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Photography: Thomas Straub
Source: Martha Stewart Living, Holiday 2006
Knitted scarves are the perfect handmade gift: They're easy to make, one size fits all, and small imperfections give them charm. Plus, you can choose needle and yarn sizes to match the amount of time you can invest. Thick needles and heavy yarn make quick work of a chunky scarf, like the one below. Thinner needles and yarn will produce tighter knits. If you're new to knitting, see our techniques guide to learn the basics -- from casting on to weaving in ends.
For these scarves, we used U.S. size 9 and size 7 needles and two or three 50-gram skeins of yarn (discuss your choices with your yarn store). You can alter the width by varying the number of stitches you cast on; for many of these, we used 40 stitches for a width of roughly 7 inches. Knit until desired length (ours are about 60 inches).
U.S. size 9 and size 7 needles
Two or three 50-gram skeins of yarn
This uses a 2 x 2 rib (knit 2, purl 2) to create detail on an otherwise basic scarf. To knit scarf: Cast on. Knit 2, purl 2; repeat across row. Continue for the length of the scarf. Bind off. Weave in ends.
Adding skinny stripes in different colors and textures is a great way to use up leftover yarn. To knit scarf: With blue, cast on. Work in 1 x 1 rib (knit 1, purl 1; repeat across row) for 6 rows. Change to white; work 2 rows. Change back to blue, and repeat this pattern to add stripes in other colors for the length of the scarf, ending with blue. Bind off. Weave in ends.
For equal-size stripes, use the same amount and weight of yarn for each. To knit scarf: With brown, cast on. Work in 1 x 1 rib (knit 1, purl 1; repeat across row) for 10 rows. Change to aqua yarn; work in 1 x 1 rib for 10 rows. Alternate colors for the length of the scarf. Bind off. Weave in ends.
We used a much finer yarn for the blue stripes than for the white. To knit scarf: Cast on in white. Work in 1 x 1 rib (knit 1, purl 1; repeat across row) for 4 rows. Change to blue and work 2 rows. Change to white and repeat this pattern for the length of the scarf. Bind off. Weave in ends.
We knit 2 different yarns together as if they were one, and cast on 28 stitches. Since our white mohair was a lace-weight yarn, we needed less than our red angora. To knit scarf: Cast on. Use 4 x 4 rib (knit 4, purl 4; repeat across row) until scarf is 50 inches. Bind off. Weave in ends.
We paired a bulky cream-colored wool with a fine light-blue mohair and used a U.S. size 20 needle, so we only cast on 14 stitches. To knit scarf: Cast on, working with both yarns together. Work in 1 x 1 rib (knit 1, purl 1; repeat across row) for the length of the scarf. Bind off. Weave in ends.