For anyone who has never picked up a pair of needles, or considers themselves to be the opposite of crafty, something like knitting can seem incredibly intimidating at first glance. Walk into any knitting store and your fears will be instantly confirmed: different colours, weights, and fibres of yarn cover what feels like every surrounding wall (is that yarn on the ceiling?). Not to mention all of the different types of knitting needles hanging from those rotating displays! The good news is that you can finally put away that overwhelming feeling of “I could never do that”, and replace it with a confident (and incredibly proud) “The scarf I’m wearing? Oh, yeah, I knit that. No big deal.
Below I have provided all of the details you will need to make the “Sokoke” scarf, a light cowl that was introduced as part of my 2017 collection:
The great thing about using this pattern for your first ever knitting project is that it is not incredibly time-consuming, consists of a single stitch, and most importantly is knit using large needles! When I first learned to knit I was taught on very small size 6 needles, like the ones pictured below. While there is no problem with this; the main struggle came from my impatience, as knitting with smaller needles + a lighter weight yarn = very time-consuming. The result was an unfinished project that took me over 3 years, and it wasn’t until I discovered different sized needles and yarn that I really began taking an interest in the craft again. Knitting with larger needles such as size 19 (pictured below) speeds up the process of your project, and is a great way to learn and visualize every stitch you’re making. I firmly believe that you’re more likely to stick to your first project, understand how every stitch is made, and won’t want to stop after just one scarf!
To make this scarf you will need four things — Size 19US straight knitting needles, 1 ball of super bulky yarn (Wool-Ease Thick & Quick by Lionbrand is what I use, as well as what you will need to work this pattern), a pair of scissors, and a sewing needle. The great news is that all of these items should be available at any large craft store. I highly recommend Michaels©, but if you’d prefer to purchase these items online they can all be easily found on Amazon.
To begin the scarf, you will need to make a slip knot using your yarn on to one of the needles. Then, you will need to cast on 19 stitches. While there are many different methods of casting on, the long-tail cast on is my personal favourite. The video below by Sheep and Stitch is a great clear & easy tutorial to follow:
After you’ve cast on 19 stitches, you are ready to begin knitting! Hold the needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand, as you will be knitting each stitch on to the needle in your right hand. To keep things simple, this pattern only uses one stitch: the knit stitch, also known as the garter stitch when it is the only stitch used. Another common stitch is the purl stitch, but it is not needed for this particular project and can be learned at a later time. Kristen from GoodKnitKisses offers simple & easy to follow youtube tutorials for many different types of stitches. Below is her tutorial for the knit stitch:
After each row, you will flip over your work and repeat the knit stitch until you have approximately 60 inches left of your yarn (about the length of both your arms stretched out together). I personally never use an exact measurement, but leave enough to ensure I can work one more row (the cast-off!)
Casting off is the method you use on the last row of any project. It consists of carefully removing each stitch from the needle by slipping it over the next. Here is another video tutorial by Kristen that explains how to do so:
After you’ve finished casting off your stitches, you will need to join both ends of your work together to turn your scarf into a circle rather than an unwearable rectangle. More specifically, you will be seaming together your cast-on row with your cast-off row. Using a sewing needle, carefully insert the tail of yarn left over from your cast off through it’s loop and secure it with a knot. Just like casting on, there are many different methods of seaming ends together. For beginners, I highly recommend the video below and the method used for it:
Finally, the last step to completing your project is weaving in the loose ends. Your cowl should have two ends: the tail left from casting on, and the tail left from casting off (which you just used to seam your scarf together). Weaving in loose ends is crucial to any project, as it ensures your work does not come undone and tucks everything neatly away to guarantee a professional result. This last step is a far stretch from any knitters favourite part of a project, but it is one that can not be avoided. Take a peak at the video below to learn the best technique to weaving in those pesky ends!
And there you have it — You just knit your very first scarf! Wear it proud, or gift it to a friend to keep them warm on the chilliest of days.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions or concerns along the way you can drop a comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org !