Scarf #22: a variation of the Shibori Felted Scarf

Scarf Number 22!

Pattern: based on Leigh Radford, Shibori Felted Scarf

source: Knitche, Downers Grove, IL

Yarn: Lamb's Pride, worsted weight, from my stash, in pink, rose and lilac; amount used: 3 skeins (1 of each color)

Other supplies: white cotton string or yarn, something with round edges that can be used to make the Shibori reliefs in the fabric ( I purchased a set of various sizes of small wooden balls from the Knitche, which can be used over and over)

Needle: size 9 Addi circular, 24"

Gauge: 16 st and 21 rows to 4" before felting

Size: 9" x 54" before felting, 7" by 54" after felting

Pattern: Cast on 20 stitches. Throughout scarf, do a 2-stitch garter edge on each side of scarf to keep edges from rolling.

Color 1: Odd rows: K2, K16, K2. Even rows: K2, P16, K2. Continue until you've used about one half of your first color.

Color 2: Change to second color by doing 2 rows of knit stitch to create garter stitch border between colors. Continue as with color 1 until you're about halfway done with this color.

Color 3: Change to third color by doing 2 rows of garter stitch. Knit all rows to create garter stitch center. Continue with pattern until color 3 is used up.

Complete scarf by repeating Color 2 section. Lastly, use up Color 1: pattern here is 4 rows of stockinette stitch alternating with 2 rows of garter stitch OR Row1: Knit. Row 2: K2, P16, K2.P2 (repeat these two rows twice). Row 5 and 6: Knit all stitches.

Finishing process: Bind off stitches of last row. Sew in loose ends but leave a 2-3" tail, to be trimmed after felting. Place shapes at random on ends of scarf, placing the shape on the wrong side of scarf, pushing it through to the right side and placing a tight tie of string around"neck" of bump on the right side of the scarf.

Place scarf in lingerie bag. Fill washing machine, at lowest level, with hot water and a small amount of detergent. Add a pair of jeans or a bath towel to aid the felting. Add lingerie bag with scarf. Let wash cycle run for about 5 min. Check scarf. If you want to have a thicker, stiffer scarf, continue the process of washing and checking until you are satisfied. Then, remove scarf from the machine, rinse by HAND (don't let it go through the spin cycle), lay flat to dry. When completely dry, snip carefully at cotton threads, remove shapes, and Tada! a felted Shibori scarf!

If I had it to Do Over Again:
  • Next time, I'll use a larger knitting needle. Over the weekend, I saw that my mother was making a beautiful garter-stitch scarf on size 17 needles and moving FAST, and I thought, why am I fussing around on such small needles? Felting can happen with any gauge, and probably, the more open the fabric is, the better it will drape after felting.

  • Felt it in the washing machine, but finish it by rinsing it by hand. The spin cycle was the lazy woman's choice, and I was happier with the softness of the scarf before I let it spin out.

  • Just to keep yourself awake, you could do this scarf in a simple alternation of stockinette and garter stitch. About 4 rows of stockinette to 2 of garter is about right: not enough texture to distract from the Shibori element, but enough to give your mind something to occupy itself with.