Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to Knit a Scarf (for a toddler!)

I'm back from my Thanksgiving coma and I hope you had a wonderful holiday! In honor of Small Business Saturday, I ventured out into West Hollywood to a local yarn store -- Zoe Zeynep -- and picked up a skein of purple yarn for my niece. Today's post is going to be a very simple one - how to knit a scarf. I found this pattern on Detailed Party Mom and thought it was ideal for a 2 year old. While it's 75 and sunny here in SoCal, it's 35 degrees in New York so scarves can be ideal holiday gifts when the weather gets chilly!

Step 1: Pick your yarn

Think of who is going to be wearing it, where they'll be wearing it, and how often. Is this something they're going to have to hand wash or can they put it in the washer/dryer? Is it itchy? How thick is it? These are just some questions to ask yourself before buying anything. Note that you can use either straight needles or round, it doesn't matter. I went with a yarn that was multi-colored so I wouldn't have to worry about swapping one color for another!

Step 2: Cast on 18 stitches

Watch the video below I made for my headband/cowl post - only note that you'll be making 18 stitches, not 20.

By the time you cast on 18 stitches, it should look something like this:

Step 3: Knit 2, Purl 1 for 19"

This is going to take the longest but it's the easiest! You're going to take the knitting in your left hand and move it to the right hand needle. To do so:
 1.) Put the right needle through the first stitch to the back, making a cross.

2.) Wrap the yarn around the back needle

3.) Pull the back (right hand) needle under the left needle

4.) And push off so the stitch goes onto the right needle.

Do the same thing again so you have two knit stitches on the right needle.

Then you purl 1 stitch. To do so:

1.) Bring the yarn in your right hand to the front

2.) Put the right needle under the stitch

3.) Wrap the warn around

4.) Push the front (right hand) needle under the left needle

5.) And push off so the stitch goes onto the right needle.

Now bring the yarn to the back and knit two, bring the yarn to the front, purl one, bring the yarn to the back, knit two, bring the yarn to the front, purl one, etc. This is what the instructions mean when they say, "K2, P1 every row"

Still not sure how to knit and purl? This video is the best explaining how to knit and purl a stitch (I would make a video myself but it wouldn't be nearly as clear as this one!).

When you purl the very last stitch on the left needle, switch the needles around so the stitches are on the left side so you're always knitting onto the right side.

Ok, so you've done this for about 19" inches and it should look something like this:

Now it's time to make the hole - to do so, the instructions call for casting off. Essentially all you're doing is knitting 2 stitches:

Then taking that first stitch, the one all the way to the right, picking it up with your left needle

 and dragging it over the other stitch.

Again, knit one stitch, grab the first stitch, drag it over the other stitch, knit one, grab and drag it over, etc. for 10 stitches. If this still doesn't make sense, this video shows you what I mean. When you're done, it should look something like this:

For the next set of instructions, it says you need to cast on 10 stitches in the middle of a row. To do that, completely flip over your knitting needles so what was in your left hand is now in your right hand, and cast on the stitches just like you did in the beginning. When you're done, you'll have created a little hole:

Finishing knitting 2, purling 1 until the scarf has reached 25", then cast off the stitches, just like you did when you created your hole.

Now you can either sew on a button like the original post did or you can do what I did and put one section through the hole and hopefully this way the scarf won't become undone when your little toddler wears it under their jacket!

TOTAL COSTS: $8.50 for 1 skein of yarn
Note that prices will vary depending on how much yarn you buy, what it's made of, etc.

3 1/2 hours to knit 19"
20 minutes to make the hole
45 minutes to knit final inches
5 minutes to cast off

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 3 out of 5 if you've never knit before
You're learning a lot of new things with this pattern - how to cast on, how to knit, how to cast off and on in the middle of a row... but with the videos and photos provided, hopefully this will ease any sort of hesitation you might have and you'll give it a shot!

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