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Skulls, Reversible Cables and a Vintage Typewriter

Skulls, Reversible Cables and a Vintage Typewriter

You might think that skulls, reversible cables and a vintage typewriter don't have much in common and you'd probably be right in most cases. Here at my casa, though, they're a few of my very favorite things. I found the vintage typewriter a few years ago at a storage unit auction for $5 and I love the look of it. The thing is heavy and unwieldy but it looks so damn nice in the background of product photos. My mom used to have an antique typewriter when I was a kid and I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. Those rare occasions when I was allowed to type something on it were spectacular. Now I have one of my own and when the humidity isn't too high, I even type on it a wee bit.

Skulls just intrigue me. They always have. As an artist, I enjoyed anatomy training for drawing the human form and the skull always seemed to be a challenge. They find their way into much of my work and someday I intend to make some sort of skull scarf or sweater. I'm not sure, yet, what it will look like, but it will happen eventually. My husband and I have skulls on all sorts of things, including a band of skulls that I hand painted on his kayak to bling it out for him. This skull mug is one of my favorites. It's a go to that I grab several times a week when making my morning Latte. 

 Continuing on with my "and here are a few of my favorite things" monologue...

Now for cable knits. Come on. Cables are just sexy as hell. Imagine that handsome gent in a richly cabled sweater standing at the cliff's edge, the sea roaring below while his faithful Irish Setter bounds up to his side. Yeah. It's a thing I've had for EVER. Something about cable knit whatever makes me wistful and a little turned on. Good lord I have a ridiculous imagination.

For several years I've had this vision of a cabled scarf I wanted to make that would be richly textured, color blocked and look essentially the same on the front and back. The unfortunate thing is that I rarely make anything that requires me to count rows because I tend to knit in snippets here and there. I also usually have several projects going at once; a hat in the car, a scarf by the sofa, a sweater in my travel bag just to name a few. Since I seem to have knitting project ADD, I've let this idea just swim around in my knitting dreams.

On a trip home from visiting friends in Columbus a couple weeks ago I worked out a pattern in my head to try that I didn't think would require a hard core attention span. When we arrived home, I dug through a bit of my yarn stash for some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn that I knew I had odds and ends of left over from some other projects. I ended up using 2 skeins of Onyx Heather (the dark grey), 2 skeins of Dove Heather (the light grey), and 2 skeins of Camel Heather (the tan).

This morning I finished the scarf, curled up cozy on the sofa with Ruby, our lovely new kitten. Here are the results and the pattern for your enjoyment.

The Pattern:

Color 1: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Onyx Heather
Color 2: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Dove Heather
Color 3: 2 skeins Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Camel Heather
(or 300 grams of your favorite worsted weight wool will work just fine)

Size 8 needles
I use a dpn for cables, or you may choose to use a regular cable needle.

Cable Patterns:
C6F = Cable 6 forward = slip 3 sts onto your cable needle and hold at the front of the work. Knit the next 3 sts then knit the 3 from the cable needle.

C6BP = Cable 6 Back to purl = slip 3 sts onto your cable needle and hold at the back of the work. Purl the next 3 sts then purl the 3 from the cable needle.

Both the front and back side cables are worked on the same row - row 5 of the pattern. 

Cast on 54 stitches with Color 1

Row 1: *K6, P6, repeat from * until 6 sts remain. K6.
Row 2 (and all even rows): *P6, K6, repeat from * until 6 sts remain. P6
Row 3: as for 1
Row 5: *C6F, C6BP, repeat from * until last 6 sts, C6F
Row 7, 9, 11 &  13: as for 1

Repeat rows 5-14 until your scarf is the desired length and at the same time work the following color pattern:

  • Color 1: 4 pattern repeats
  • Color 2: 16 pattern repeats
  • Color 1: 2 pattern repeats
  • Color 3: 11 pattern repeats
  • Color 1: 9 pattern repeats
  • Color 3: 8 pattern repeats

After the last cable row, repeat rows 1-4 one time.

Bind off in rib pattern, loosely.

Weave in your loose ends and enjoy your color blocked, reversible cable scarf.

If you prefer to go classic, do the scarf all in one color. You can color block however you desire. This would also be a terrific pattern for leftover yarns that you just can't bear to part with. It would be beautiful in brightly colored random stripes.

The real fun of color blocking like this, for me, is not following a pattern at all for the color. When you get tired of knitting with a color, change to another one. You can't go wrong. Some of the best stripe patterns come from just deciding you're going to change colors when you feel like it. That would make it even more uniquely your own.

If you want to make it even more textured and oversized, you could use chunky weight yarn and size 10.5 needles. It would be more of a wrap, in that case.

My finished scarf ended up approximately 7" across when relaxed. If you want yours narrower, subtract 12 stitches from the cast on. If you want yours wider, add stitches in sets of 12 until your desired width.

Most importantly, have fun! Happy knitting.