so, which colours would be which stitches in the pattern?

I'd appreciate any help :)
December 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
Thanks , started my test patch. Have you try to make a hat with it?
December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYasmin
Hi Yasmin-

We don't have a hat pattern in this stitch but thank you for your interest!

Best-

Molly
December 17, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Jessica,

I've never tried it, but it may work. One problem you might encounter is having to strand (or carry) the yarn on both sides of the scarf which sounds potentially messy. Try a swatch, see what happens! I imagine you'd knit the front side rick rack in one color and the purl stitch in the other color.

Let us know what happens and thanks for your question!

Whitney
December 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love this stitch!

I was wondering if you tried knitting into the back of the second stitch, then knitting the first stitch, but instead of just purling the next two - use the pattern from the second row and purl into the second stitch, then into the first? That might create a reversible knit. I think that would show the pattern on both sides. I'll have to try that.
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Hi Dave.

Cool idea! Sounds promising, let us know how it goes!

Whitney
January 3, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
did you know about this? this blogger lists your pattern, uses your pictures, etc. see number 85. they link back to you, but.. still.....
January 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelly
Would this work with the Cascade Eco Alpaca? I was thinking the Charcoal Twist for hubby...
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi Sarah-

The Eco is a little bit thinner but will probably work out fine. Just make sure to knit a gauge swatch before you jump in.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
February 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i really wan to make this scarf..bt y i cant understand the instruction..about the knit at d back bt st still at the left..can anybody u hve ald done this scarf tell me..mybe u cn post pic step by step..btw im a beginner
February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfabel
i almost done this scarf..but i dont know how to bind off with p1 k2 pattern..cn anyone tell me in detail..thanx purl bee,..because of ur pattern ive made a really nice scarf 4 my frenz
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterikeuchiaya
Hi ikeuchiaya,

To bind off in a p1, k2 pattern, you p1, *k1, pass the stitch over (like a normal bind off!), k1, pass the stitch over, p1, pass the stitch over, repeat from * to end of the row.

i hope this helps! Please let us know if you're still stuck and thanks for your question!

Whitney
March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is a gorgeous pattern. Simple but classy. I love it. I'll keep it in a corner of my head for my futur works.
June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdé
Thank you for this beautiful pattern. The only problem I am having is correcting errors I make when I knit past the time I am too sleepy to knit! I cannot figure out a way to unknit, so I can correct an error a couple of inches back on my needle. Any suggestions ? Thanks
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSunfish
Hi Sunfish,

It is, of course, possible to unknit stitch by stitch, but I'm not sure it's possible to explain it in writing! One thing to look out for is that many of the stitches are out of order, meaning that the second stitch may be third on the needle (for example).

If this hurts your head and if you're not using a slippery yarn, you might be best off removing the stitches from the needle and unraveling your work to the row where you made the mistake.

Thanks so much for your question and please let us know if you have any more!

Whitney
November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I absolutely adore this pattern, and I have the perfect yarn to use, but I was wondering if there was any way to make the pattern reversible?
Thanks!
November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
Lindo esse ponto. Mas não entendi como é feito. Gostaria muito de fazer um cachecol com esse ponto. Poderia me explicar melhor? Ou existe algum vídeo?
November 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilda
HI Becca,

I haven't worked out a way to make this stitch reversible, but a reader named Dave did leave a comment last year with his idea about how it might work. He said,

"I was wondering if you tried knitting into the back of the second stitch, then knitting the first stitch, but instead of just purling the next two - use the pattern from the second row and purl into the second stitch, then into the first? That might create a reversible knit. I think that would show the pattern on both sides. I'll have to try that."

I agreed with him that, yes, he would have to try that! I hope that someone lets us know how it goes!

Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have more!

Whitney
November 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this scarf! What cast on method did you use?
December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia B.
Hi Patricia B-

We used a long tail cast on.

Thank you!

Molly
December 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a lovely lovely scarf. But using 5 skeins of the yarn suggested would cost about $250. That's a lot for a scarf!
January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNik
Hi Nik-

This scarf is made from a very special yarn so it is a bit of a splurge. However we are always happy to recommend less expensive (but still beautiful!) options! This project will work with any worsted weight yarn. Below are some ideas:

3 Skeins of Eco Cloud http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8065-Cascade-Yarns-Eco-Cloud This yarn is soft and comes in great natural colors!

3 Skeins of Purlsoho's Worsted Twist http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/9239-Purl-Soho-Worsted-Twist Our exclusive 100% Merino is soft and smooth. The color "Sea Salt" would be a great substitution for the cashmere yarn we originally used.

2- 3 Skeins of For Better or Worsted http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7913-Anzula-For-Better-or-Worsted This yarn is also very soft and comes in a beautiful rainbow of hand dyed colors.

Please let us know if you need any more help with this project and thanks for getting in touch!

Molly
January 15, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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