Experience, it's all in the experience (clean language post from my blog)

Do you see these?

are the two scarves I have knit myself over the years. Yes, I have in
fact only knit myself two separate scarves. All those other scarves that
some of you may have seen on my needles were for other people and have
found what I hope are happy homes with them.

Let's take a closer look at them...

Yeah, that one on the right is looking a bit ragged, no? It has it's reasons and they are not the poor scarf's fault. You see this is the first thing I knit. EVER. Yeah, so it's at least a decade old. The poor things ends are coming loose because quite frankly, I didn't do them properly. Why not? I didn't know how.

This poor doomed scarf is a simple garter stitch that I cast on length-wise and knit until I had the knit stitch down. He's a bit wonky in places due to uneven stitch tension, and I didn't know the striping would be odd on one side, I didn't know that I wouldn't have a lovely flat texture and if I did know how to purl to get that texture that I would have fought the scarf fighting over the last decade. But, I learned, and in the decade that I've been knitting, I've learned a lot.

Enter my new scarf I just took off the needles.

Isn't he handsome? It's a brioche cable that's reversible on either side in Classic Elite's Chalet which is a 70% baby alpaca-30% bamboo viscose plyed in a chain. It's lofty, cushy as can be and in a charcoal grey that goes with all my winter jackets. I'm in love.

I originally tried to knit this scarf a few years back when I saw another local knitter working on it. We didn't get along so well and without her aid I couldn't figure out Brioche from the resources I found at the time. This past year Kurtis at the Rocky Mountain Mens Knitting Retreat taught a brioche class. It was one of those "duh" moments from the start. It was so simple, I just needed to see someone do it. Once I had that down I came home and promptly forgot about my own scarf trudging along with my trusty old wool one that had seen me through as many Wyoming Winters as Alaskan ones. Then one day I got done with all the Christmas knitting and remembered that pattern. When I printed it off I immediately thought of this wonderful cream yarn I had seen at our yarn store. I bought the only 3 remaining skeins and got to it. I quickly wrapped up a beautiful scarf but it wasn't to be mine. The cream just wasn't my color but it got so many Wow's that I ended up using it for a model and teaching a class this last month on this scarf.

During class I picked out the charcoal yarn that was ordered just for us and after finally getting to work on a project for my, my new scarf is finished. Though my trusty old scarf has seen better days, I will still put him away in the hat and glove box for when I care about warmth and not looks. There are still days that I simply need something to keep the drafts from my zipper and collar line and something to pull up over my chin as I walk into the wind driven snow. He may be old, and maybe not so pretty, but he has a lot of warmth left in his battered wool.


ronhuber's picture

Both scarves are lovely. However, a garter stitch scarf tugs at my heart for some reason and along with hand knit socks and mittens, I have never seen one I did not like.

AKQGuy's picture

That tugging is why I can't seem to just throw it away or donate, however; you must have a more open mind than I for I have seen ones I don't care for, but it's normally a color thing for me. I'm picky about my variegated yarns. So picky that the fiber I just plyed is truly not doing it for me yet.

ronhuber's picture

Gee, I should have maybe modified my statement with a "except for variegated yarn". Where I grew up we all had garter stitch scarves that we, or an older sibling, or a parent had knitted. I am not a real lover of variegated yarn but that is just my humble opinion. Many people love it. I like self striping sock yarn but don't know if that would fall into the variegated yarn category. Jean from Jean's Knitting talked recently about veriegated or hand painted yarn that looked stunning in the skein but looked like dog vomit when knitted up.

AKQGuy's picture

Exactly my feelings! And I have seen some dog vomit in my days. As for self striping, it is variegated but the color shifts are nice and long. I can deal with that better than the hand painted short shifts in color that just look... Mottled like a teenagers face.


I love the brioche scarf. It looks sooo comfy

AKQGuy's picture

Oooooh, it is. Thank you.

CLABBERS's picture

Very handsome scarves. Keeping that first practical, wearable item is a great thing to do. I just finished a new stocking hat for myself and can't bring myself to throw away the one I made a couple years ago and have worn it out...even acrylic has a shelf life! The new brioche scarf is absolutely stunning. It's nice to see things without the standard garter stitch edges. I am searching for a scarf to make for my brother and I really like the brioche one. Did you write the pattern or is it one on the Internet?


AKQGuy's picture

Not one of my own design but its available for free here on the internet:


It's a great cushy scarf, have fun!

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks Quinton, it's in my pattern collection now!

WillyG's picture

Both these scarves warm my heart. Once again I find reason to resent a fellow knitter when looking at his "first knitting project." What the heck? My first knitting project was half an adult bootie, as per my teacher. It never became anything more than that. I have no idea what I knit next because it took me several years to commit to the sticks and yarn, and when I finally did start getting a groove on, I still didn't have enough sense to form my stitches without twisting them. Then after that there were issues of taste in yarn choices, and - well, it's just been a long road to projects that can get so much love as that simple garter stitch scarf.

That brioche scarf as a class... that's a nice idea........

AKQGuy's picture

I like the deep end of the pool. And I already knew crochet from growing up doing it so I knew it wouldn't be tovar a leap. Mind you, it wasn't a fast project. It took awhile for my head to get wrapped around being able to crochet a whole scarf in about 6-8hours to knitting one in a couple weeks.

All classes are good ideas, if speaking from the social aspect. Who doesn't enjoy hanging out with other knitters and seeing what they choose to do with a pattern?

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very lovely posting, Q. You did the right thing by keeping the old reliable for rough days...my oldest bits of knitting were worn out long ago and I can't even remember them. [Roughly 46+ years of knitting is a long time to think back over, after all.]
I must say, though, that the photos do not do the brioche scarf justice; it is much more luscious in person.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

AKQGuy's picture

Thank you and I know, you have to squish it in person. Kinda like some bo... Wait, it's a clean language post. Right.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Ummm...yeah. Leaves a lot to the imagination for "fill in the blank" though.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

pringer77's picture

Both are beautiful...going to try that brioche after my next project...or at least mention it at my lys and see if they will conduct a class! Absolutely beautiful!

AKQGuy's picture

Thank you very much. Good luck getting a class pulled together! We had fun in ours.

RickMartin's picture

Look Absolutely Fantastic - Brioche is next on my list to learn. I even signed up for a free class that was offered by New Stitch a Day - completely spaced it and missed the class. Darn! Maybe they'll offer it again in the future (and maybe that future will still be sooner than I sit down and figure it out myself).

Terrific job!


AKQGuy's picture

Thank you! Play with it and I wish you better luck thank myself had doing so.