The 4 Seasons Project. It started several weeks ago with the idea of creating color sequences based on each season that could then be interpreted for my line of yarns*. (For more on the development of the color palettes and skeins, and to see photos of each season’s color sequences, see A Colorful Year: The 4 Seasons Project on a Musing, my other blog.) Once I had the colors worked out and had put together the skeins, all (?) I had to do was design one or more pieces that could be knitted with this collection of skeins. Or better yet— design a piece that could be finished in 3 different ways! (I think there’s something in me that positively revels in making a project more complex.) The idea I came up with is a scarf that morphs into an infinity scarf (a continuous loop) that morphs into a cocoon-shaped jacket! (Sure… why not?) And since I needed a title for the knitting pattern I was writing, I dubbed this design 4 Seasons 3 Ways.
* I create a line of one-of-a-kind yarns for Knittique; each skein has a color sequence based on the color palettes I develop. You can see these skeins, and the patterns I’ve designed for them, in Knittique’s Etsy shop.
Here’s Version 1: The Scarf
Version 2: The Infinity Loop
And Version 3: The Cocoon
In the course of working on these pieces, all of which are made from the same original scarf (i.e. a rectangle), it occurred to me that I could show you how I did this, perhaps inspiring you to “make over” your own scarves! Honestly, it’s simpler than you would believe. The following are the steps to changing your scarf; I’m illustrating it here with my knitted scarf, but you can do this with almost any kind of scarf (I’m thinking of trying it with a Pashmina).
1. At the risk of sounding obvious, start with a finished scarf. The key things here are the width of the scarf, and the proportion of width to length. My scarf (the one in the top photo) is about 14″ wide x 96″ long; this does make it a “super-sized” scarf, but it’s also soft and flexible, rather than stiff. (You can see in the back view of The Cocoon photo that the width of the scarf has expanded, mostly due to the stretchy nature of the rib stitch.) So the width of your scarf, doubled, will become the length of the center back of The Cocoon, and the length of your scarf will determine how far down it will come on your arms. You really have a wide range of size choices here, and the great thing is that it’s very easy to pin your scarf into either the Infinity Loop or The Cocoon before doing anything else— so you can be sure ahead of time if it will work the way you want it to.
Tip: If you want to knit your own scarf like the one shown, the 4 Seasons 3 Ways pattern is available (in PDF format) in my Etsy shop, and includes instructions for all 3 versions shown here! The yarns and one kit for this project are also available.
2. Transform your scarf into The Infinity Loop. With a knitted scarf like mine, I do my best to graft the 2 ends together as seamlessly as possible; when wearing The Infinity Loop, both sides of the scarf will show, so a seam will be noticeable. Here, I’ve pinned the 2 ends of my scarf together prior to sewing:
Tip: to learn how to graft ends of a knitted piece together, click here for a tutorial.
The raised ribs are so dimensional that if I didn’t do a great job of grafting, it would be noticeable, and frankly, I don’t have that much practice with this kind of grafting, so a lot of ripping out of stitches was happening before I got this passable result:
Tip: If you’re going on to make The Cocoon, the invisibility of this seam on the wrong side is not as important, since it will be on the inside of your Cocoon. Just make it look good on the outside!
3. Transform your Infinity Loop into The Cocoon. Lay your Loop on a large flat surface (I used the floor, with a sheet laid down first), with your grafted seam positioned at lower center, aligned with the midpoint of the scarf above, like so:
Now all that’s left to do is stitch up this seam! Be sure to leave openings at either end, though; your arms will go through these openings.
Tip: For a tutorial on seaming knits, click here. I particularly like the Mattress Stitch for seaming.
There— 2 easy ways to change your scarf! I’ve got another knitted scarf I’ve been meaning to make into a Cocoon, so I’ll show that to you when it’s done. And meanwhile, I’ll be going through my scarf stash looking for suitable candidates; I’d really like to try the Cocoon idea with something like a light silk scarf. Maybe I’ll end up with Cocoons for all seasons…