Frustratingly small

Ugh. This is so not going to work!

Don’t get me wrong: this yarn, this scarf, and this flirtatious ruffle are all delectable!

It brings to mind two things: first, the failed Mac & Me ruffle scarf. I’m a frilly girl at heart, what can I say?!? (Except the Flutter Scarf ruffle is much easier to finagle than the gazillion-stitch Mac & Me one.) Second, chanterelle mushrooms. The size and volume of the frills is spot on.

I digress.

It’s not going to work because the scarf will come out to be about 10″ wide and 44″ long. Ouch! I’m a fan of small scarves and all, but that’s a really awkward width/length combination.

I was hoping that my 420 yards of fingering weight yarn could substitute nicely for the 440 yards of laceweight yarn specified in the pattern. But I think a lot of that yardage got eaten up by the scarf’s width, leaving bupkis for the length. Potentially I could have also used a larger needle to maximize every little centimeter of the yarn.

And so, we frog. Just another day in the life of a knitter :).

I’m not entirely sure what I want to do next. If I stick with the same needle size (because the fabric is coming out quite nice – a good balance between warm and drapey) and:

  • work fewer repeats – 2 instead of 3 – my scarf will be about 7″ wide and 62″ long.
  • modify the stitch pattern to contain 3-stitch stockinette panels instead of 7-stitch panels, my scarf will be about 8″ wide and 56″ long.

No matter what, kind of small, right? Maybe I just don’t have enough yarn to pull this one off. What do you think? Perhaps I need to sleep on it before committing to an alternate plan.


43 thoughts on “Frustratingly small

  1. Renee

    I think the problem is all the stockinette in the pattern. I tend to find that the only way I can get a decent-sized scarf out of one skein of fingering is to do something lacy enough that it opens a lot when blocking.

    If you narrowed the stockinette panels and changed them to a simple lace pattern (something that spreads nicely vertically would be ideal), it might just work. Am I correct in thinking that the three ruffles are the most important aspect of this scarf?

  2. pdxknitterati

    I like your 7″ by 62″ idea better than 8″ by 56″ but I love a skinny scarf. Definitely sleep on it. But this part of knitting is my favorite: trying to outsmart it! Figuring out what I want and how to get it. Have fun!

  3. Kristy

    You might see what the fabric is like going up a needle size. Maybe you’ll like that just as well as the current configuration. I’m currently a huge fan of skinny yarn and bigger needles.

  4. Renee

    It’s so pretty!

    Is there any possibility of finding another skein from someone’s destash or something? Shame to frog something so gorgeous.

  5. Patsy

    I’m knitting the same scarf right now, except out of Possum lace from Cherry Tree Hill. I used to sell their yarns. But this one I died a deep midnight blue–I don’t like CTH’s spotty dying. So it’s really a shaded color.

    You’ll figure it out–I’ve been knitting a long time and you have done more in your few years than I have in 40.

  6. Jómy

    I think lowering the amount of panels by so many is a bad idea.

    I say you opt to sacrifice those 3 inches of width (going from 10 to 7) and have a longer scarf.

    Looks lovely so far. 🙂

  7. Genny

    Two things have sprung to mind on this on. First – have you tried wet-blocking a chunk of it to see how much it’s actually going to stretch? That might fix your width/length ratio problems.

    Second, and this is before my morning cuppa so may be garbled, must you think of it as a scarf? I’m thinking about something like the Bow-Knot Scarf:

    Knit the scarf part however wide you like, but long enough to wrap round the neck twice. Then use yor knitting fu to make the ruffles even more ruffly. The plain part will warm the neck, and the ruffles will fill the open part of a winter coat in a very attractive manner.

  8. bullwinkle

    If I recall correctly, I bound off a zillion times trying to eek out enough yarn for that last step.

    Blocking does help this one with the width to length issue. I thought mine was short but it is not. (I think mine sat around for a year before blocking – because I do that – and then I was pleasantly surprised. Its actually not even on the blog yet.)

    Wrt to modifications: I’d go for narrower stockinette panels and some math fu – part of the charm, for me, is the three frills on each end. If you decrease the number of repeats in the main scarf, you’ll have to adjust the frills as well.

    Good luck!

  9. Pam Grushkin

    I like the second option, 3 st stockinette panels. I think you need the 3 repeats, it’s what makes the ruffle work and balances out the scarf. Looks beautiful.

  10. Andrea

    Definitely the first option! 7′ is not skinny in my book, and with the length you can pull off this ‘fold in half and tuck ends into the fold’ style that I like. Sounds very good to me, in fact.

  11. Michal

    I’m also for the first option, the ruffles will look nicer on a skinnier scarf. 10” is too wide for a scarf in any length, if you ask me.

  12. Meredith

    Of those two options, I’d vote for narrower stockinette panels. I think the scarf really needs the three columns of lace and that it would look incomplete with two.

    On the other hand, if it were me, I’d probably find a different yarn to give me more to work with.

  13. Heather

    I think the 7″x62″ is a great idea. That’s a good scarf length/width. I admire your ability to frog. I can never bring myself to undo all that work, and thus end up with knitted items that aren’t quite what they could have been. Cheers to you!

  14. kozykitty

    I like the idea of making the stockinette narrower. I don’t care for the idea of 2 repeats. I think 3 is better because one ruffle is centered. I’ve always been drawn to odd numbers for this type of thing. I think it just looks better to have one of the motifs centered. It’s a lovely pattern and the yarn is gorgeous!

  15. Meg McG

    Wouldn’t 3 stitch stockinette panels curl right over? Why not make a ruffly cowl that can go in the top of your coat and save this scarf for another yarn?

  16. Allyson

    Oh the WORST! It is so pretty. I always hear my first knitting teacher’s voice in my head when this happens to me saying, ‘No matter how much work you put into it, you aren’t going to wear it because you don’t like it, so pull it out!’


  17. Trista

    I like it just the way it is, so I was thinking to make it longer I would knit the beginnings- the back of the neck, with some other yarn like a soft naturally colored alpaca in a warm oatmeal color and then change yarns back to the pink for all the parts that will show. I suppose that is a really strange suggestion. It really is an amazing yarn and pattern combination so I hope you work out something!

  18. Seanna Lea

    It’s a gorgeous yarn and really lovely pattern.

    I would probably knit a faggoted rib (like the vandyke or something similar) with a lot of stretch and build it out of the ruffle at the bottom. The lacy stripe pattern from Delphine (French Girl Knits) is fairly similar to the image I have in my head where there are small amounts of ribbing between the lacy elements.

  19. kmkat

    I think three ruffles look better than two, but there are several other great suggestions ahead of me. I’m looking forward to reading how you solve this, because I have 376 yd of sock yarn that I have aimed toward this scarf after reading your previous post about it 🙂

  20. Melissa

    I second the cowl idea.

    Out of the two scarf options, I would go with the 2 repeats / 7″ width option.

  21. Jayme

    I like idea #2. I think that’s plenty long enough (I seem to be remembering that you aren’t uber tall?) Could you shorten the ruffle a bit too? it uses more yarn so a 1/2 shorter ruffle would likely give you 1-2 inches in length.

    #1 is out because 2 repeats of anything usually doesn’t work, 1, 3 or more, almost always.

    Or just but more yarn.

  22. Karen

    Your yarn is talking to you. And I think it is saying–“leave me on the side for a minute. You love me and I love you and we should make something beautiful together so you should really think this through. I know you’ll do the right thing.”

    I’m pretty fluent in yarn so I think that’s an accurate translation.

  23. Linda

    What about making it much more lacy? If you eliminated almost all the stockinette but made it 5 lace patterns wide inwstead of 3, it would probably be about the same width, but you’d have enough yarn to make it much longer.

  24. =Tamar

    Everyone has different preferences. I like to tuck scarves into my jacket, so I like a short scarf that is wide/thick enough to fill in the neckline where the jacket is loose. The first version would probably have worked for me. Sorry to be so unhelpful.

  25. Kathy

    I like wider scarves, so I’d shorten the stockinette but keep 3 repeats. It looks beautiful though so don’t give up! 🙂 Or, try ishbel with this yarn and find another stash yarn to do the scarf… just a thought as I have ishbel on the brain!

  26. Karen

    I like the idea of doing two repeats. But you’ll make it right. I have faith!! Love the yarn and pattern no matter what! Do let us know what you decide!

  27. Mary Lynn

    we must, we must,

    adjust, adjust

    I know its lame but I would use less repeats and make it longer. I might also drop a needle size.

  28. Kristina

    you’re just going to rip out all that gorgeous ruffliness?? oh my, I could never do it. I can’t bear to do all that work, and then frog it. so hard. but i know, whatever you do when you change it, will be beautiful!! i usually just live with it!

  29. linken

    I’m winging a scarf pattern with sock yarn as well. 🙂 Hate when you get to the half weight mark in the skein….and take a hard long look!

    I would vote for shaving off stitches off the ‘selvages’ er edges, and would it muck the pattern up to badly to make the columns a stictch or two narrower after the ruffles are made?

    That would be my plan of attack for the 2nd round. In my heart I like a bit wider scarves, but I never seem to have the right yardage in the stash of anything I try. *lol* Its the knitting fates telling me its time to go spin some fluff.

  30. Meredith C.

    If you make the stockinette bands only 3 sts, won’t that muck up the pretty points that those bands come to as the ruffle begins? Maybe you can find a way around that, but it’s best to consider all your pro’s and cons with each option, and having to rework the ruffle’s beginning would be a big con for me. But then, I don’t have the favor that you do with the math gods.(because I haven’t worked for it)

  31. Pinkarwensocks

    I admire your determination not to just throw it in the naughty corner for a stint! I prefer the 7x62in version too but would want to keep the frills. Good luck.

  32. Jennifer

    Ouch. Even as I read your dilemma, I took a deep breath and let out a sigh… and it wasn’t even my knitting project. It is beautiful. Sometimes frogging can be its own reward (no matter how painful it seems at the time.). Good luck!

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