Day 1: Elizabeth Scarf/Shawl Knit Along

Welcome to Day 1 of the Elizabeth Scarf/Shawl Knit Along. It's KnitDocDonna, and I’m really excited to be able to be part of this KAL with you! This has been one of my favorite projects and think it will become one of yours, too.

We’ll be getting together for 3 sessions as we create our choice of the Elizabeth scarf or shawl. Day 4 will be a special bonus session devoted to joining and blocking. Not everyone will choose to block (it's completely optional), but it really raises the level of your work a few notches and adds another handy skill for you to tuck away.  But that’s a story/lesson for another day, because today we will be covering:

  • Casting-on
  • Working the side and bottom borders
  • Lace pattern stitches: Yarn overs, knit 2 together, slip stitch, pass slip stitch over
  • Blending the yarn (for shawl)

How-to get the most out of the KAL experience

Be sure to join theNobleKnits group on Ravelry. There, you can ask questions, join the conversation, post your yarn choice/work in progress (wip) or just enjoy the interactions with your fellow knitters. I’ll be part of the group, so you can ask me any questions you like. I’m here to be your resource, as well as be your coach, so let me know what’s on your mind.  

Ready, Set...Time to check our materials.  Needles, fiber, markers and pattern within reach? Ready for some fun? Ok, then let’s go!

Cast-on

For this KAL we’ll be doing the knitted cast-on. It’s super simple, super quick and tidy.  

Here’s how:

Start with your slipknot as usual. Insert your right hand needle into the slipknot, as if to begin the knit stitch.

Knitting Doctor Tip:

When you make your slipknot leave yourself about a 4 to 5" tail so you have enough to weave in.  

Wrap the yarn as if to knit and draw thru the loop, but

do not slip the stitch off the needle.  Take the loop that you have drawn out and pop it back onto the left hand needle and voila! You have made a stitch.  

Knitting Doctor Tip: You may have seen this on our last KAL (here it is again because it’s a neat little option). When you draw out your loop you can give it a little half twist before popping back onto the left needle. That will further define the braided look.

Bottom Border

Continue casting-on until you have the number of stitches indicated in the pattern for the option you chose.

Let’s warm up with the easy stuff. Begin by following Rows 1 thru 7 of your pattern, remembering to place your makers. You can place those markers on Row 1 if you’d like.

Knitting Doctor Tip: For some reason the 1st stitch of my row is always a bit loose. To tighten it up a little I’ll give the working yarn a little tug towards the front of the work.

After finishing up Row 7, your work should look something like this.

Looking good? Ok! Let’s move on to Row 8 which is the wrong side (ws) row and don’t forget to knit 2(4) at the beginning and end of this and every row.  

Our bottom border and 1 row of the lace pattern is now complete.

When working with hand dyed yarns

Before we move on though it’s time to talk about yarn blending. Learn about how-to blend yarn here. If you are working the Elizabeth SHAWL, you will begin yarn blending now! If you are working the Elizabeth SCARF, you are working only one skein, so treat this as an informational piece you can use with a future project.

A little about lace

Before we start, a word about lace. Lace is not scary and lace is not particularly difficult. Oh, sure, right, maybe for her it isn’t. Having trouble believing that it’s easy? Well I’ll bet you have, at one time or another, done almost every stitch in this lace pattern and never thought twice about it.  It’s just how these stitches are combined that we call it lace!

Ever done a yarn over (yo) to form an eyelet? Yep! You’ve done lace!

To make this easier though, as we go through both right side (rs) pattern rows, I’ll have images and descriptions for each one of the stitches.

Had enough of me talking about it? Then let's get knitting!

Time to make Lace

No more waiting, it’s lace making time and let’s dive right in. So here we go. Beginning on Row 9, work the border stitches, slip your marker and knit your stitches right before the *. Ok! The stitch we will discuss below is the first stitch of the the actual lace.

Yarn over (yo)

Move your working yarn toward you between the needles then work your next stitch as usual.  Your yarn will automatically cross over the front of the right hand needle and create a new stitch and eyelet. Take a look at the image below:

Knit the next 2 stitches

Slip 1 knitwise (sl1)

Insert the right hand needle into the next stitch from bottom to top as if to knit and move it onto the right hand needle.  This stitch is essentially unworked.

Knitting Doctor Tip: Patterns containing a slip stitch will usually tell you whether to slip your stitch knitwise or purlwise. Look for it in your stitch abbreviations or glossary

Knit 1 (k1)

I know you know this one, but just for fun, here’s the image!

Pass Slip Stitch Over (psso)

This stitch is exactly what it says it is.  Look at your right hand needle.  The stitch closest to the point is a knit stitch and the one before it is your slip stitch.  Merely insert the left hand needle tip into the slip stitch and lift it over the knit stitch and off the needle.  It’s really the same as a bind-off stitch.  

Take a look at the images below for the sequence.

Knit 2 Together (k2tog)

Another stitch that it is just what it sounds like.  Insert the tip of the right needle into the next two stitches on the left hand needle (from bottom to top), wrap the yarn as usual, draw the loop thru both stitches and slide the stitch onto the right hand needle.

Now you know all the stitches, so go ahead and work across row 9. Made it across? Slipped your last marker and knitted the last 2 (4) border stitches? Excellent. Now count your stitches!

Knitting Doctor Tip: When I’m working lace I like to count my stitches after the odd number rows (the lace rows). If I’ve forgotten something (a yarn over or passing that slipped stitch over)  I’ll know right away. I’d rather rip back now instead of 2 rows later.

Counted your row? Have 26 (66) stitches? Then time to move on. Let’s go ahead and Work across Row 10.

Onward, to pattern Row 11 which is the 2nd lace row.  Work your border stitches, slip the marker, and now that you know all the stitches, work across the row as indicated in the pattern.

I think it’s time for a little breather, sit back and admire what you have done so far.

This is what your work should be shaping up to look like. What you’ll notice with this lace pattern is that it doesn’t take much time at all for your scallops (you can accentuate them later when you block) to show up and your lace to start to become visible.

Work a few more rows and then reward yourself for a job well done! Don’t forget to post your progress, questions, and your thoughts on our Ravelry group.   

Happy Knitting!