Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Bouclé Stitch Curlicue Scarf Pattern

Last week I posted about the Bouclé stitch scarf that I had been working on.  Thank you so much for the amount of interest I had in that post! It's wonderful to know that there are actually people out there! 

I designed the bouclé stitch to complement the variegated, self striping hand spun yarn that I dyed with my daughter.  I wanted to create a version of the linen stitch that looked woven on both sides instead of just one, with more texture to emphasise the hand spun nature of my yarn.

I also had a few people asking for more information on the curly fringe.  The curlicues are created simply by casting on several stitches, as tightly as possible at the beginning of the row, and then casting them off straight away, as loosely as possible.  The curl is tightened by pinning them and steaming them into shape.

I haven't written a pattern for the scarf as my yarn is hand spun, but hopefully I've provided enough instructions for you to work out your own pattern using whatever self striping yarn you have, to whatever length and width you desire.  

Alternatively, this could be a great 'stash buster' scarf; if you haven't got a self striping yarn, but you do have lots of different coloured yarns in the same gauge, it would work beautifully if you changed colour on every row.  Maybe, instead of the twisted tassels you could just knot your yarn ends to form a multicoloured fringe.  Ooh, I'd like to see that!

Bouclé stitch and linen stitch create very dense fabrics and so to get a nice drape for a scarf you need to knit it on much thicker needles than you ordinarily would for your chosen yarn.  My yarn is between a 4ply and a double knit weight and would ordinarily be knitted on 3.25mm - 4mm needles, however to achieve the desired drape, I have chosen to knit it on 7mm needles, so approximately 7 to 8 needle sizes bigger.

Knitting a tension swatch

To work out how many stitches to cast on for your scarf, follow the 4 rows of the pattern below to work a tension swatch in bouclé stitch.  For your swatch, cast on enough stitches so that you will be able to comfortably count how many stitches are in 10cm.  The number of rows in your tension swatch is not important, you just need to work enough rows to know that you are working on the correct needle size for your yarn and to be able to accurately count the number of stitches per 10cm.  The fabric needs to be loose enough to drape well.  If it feels too stiff, increase your needle size.

While you are knitting the tension swatch it might also be a good idea to practise working the coiled fringe to get an idea of the amount of tension you need to apply to get it to twist around. Don't worry if your coils don't look as tight as on my finished scarf - mine were much looser before I pinned and set them into shape. 

The formula for calculating how many stitches to cast on is :-

My tension is working out at 20 stitches per 10cm and I want a 135cm scarf (not including the fringe), so my calculations are: -

Pattern for a Bouclé Stitch Curlicue Scarf.

Using a long circular needle, cast on the required number of stitches for the length of scarf you want, (making sure that it is an even number). The pattern for the scarf is as follows - 

Row 1: K2, *yfwd, sl1, yarn back, k1. Repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 2: K2, *k1, yfwd, sl1, yarn back. Repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2
Row 3: Cast on 15sts tightly, cast off 15sts loosely, k2 (includes the stitch used to cast off), *p1, yarn back, sl1, yfwd. Repeat from * to last 2sts, yarn back, k2
Row 4: Cast on 15sts tightly, cast off 15sts loosely, k2 (includes the stitch used to cast off), *sl1, yfwd, p1, yarn back

Keep repeating rows 1-4 until your scarf is the required width. My scarf is 12cm wide.


sl1 - slip 1 purl-wise.
yb - yarn to the back, passed between the needles
k1 - knit 1
yfwd - yarn to the front, passed between the needles
p1 - purl 1

Blocking the Scarf

Although my yarn was spun from 100% merino, I was just a little worried that it might be a tad too itchy next to me daughter's sensitive skin, so instead of just blocking the scarf as soon as it was finished, I soaked it for an hour in water and a few tablespoons of vinegar. I then rinsed it and soaked it for a further hour in water with a few squirts of hair conditioner added. I then rinsed it agan to remove the conditioner. I squeezed out most of the moisture by rolling it in a large towel and then shaped it neatly on a dry towel.

To neaten up the little curly tassels, I wrapped them around a narrow knitting needle and then pinned each one in three places. I left it for a full day to dry and then removed the pins in the tassels.
If you're not planning on soaking your scarf, I would still advise that you steam and shape your scarf and steam and pin your tassel coils in place.

And here it is!  My daughter loves it and she's looking forward to it being cold enough to actually wear it.

What do you think?  I'll be listing it on Ravelry soon, so I'd love to see if anyone makes one of their own.

Related Posts:- 

My First Attempt at Dyeing and
Spinning a Hand Painted Yarn

The Bouclé Stitch


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Unknown said...

Thank you! I have lots of small amounts of acrylic yarn to use up and this pattern may help. Although I love the look with your self-striping yarn!

Unknown said...

Very nice! Love the curliest!