Last year, my youngest nephew fell in love with the Harry Potter books. When my daughters found out, the first thing they did was take him to Pottermore and get him placed in a house. Turns out he’s a Hufflepuff. Now this kid is seriously my number one knitting fan. He once told a teacher that his “Auntie J” is a professional knitter while showing off a hat I made him. So when I find out he’s excited about Harry Potter, I think we all know that means he was getting a house scarf for Christmas.
My first stop was Ravelry, but I wanted something with a little texture that would knit up quickly. A lot of the really high quality scarves are knit in the round or knit flat and seamed. Lovely, but that wasn’t quite what I wanted. Instead, I searched for scarf patterns I liked and decided to stripe from there. The pattern I found is a beautiful one called Voltaire Scarf.
The Voltaire is an easy pattern of two rows and eight stitches in each pattern repeat. Normally I don’t keep a lot of stitch markers in my knitting, but I did for this simply so I didn’t have to count each repeat. It made this a quick knit. Well, as quick a knit as a scarf can take. Because scarves are not quick and this was the only hand-knit Christmas gift I gave out this year.
On one side, the pattern has you skip one stitch, knit the second stitch, leaving it on the needle; then knit the skipped stitch, and slip both stitches from needle together. And it means exactly that: Knit the second stitch, knit the first stitch and THEN slip them off the needle. It causes a beautiful twisty row. In case you were wondering, it appears to be on the opposite side of the scarf you see in each of these photos.
The combination of purls and knits cause this to be a really squishy scarf (deep valleys). That coupled with the yarn made this such a soft, snuggly scarf.
I knit this in Knit Picks Swish DK. It was the only yarn I could find in the appropriate colors (also purchased in Slytherin colors for one of the Fidgety Daughters). This is a superwash Merino so it’s washable. And wow is this yarn soft. It also washes up well (washer and dryer) which is a good for a younger kid in the winter.
Because this is an easily memorized, easily knit pattern, sometimes I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have. Every so often that would result in my knitting the wrong pattern on the wrong side (though strangely enough, usually only for one pattern repeat in a row). I could often fix it easily if it was in a knit or purl row, but it was not an easy fix if the swapped side stitch was the knit second stitch. Because of the swap, it would require dropping down two rows and re-swapping every other row as I hooked it back up. If the swap was in the black, I usually left it. This black is very dark so it’s hard to see the stitch definition and I’m assuming my nephew won’t notice. If it was in the yellow, usually I would frog the scarf. But not if it was two color changes below where I was.
All-in-all, this is a beautiful scarf. However, my lovely nephew opened an unfinished scarf as those ends took FOREVER to weave in (and yes, I knot them in). When he got the finished scarf the following week, I think he liked it. But mostly he just ran off to play with my daughters (his favorite people in the world).
When I make matching house scarves for the Fidgety Daughters, I think my repeats will be longer than 20 rows. I also knit these on US 7. This didn’t make a very wide scarf, which is fine for my nephew’s size. For my daughters, I will probably go up a size or two. I’m curious how this will look a little looser.
- Slip the first stitch of each row (which I usually don’t do. And I did. But I don’t think it looks that much different)
What did you knit as Christmas gifts for 2017? Let me know in the comments (and don’t forget to include links to the patterns or projects).