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Speaking of StashBUSTING… how about a pattern for scrap yarns?

If you have a rather large ball left over from a project, you may have enough for an accessory, like mittens or a hat.  Maybe you could throw a stripe of a contrasting color in there to make sure you have enough yarn to finish your project.  But what happens to all the poor little odd balls?  If you have the time to sit down and plan out a pattern, you could coordinate some colors for a fair isle project.  OR, if you’re like me, and thinking about planning the design and execution of a project with all those colors paralyzes you into never actually doing it…. you knit a scrappy scarf!

This would be equally nice in a simple garter stitch, but I chose the linen stitch.  It is a slip stitch pattern that pulls the color from the previous row up into your current row.  It gives a woven look, and the impression of fancy colorwork, while only working with one color at a time.  I also chose to knit my scarf lengthwise, so that the stripes run vertically.  This scarf curls slightly at the sides, which I don’t mind.  Both sides look equally nice!  But if the curling bothers you, you could knit a little garter stitch at the beginning and end to tame those edges.

TIP – leave a long tail at the end of each color change and hide it in with the fringe later!

There are other great projects out there that make good use of this stitch.  The Chickadee Cowl is one that I have made in the past, in a variegated color of Malabrigo.  This is also a wonderful way to use variegated yarns that are pooling in an unattractive way since the slipped stitches break up the clumping of the color into a more uniform look.

The pattern for this scarf is provided below – enjoy!

Linen Stitch Scrappy Scarf

Finished Size: Approx. 6″ wide by 72″ long

Linen Stitch, over an even number of stitches-
Row 1: Purl across.
Row 2: K1, *slip 1 with yarn in front, k1; repeat from * to the end, k1.
Row 3: Purl across.
Row 4: K1, *K1, slip 1 with yarn in front; repeat from * to the end, k1.

Put your balls of scrap yarn into a project bag and jumble them all together.  For each color change, reach in and grab the next color without looking at it.  Don’t think too hard about it – it will look randomly awesome in the end!

Using US 10.5 circular needle, cast on 300 sts (use Celeste’s no-tail tip!).
Begin linen stitch, changing colors after rows 1 and 3.
Continue in Linen Stitch until the scarf measures 6″wide, ending with row 1 or 3.
Bind off all stitches.
Cut fringe and attach to the ends of the scarf as desired.
Block with an iron on the appropriate setting for your yarn – I used the wool setting with steam, and then let it lay flat until dry.

Other Options: Change the length of the scarf by casting on more or less, keeping an even number of stitches.  Begin and end with a few knit rows to prevent curling if desired.