A Dubious Victory

Before, during and since moving, I’ve been trying to reduce my yarn collection. I’ve never been very good at getting rid of things, and the creative hobbies only make it worse, encouraging me to hold on to all manner of random bits and bobs just in case I eventually encounter instructions or inspiration that calls for their use. But I do get tired of it, this collection of paraphernalia that follows me around. I know it will take me years to deplete my yarn stash at the rate at which I knit, which makes me start feeling guilty. I’m working on changing this feeling, because guilt is not a particularly constructive feeling at the best of times, and definitely not in the context of a pile of wool. But I’m also working on reducing the yarn. Two-pronged attack!

A few weeks back I started this scarf partly to use up some languishing yarn, partly to have something to occupy my hands while watching The Walking Dead (because zombies are a reason for zombies).  I’m quite keen on the result. But, upon finishing the scarf, I realised that it hadn’t really used up all that much yarn, despite a hearty stash-bust being the original goal. So a bit of a dubious victory. But if you’re going to have a dubious victory, it might as well result in a scarf.

I began with the idea of making a striped circular scarf, but decided upon further thought that I was a little bit tired of regular stripes. I also wanted to make something that was at least vaguely reversible, as I can never be bothered to make sure that I’m wearing scarves with the “right side” showing. Combining these two ideas, I decided to work stripes of varying width, worked in a mixture of stockinette, reverse stockinette and garter stitch, so that the colour change purl “bumps” were visible on both sides (I actually kind of like the look of them, so this made me rather happy).


You could use countless different combinations of different colours and stitches, but here’s what I did:

Dubious Victory Scarf:

Scarf is worked entirely in the round. Gauge is not crucial: I used a 4mm circular needle and dk/worsted weight yarn. I used three colours: blue, dark brown and light brown.

  • Cast on 270 stitches in blue.
  • Work 5 rows of garter stitch in the round (alternating knit and purl rounds), ending with a knit row.
  • Knit 2 rounds in dark brown.
  • Purl 3 rounds in blue.
  • Knit 2 rounds in dark brown.
  • Knit 3 rounds in light brown
  • Purl 6 rounds in blue
  • Purl 3 rounds in dark brown
  • Knit 2 rounds in blue
  • Knit 4 rounds in light brown
  • Knit 2 rounds in blue
  • Knit 2 rounds in light brown
  • Knit 3 rounds in blue
  • Purl 3 rounds in dark brown
  • Work 6 rows of garter stitch in the round in blue.
  • Bind off all stitches

That’s it! It’s so basic that I feel slightly foolish even writing instructions. But at least this way I won’t have to gripe about stitch count the next time I make one of these. Hurrah?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Dubious Victory

  1. Chris says:

    Love it! And the explanation of how it came to be strikes home as well. Thanks for a beautiful way to make victory out of leftovers.

  2. thomasean says:

    You are my spiritual sister!! Thanks for sharing your yarn story…it is mine too!!

  3. aimeedars says:

    Walking Dead!!!! Love the pattern – thanks for sharing.

  4. I am new to knitting can I do it just with one color. I have a hand dyed yarn that has various colors I think would be cool to try this with. Thanks 🙂

    • Anna says:

      You could definitely try this with just one yarn! It would mean that the different sections would just have textural differences instead of colour contrast, but depending on the yarn you’re using, that might play out in an interesting way as well! Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s