Daily Color: “I adore fringe.” –Diana Vreeland
The latest scarf, finished and added to inventory. A lengthwise fringed affair, knit with odds and ends of marvelous Rowan Felted Tweed left over from a sweater project last year.
In brief: knit in the round over 320 stitches: 300 stitches in linen stitch, and a central panel of 20 stitches in stockinette that are later unravelled and cut to form the fringe--details follow below! Gauge is 5 stitches and 10 rows/rounds to the inch in linen stitch; I used US #9 (5.5mm) 24" (60 cm) circular needles. I had 14 different colors of the Rowan Felted Tweed which I graded rainbow-style, working 4 or 5 rounds in each color. Final dimensions are 60" (153 cm) long NOT counting fringe and 6.5" (16.5 cm) wide.
The trick to this scarf, which I learned from a free pattern distributed a few years ago by the now sadly defunct Kaleidoscope Yarns (my LYS, and where I worked for several years) is the cutting of the fringe. Like I said, the scarf is worked in the round with a central panel--20 stitches in this case--worked in stockinette.
The photos above show the scarf ready for bind-off (left) and with bind-off complete (right). Note the central panel of stockinette stitches, center bottom on the left and the only stitches not bound off on the right.
Once the 300 pattern stitches are bound off, simply REMOVE THE NEEDLE from the stockinette section, and unravel these stitches.
The bound-off stitches are safe and will not unravel. Only the live stockinette stitches will come undone.
Once all the stitches are unravelled, you simply stretch out the kinked yarn and cut it down the center!
Though you could trim the fringe to even it and leave it as is, I strongly recommend twisting it, or at least knotting every two or three strands together as close as possible to the knitted edge, to keep it stable. Personally, I love twisted fringe, and I have a wonderful little clip doo-dah that makes twisting the fringe easy. For this scarf I twisted three strands (2 strands plus 1 strand), though for other scarves I have twisted four strands (2 strands plus 2 strands). The video clips below will give you an idea how the twisting and knotting works.
At this point, the fringe is likely to be rather uneven. Usually I go back and retie the fringe as needed so that the knots are all approximately lined up, and then I trim the fringe as evenly as possible, leaving a little bit of a tassel.
When the warmer weather returns, I'll take this scarf outside and block it on my porch to even out the fabric a bit and relax the fringe, so that next winter it will be ready to warm someone's neck in a rainbow of color.