I love making clothes at this time of year - coats, shirts, jumpers and chunky scarves are my favourite things to wear - and this cable knit scarf has been on my to-do list since I first started learning to knit.
This is the Byway Scarf and Wrap pattern by Jared Flood for Brooklyn Tweed. I chose this one because it was complicated enough to keep me interested but not so complicated that it would take me years to complete. I originally planned to make the wrap version but after choosing my yarn and pricing it up I decided to make the scarf.
I used Cascade 128 Superwash in the colour Deep Sapphire from Wool Warehouse. It's 100% merino wool so it's fine, soft and not itchy. I like to use wool rather than acrylic yarn for garments because it's breathable and has antibacterial properties so it stays fresh. The downside is that wool is considerably more expensive. This yarn cost me £8.99 per hank and I needed 6 so the scarf cost me £60 to make in total (including the pattern but not including the needles).
I used some 6.5mm rosewood knitting needles from a Wool and the Gang kit I bought a couple of years ago. These are no longer available to buy on their site as they've been replaced with bamboo needles - possibly due to the fact that rosewood is now a protected species - but Pony rosewood needles are still available from some sites if you're looking to get hold of a pair. For the cable needle, I used a 20cm double pointed Knitpro Cubics needle.
As you can see in the photos, I knit straight from the hank instead of winding the yarn into a ball first. I don't have the equipment for winding it and I didn't want to waste time doing it by hand. I hung it from one of the rails in my sewing room and knit it from there so it didn't get tangled. I wouldn't recommend doing this if you have nowhere to hang it or if you plan to travel with your knitting project as it will quickly become a huge ball of knots.
Since I'm a relatively inexperienced knitter with a terrible memory, I ticked each row with a pencil as I went along and scribbled notes next to some instructions so I didn't have to keep checking the abbreviations and legend sheets (specifically the 3/3 RC and 3/3 LC parts which tell you whether the cable needle should be in the front or back). After knitting a few rows of each section, I started to see the pattern and found myself mostly knitting on autopilot but I continued to tally the repeated rows so I didn't lose count. This resulted in a very messy looking pattern covered in holes and scribbles (so glad it was a PDF pattern).
I did make a few mistakes around rows 9-12 of the cable block where it tells you to knit row 7 and row 7 tells you to knit row 3. I noticed most of the mistakes and managed to fix them but a couple did go unnoticed until the end. See if you can spot one of them:
People often ask me how long it took me to complete a knitting or sewing project and I usually have no idea as I don't time my projects but I know this one took 3 seasons of Gotham to complete which is around 50 hours!
Experienced knitters could probably make this in half the time but I knit slowly and spend a lot of time undoing my mistakes. I think it's important to take on projects that are above your skill level because the best way to learn is by making mistakes and learning how to fix them. If you know how to do the knit and purl stitches then you can knit anything if you have enough patience.
The finished width of the Byway scarf is 11" and the length is 80" making it long enough to wrap around your neck twice. If you're making this and want to shorten it, knit rows 5-20 of the cable block section fewer than 7 times.
For reference, rows 5-20 have been worked 3 times in this picture:
And 5 times in this picture:
I usually only knit a test swatch if I'm making something fitted such as a hat or jumper so my scarf ended up being around 100" long. Lessons learnt. I will never skip this step again. Oh well, at least it will keep me warm!
I haven't blocked it yet because I don't have the equipment and I haven't quite figured out how to block an 8 foot scarf in my tiny house. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!
Update: someone left me a comment on Instagram to let me know that scarves are blocked by folding them in half. I thought this would prevent the scarf from drying out properly but lots of people have done it this way with no problems so I'll give it a go!
I love how this looks with my Grainline Studio Yates coat and I can't wait for the weather to get colder so I can wear them together. They’re the two longest knitting and sewing projects I’ve ever worked on and they’re the garments I’m most proud of so I need to take on more projects of this size in the future.
I'll definitely return to this pattern next year as I'd love a pale grey version like the one on the Brooklyn Tweed site. Next time I'll attempt to use the chart instead of the written instructions as there are some jumper patterns on the Brooklyn Tweed site that I'd love to try that only include charts, such as the Kirigami and the Cordova.
For those of you who follow me for the sewing, I have lots of finished projects waiting to be photographed (including my Yates coat) so expect regular blog posts for the next few weeks!
PatternByway Scarf by Jared Flood for Brooklyn Tweed
Cascade 128 Superwash in Deep Sapphire from Wool Warehouse
A few incorrect stitches where I lost track of which row I was on, didn’t knit a test swatch so scarf ended up much longer than it should have been