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Friday
Dec032010

Whit's Knits: Fisherman's Rib Scarf and Cowl

How can any knitter resist a stitch pattern called "Fisherman's Rib"? The name evokes all our most romantic knitting associations: rugged men in densely cabled sweaters materializing out of the fog, abeam a windswept Scottish cliff. Luckily, Fisherman's Rib is as beautiful (and practical) as its name implies, lofty, springy, and super cozy.

But, let's face it, most of us aren't as rugged as your average fisherman. You will rarely hear a fisherman say anything like, "It's lovely, but maybe a little bit scratchy, don't you think?". So for the rest of us, I used the Fisherman's Rib, but not his yarn.

Instead, I took this opportunity to return to one of my very favorite yarns, The Fibre Company's Road to China Worsted. I used it three years ago for the Sullivan Street Bolero and have never forgotten its amazing softness and drape. It's such a gorgeous blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel and silk that even the most unweathered on your gift list will be happy with a Fisherman's Rib Scarf or Cowl. Just don't give one to the fisherman in your life. He would never look at his guernseys the same again.

 

The Materials

The Fibre Company's Road to China Worsted, 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Camel. This color is "Lapis".

For the Scarf

For the Cowl

 

The Patterns 

THE SCARF

Gauge

4 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern (unstretched)

Finished Size

7 1/2 inches wide (unstretched) and 62 inches long (unstretched), stretching to about 80 inches long.

Pattern

Cast on 30 stitches.

Preparation Row: Purl.

Row 1: *P1, knit into the stitch below, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2. (See instructions below for how to "knit into the stitch below".)

Repeat Row 1 until you have used all 6 skeins, except for about 2 yards.

Bind off loosely in p1, k1 pattern (you don't have to knit into the stitch below for your bind off.).

Weave in the ends.

How to "Knit Into the Stitch Below"

Insert your right needle into the space right below the next stitch, shown here by the white arrow.

Knit as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual (feels a little scary at first, but don't worry!).

If you turn your work over, you will see that 2 stitches are wrapped around the stitch you just made.

 

THE COWL

Gauge

4 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern (unstretched)

Finished Size

17 1/2 inches in circumference (unstretched), stretching to about 28 inches in circumference, and 10 1/2 inches long.

Pattern

Cast 70 stitches onto a 16 inch circular needle.

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Preparation Round: Knit.

Round 1: *Knit into the stitch below, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions above for how to "knit into the stitch below".)

Round 2: *K1, purl into the stitch below, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions below for how to "purl into the stitch below')

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 10 1/2 inches from the cast on edge.

Bind off very loosely (use a needle one or two sizes bigger if you have to) in k1, p1 pattern (you don't need to work into the stitch below for the bind off.).

Weave in the ends.

How To "Purl Into the Stitch Below"

Insert your right needle from back to front (just like normal purling) into the space below the next stitch, right under the purl bump. The white arrow shows the spot.

Purl as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual.

If you look below the stitch you just made, you will see that it is wrapped by 2 stitches.

Reader Comments (32)

Beautiful scarf and cowl! One suggestion, post the Ravelry project link so it's easy to find and put in one's queue. Thanks!
December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBree
Wonderful!! they are beautiful and I love the color! Thank you also for the explanation on knitting into the stitch below....I had no clue and it never made sense before!!
Carmel
December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarmel
Lovely clear directions, thank you! Nic x
December 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicola Gouldsmith
Please recommend your best cast on for the cowl. I have heard about the old Norwegian cast on, but I don't know it. Thank you very much.

Joanne
December 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
Hi! I love this pattern. Is there anything special that needs to be done to adapt the scarf for straight needles?
December 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKC
Hi KC,
No need to adapt the scarf for straight needles. Just follow the pattern as you normally would. Enjoy!
December 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I've been knitting this, and I highly suggest slipping the first stitch of every row. Otherwise, at least with the yarn I've been using, you get strange, bumpy gapping on the edges.

It's a fantastic pattern, by the way. Absolutely marvelous.
December 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterC. K. Novy
Thanks for this pattern :) I just finished a scarf for my brother with your pattern ! ^^
February 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvie
Do you have a tutorial on how to un-knit a K1B? I am a beginner and am not sure of how to get back to fix a stitch.
February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeri
Hi Jeri,

We don't have a tutorial but I can try to walk you through the steps, which are a little tricky!

First, put the left needle into the stitch below the one you want to remove. Take the stitch off the right needle. Then, with your right needle, pass the second stitch over the first stitch (which looks like a loose strand). You will be left with a knit stitch on the left needle that is facing the wrong way. Replace it so it's correctly oriented and you're finally done!

I hope this helps and good luck!

Whitney
March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Would a sport weight yarn work as well?
November 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCelia
Hi Celia-

Unfortunately sport weight yarn won't work for this pattern because the gauge is thicker. But the stitch pattern will still work for any weight of yarn.

Please let us know if you have any more questions!

Molly
November 20, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I agree with previous commenter. Knitting as prescribed with that purl stitch as the first stitch of the row makes the edge completely wonky. I actually can't believe a slipped edge isn't worked into this pattern - unless I'm doing something wrong. Going to rip out and try with a slipped edge. But wonderful stitch; it's a nice variation of a classic!
February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Why are you bothering to switch k/p, back and forth? This pattern comes out exactly the same if you just knit 1, knit 1 in the row below. When you knit in the row below, essentially you are undoing the stitch that would look 'wrong' (as if it were purled) -- it just comes out, and leaves the stitch in the row below, which is facing the right way. And in the valleys, that stitch just gets swallowed or enfolded. The whole thing looks beautiful, and the yarn stays in back the whole time!
March 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertruefeather77
HI-

How do you do the k1, p1 bindoff at the end?

Thanks
Alice
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Hi Turefeather77,

Cool! I haven't done it, but I take your word! Thanks so much for the tip!

Whitney
March 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Alice,

You work a k1, p1 bind off just like a regular bind off, but instead of knitting every stitch, you knit 1, then purl 1.

It's really similar to a knit bind off, but this way, you keep the stitch pattern going so that your last round looks neat!

Thanks for asking and good luck!

Whitney
March 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Whitney-

Thanks for that advice. I did it but the edging/Opeining is now so tight. Did i do something wrong?

Thanks
Alice
March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Hi Alice,

Bind off rounds do have a tendency to get taut. Lots of knitters bind off with a needle one or two sizes bigger than the needle they used to knit the piece. Or you can just keep in mind that you want to knit your bind off very loosely.

Another option is to explore less conventional bind off techniques that address this problem. We have a tutorial for a great one right here: http://www.purlbee.com/bind-off-elizabeth-zimmermans/2012/3/16/bind-off-the-elizabeth-zimmerman-way.html

I hope this helps!
Whitney
March 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this pattern is not suitable 4 a gurl is it
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterikeuchiaya
Hi ikeuchiaya-

This pattern would be too large for a 4 year old girl.

Thank you for your question!

Molly
March 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
for those who slip d first stitch,did u add extra stitch or juz fixed with 30..


n i found this from a book,its fisherman ribs bt d instructions....CO odd no..then knit 1 row..then Row1(RS):s1.*k1b.p1*2 end...Row2:s1 *p1.k1b* las 2 stitches p1.k1..rep R1 n R2...do u think ill stil get d same pattern as urs? coz i dun hve much time..so i dont tink i can do try n error..thanx
March 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterikeuchiaya
Hi ikeuchiaya,

Usually if you're going to slip the first stitch, you incorporate that stitch into the pattern. In other words, you don't add an extra stitch.

I don't think you'll get exactly this stitch pattern with the instructions you give, although you will get a nice a lofty rib of some sort!

Thanks for your questions and good luck!
Whitney
March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanx Whitney..so that means ill have only p1 at the end of each row rite??thanx once again
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterikeuchiaya
Hi ikeuchiaya,

Yes, if I understand you correctly, that's true. Just to clarify... If you want to slip the first stitch of each row, the pattern would read like this:

Row 1: Slip 1, * knit into the stitch below, p1 repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

I hope this helps! Thanks again for your asking!

Whitney
April 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney,

I tried this pattern and got a strange knobby edge from the first purl stitch. I ripped my work out because I couldnt fix a dropped stitch. I'm a beginner.

Before starting over just wanted to ask you, if I use the slip the first stitch pattern do I need a preparation row of purl stitches? If so, do I slip the first purl stitch?

Thank you

Natalia
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatalia
Hi Natalia,

If you plan to slip the first stitch of every row, you do still need a preparation row of purl stitches. You might as well also slip the first stitch of that row, although if you didn't, it would be very hard to tell!

I hope you're happy with your second attempt, and please let us know if you have any more questions!

Thanks!
Whitney
June 17, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney

My second attempt was turning out really nice. I'm was excited about this scarf until I dropped a purl stitch. I looked at a video on fixing purl stitches but this pattern's purl stitch looks different. Can you please explain how to fix this mistake? Thanks a million.

I love this yarn, it's so soft!

All the best,

Natalia
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatalia
Hi! I love this scarf and would love to make it for a scarfaphobic man in my life...is there a comperable (soft) yarn to sub in as you no longer carry this one? It sounded like such a soft combination!

Thank you!

Eliza
November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEliza
HI Eliza,

Sure! I'd suggest you check out Blue Sky's Worsted: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/711-Blue-Sky-Worsted-Hand-Dyes . Also, Jade Sapphire's 8 Ply Cashmere: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/819-Jade-Sapphire-8-ply-Cashmere . And Manos del Uruguay's Maxima: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7529-Manos-Del-Uruguay-Maxima .

All of those are really soft and beautiful, and for even more options, you can browse through all of our worsted weight yarns right here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/3-knitting-crochet-yarn?filters[]=6 . Please let us know if you have any questions about any of your options!

Thank you for asking and good luck!

Whitney
November 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Can the cowl be worked in 2 colors? For example the knit row in red and the pearl row in black. It sounds like it would work just thought I would see if anyone has tried that. Thanks I love this scarf and would like to make the cowl.
December 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertj
Hi tj,

Cool idea! We'd love to see how it turns out!

Whitney
December 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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