Thursday, February 23, 2012

Knitting Pattern: Mommy and Me Snaky Sevens Scarves

This is my first attempt at a knitting pattern. It is for two scarves, made as a set, one for an adult and one for a younger child. The adult's scarf measures approximately 5" wide by 62" long, whereas the child's scarf measures approximately 3" wide by 43" long. This can be made using two skeins of the same yarn in different colors. Feel free to use colors other than those specified. For that matter, feel free to use a higher-quality yarn of the same weight, as the grade of yarn I used isn't terribly soft and so isn't as snuggly and flexible as one might desire in the adult's scarf.

Also, if you decide to make only one scarf, you'll likely only use half a skein of each color, or if you prefer, one skein of one color/design.

Gauge is not critical with this pattern; however, try to get a gauge as close as possible to what I've knitted in order to get the same size scarves as I have as well as to avoid the risk of running out of yarn. The gauge listed is based on my knitting, not that of the average knitter. The gauge for the adult's scarf, using size 9 U.S. needles, is: 3 stitches and 5 rows per 1 inch in stockinette stitch. The gauge for the child's scarf is: 3.5 stitches and 6 rows per 1 inch in stockinette, using size 8 needles.

Feel free to contact me with any questions, corrections or improvements to the pattern. Thank you!

Snaky Sevens Scarf Set Pattern

Interesting Note: I've called this pattern "Snaky Sevens" because the rows of stitches go in multiples of seven, and the majority of knitting is done in either stockinette or reverse stockinette, creating sections that curl or "snake" back and forth.


  • 1 skein Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn - Solids (100% Acrylic Worsted Weight Yarn, Medium 4, 4.5 oz. skein/277 yards), in Cadet (Color A)
  • 1 skein Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn - Solids (100% Acrylic Worsted Weight Yarn, Medium 4, 4.5 oz. skein/277 yards), in Fern (Color B)
  • 1 pair size 9 U.S. (5.5 mm) knitting needles
  • 1 pair size 8 U.S. (5.0 mm) knitting needles
  • 1 yarn or darning needle or crochet hook (for weaving in ends)

Instructions, Adult's Scarf:

Cast on eighteen stitches using a double strand of Colors A and B (hold both yarns together as one strand).
Knit 7 rows in garter stitch. (All knit stitches.)
Knit 14 rows in reverse stockinette stitch. (Purl the first row, knit the second, repeat until end of section.)
Repeat this pattern (7 rows garter stitch, 14 rows reverse stockinette) for 16 reverse stockinette sections.
After you've finished knitting the 16th section of reverse stockinette, knit 7 more rows of garter stitch. Your total number of finished rows should be approximately 343.
Bind off and weave in ends. Scarf should now measure approximately 62" long.

Instructions, Child's Scarf:

Cast on 14 stitches.
Knit 7 rows in garter stitch with Color A.
Knit 7 rows of reverse stockinette.
[Join color B. Knit 7 more rows reverse stockinette.
Knit 7 rows of stockinette (Knit 1 row, purl 1 row, repeat).
Join color A. Knit 7 more rows of stockinette.
Knit 7 rows of reverse stockinette.]
Repeat pattern listed above between the brackets 7 times (there's that 7 again!) :)
Join color B. Knit 7 more rows of reverse stockinette.
Knit 7 rows in garter stitch. Your total number of knitted rows will be 252.
Bind off and weave in ends.

Tip: To switch back and forth between reverse stockinette and stockinette, simply repeat the last type of stitch you knitted (for example, if you ended a section on a purl stitch, purl the next row).

Voilà! You've made two attractive new scarves, as a set, out of a mere two skeins of yarn and a few evenings' work. Now who to give them to--or maybe you'd like to keep them? :)

Copyright 2012 Michele R. Johnston. Use pattern only with permission. Designer grants user explicit permission to craft from pattern for personal use or to sell crafts made from pattern at craft fairs and similar markets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sustainability, Kiss Mah Butt

Being human is not sustainable, at least not according to the current philosophies on living green. About the most sustainable thing I could do right now is to commit suicide. I would immediately stop consuming, and while my corpse would become a small source of pollution, it would at least counter that by renewing the soil in which it were placed.

Even if I were to divest myself of a modern life and go to live in the woods as a gatherer, I would still be a drain on the environment. I would pick wild berries and seeds for my (of course) vegan diet, which I would proceed to digest and eliminate as feces, which would be pollution. There would be times when I might need to make a fire to keep myself warm, which would also pollute. I'm sure there are other tasks that I would perform for my survival that would leave some footprint, but even the two basic functions listed above would prove to leave too much of a mark on the earth to be considered 100% environmentally friendly.

We do face real environmental problems, problems which require solutions. I simply don't believe that following the latest green fads and marching in step with everyone else, regardless of your own personal needs, goals or desires is the way to achieve solutions. Americans (and others in the industrialized world) throw themselves head-first into the latest advice on being good to the planet without fully researching the pros and cons, the benefits and potential drawbacks of every scheme. So while I do not contest that man-made environmental damage takes place, I do part ways with those who contend that all environmental change is man-made damage and that the "solution" of the moment is the one we should follow to save the earth, regardless of the consequences to man or even the environment itself down the road.

I could go on, and I could list specific examples which illustrate my point (and I will, if anyone asks), but in this post, let it suffice to say that I reject "sustainability" and living "green" as it is force-fed to me. I desire real change--both in what we do to the planet and in our attitudes towards the planet. Obviously, it doesn't make any sense to use and use and use until there is nothing left, but on the other hand, humans are not enemies of the earth. We deserve to live here as much as any other creature.

So it is out of my rejection of milled environmentalist philosophy that I feel little guilt for buying fruit out-of-season, shipped from distant corners of the country. Usually, I buy fruit in season for two self-interested reasons: it is less expensive and tastes better. During my last two shopping trips, however, I found both blueberries and strawberries at reasonable prices, and to my surprise, they both tasted nearly as good as the in-season varieties. These aren't the kinds of purchases that I can make all of the time, namely for the two self-interested reasons listed above, but since I was able to do so this month, yay! As much as I love winter (I really do!), a little summer fruit in the middle of a mostly mild and dreary cold season is most welcome, sustainability be damned.