Friday, 6 February 2015

fo: stranded sheep scarf

When I shared the pattern for the knitted owl hat a lot of people commented on how nice the scarf that my sister was wearing was in all of the pictures. This is actually what I knitted for her for Christmas 2014 and true to me trying to improve how I used Ravelry and for sharing for fastened off posts on the blog here are some more pictures and notes on the stranded sheep scarf!

Pattern - Stranded Sheep Scarf (amended)

You can also read about this scarf on my Ravelry project page.

I cast this scarf on way back in September fully intending to knit the whole length of the scarf with the stranded sheep chart as opposed to simply the ends of the scarf as you can see in the pictures. As this was to be a Christmas gift I felt pretty smug with myself thinking I had given myself such a head start! 

The pattern is written in the round (stockinette stitch, so in the round ensures both sides of the scarf match) and calls for double pointed needles and at the time I didn't know how to knit with circulars, so I ordered some dpn's and got to work. As someone who is, at the best, an advanced beginner when it comes to stranded (fair isle) knitting it was a nightmare working this scarf over 5 very short needles! As a result I didn't really enjoy knitting the scarf and after a month or so it was clear that with the speed I was knitting this I wouldn't be able to knit the sheep the full finished length of the scarf (roughly 150-160cm). My sister saw my distress and said it would be fine if only the ends of the scarf had sheep - phew!

And so I decided to just knit the chart twice at each end (of course upside down at the opposite end so that when worn all the sheep were facing the same way). The original pattern also featured 2 black sheep worked within, but after having only just become used to working with 2 colours in the round on circular needles (I learnt a lot of new techniques making this) introducing a 3rd colour was the most stressful knitting experience of my life! So another change was made and I just stuck to one black sheep.

But that worked out quite nicely given its relation to the age-old saying - though I hope you will agree the black sheep is quite striking and special and stands out in a lovely way and not as an outcast!!

Once I had finished knitting the scarf (Christmas present, finished at 9.30 on Christmas morning I don't mind telling you! Not including blocking and tassel adding) I was really unhappy with how it looked, with all the colour work bunching up my careful knitting. However the absolute wonders of blocking relaxed the knitting and brought it all together so well I'm so relieved at how it turned out! I can't express how much I love blocking knitting - and I've written a tutorial on how you can block your knitting too!
After blocking I sewed up the ends and added the tassels to finish the scarf just as you see. I used this tutorial to add the tassels (but you can ignore the crocheted end step if like me you have already sewn up your scarf ends). And voila! At 9.55am on Christmas day I wrapped this bad boy up to be opened just a few hours later.

I am NOT in a hurry to knit another fair isle scarf like this - it took a very long time and could get very repetitive, but I am very pleased with how it turned out and K seems happy enough to wear it out and about :) What do you think? Have you made anything that took a long time, you are proud of, but vowed never to attempt again?


  1. Cute scarf! It's a pretty color and she looks great :)


  2. I'm attempting a fair isle cushion next! Now you've scared me haha! We'll see how I get on though. Your scarf looks great!

  3. thanks Jessica! she does look great :) jenny x

  4. Oh no I didn't mean to scare you! its tricky but the results are sooooo worth it! just make sure to iron (carefully!!) to relax the knitting and make It look a whole lot nicer :) jenny xx