Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leaf Scarf

Tree Scarf just naturally lead to Leaf Scarf. I could have chosen green for the leaf; but I had already used Sage for Tree. I'm not sure why I didn't use Charcoal, Suede or Sable for the bark; perhaps I wanted something soft and mossy. For this scarf, though, I did want a Spring/Summer leaf, not a Fall one, so I chose Daffodil from one of the 42 colours of Fantastic Knitting Zephyr lace weight yarn. A favourite time of year, for me, is that first week or so of May, when the tiny leaves start on the trees and the world is suddenly a yellow- green. I wanted to capture that concept of Leaf in the scarf so I used yellow and a small leaf pattern.

There are lots of leaf patterns in lace. Many tend to be quite regular and structured. Those first leaves of Spring are small, fragile and very lacey. The branches on which they sprout are a tangle of arcs and crosses, so I needed a lace pattern that suggested this random energy. Barbara Walker's collection of knitting stitches is an invaluable resource. The pattern I chose required some purling together of stitches on the return row. But the work wasn't too mind bending, so I knew that an intermediate knitter could manage this.

Next, the scarf needed a lacey border. There is a variation of feather and fan called Swiss Fan that has a small branching or arc to its stitches, so I decided to create a border around the entire leaf section with this fan stitch. The scarf is worked in two sections and joined at the centre back with either a three-needle bind off or Kitchener Stitch.

When I graft lace, I pin the two sections to be grafted out on a blocking board facing each other. I then slowly remove the needles or blocking wires just a little, pinning down the few live stitches that are released. I then graft them together. I repeat this process until both sections are seamlessly :) joined!

I joined the original scarf with a three-needle bind-off and it looks just lovely, so you can take your pick. Leaf scarf makes a pretty shoulder cover-up.
Don't limit yourself to the colours I mentioned earlier, either. Leaves in the moonlight can be blue, silver or grey and then there are all the colours of the Autumn leaves. Buy extra yarn, cast on more stitches and turn Leaf Scarf into a stole. Make the border twice as wide and twice as long, if you are going to do this, for porportion.

It's the end of February to-day and snowy and cold up here. I just want to run out side and see leaves! Where is that scarf? It's a great substitute!

1 comment:

  1. I think there may be a mistake in your charts. As I can't seem to decrease down to 66 stitches at the end of row 24 to start on row 1 E Graph. Please advise or update the pattern.

    My email at

    Ravelry ID is Judith.

    Thanks so much for your help.