Knowing that Mother's Day was coming up, I picked up one gorgeous skein of Handmaiden's Lady Godiva yarn in Rose Garden (for my MIL.) I didn't know what I was going to make with that one skein though, and it can be really difficult to figure that out sometimes… especially when it's a gift for someone else!
So, I used Ravelry's experimental pattern search to find this lovely pattern - the Bernadette Scarf (see it here on Ravelry.) It's worsted weight, requires only one skein of yarn and even better, carries a traveling diamond pattern.* The pattern calls for beads, but with the variegated yarn I didn't think it needed them, (plus I was too lazy to thread and work with 35+ beads on each half.) The yarn called for size 6 needles to get 20 sts per inch, but I'm kind of a tight knitter, so I went up to size 7's (the pattern's recommended needle size.)
At first, I was concerned about my new way of doing SSK's; traditionally you'd slip 2 stitches knit-wise onto the right needle, one at a time, and then knit through the back legs of these two stitches together - forming a left leaning decrease. I however, have been knitting two stitches together through the back legs (effectively slipping two stitches purl-wise while I'm forming the next stitch.) I just learned this was "wrong" and am trying to get used to the new & improved ssk. Apparently, it mirrors the k2tog (most common right leaning decrease) better, and lays flatter when you slip one knit-wise, the next purl-wise and then knit them together through the back legs. All I know is that my ssk's look much neater, which is just fine by me. What did self-taught knitters do before Ravelry???
This scarf worked up super fast, I had the first half done in less than 2 days, although I left the yarn intact, instead of breaking it. I knit the second half from the outside strand, so I could lengthen both halves if I had enough yarn leftover. Nobody likes running out of yarn! I did end up with enough to lengthen both halves by 3 vertical repeats, and I'm glad I did. It's a fairly skinny scarf, and definitely needs to wrap around the neck at least once, (I think!)
I used a 3 needle bind off to join the two halves, and even though it left a seam, I was able to match the color pools (sort of,) and it finished really fast. It did need a good blocking, and of course that took me literally days to get around to... hehehe. The finished size after blocking was 3 3/4" wide by 76" long, and if I did it over again, I'd stretch it to 4" wide and hope that kept the length in check a bit better. The length really grew when I blocked it.
(*I also used a diamond pattern in another belated Mother's Day surprise, but I'm trying not to spoil it yet!)
If you're going to knit a Bernadette Scarf, please note I found these two errors -
Right side chart row 30 - first two stitches say knit, should be purl
Right side text row 7 - should be p2, k10, k2tog, yo, k7, p2 (p2, k11, yo, ssk, k6, p2 as written)