Rolling Scarf

Hi All!
I'm new here and just finished my first scarf. I did it using the stockinette pattern, which I guess is why it rolled? Any hints on how to prevent this in future projects? Also, I found a pattern for a quick and easy coffee cozy, but have never knit in the round before. Any suggestions, tips, etc.? Thanks in advance, this site is a fantastic resource!


kylewilliam's picture

stockinette seems to always roll - if you add a few stitches on both sides of just garter stitch, sometimes that'll help

OR if you do a 1x1 rib (k1, p1, k1, p1) all the way across, then on the next row p1, k1, p1, k1) it makes a scarf that looks a lot like stockinette on both sides...



murfpapa's picture

It's the nature of the beast. A few tricks I've learned:

Knit a bit looser. The tighter the stitch, the more it'll want to roll. Or, use a larger needle for the same effect.

Do a few stitches on both side edges in garter. The knit stitches that tend to roll away from you are counter-balanced by the purl stitches pushing toward you.

Start/end with a few rows in garter or maybe a moss stitch. Again, each knit is counter-balanced with a purl pushing in the opposite direction.

If it's not acrylic, be sure to block. It will last for a while but ironing under a damp towel on warm setting will refresh the flatness. Acrylic doesn't hold the blocking. I had one where I used light steam on an acrylic scarf. It stayed flat but the "fiber" shrank, lost its fluff and became just a thin, limp thing. Heat will melt acrylic. ( I didn't really like that scarf anyhow)

Consider adding some edging, either crocheted or knit. This will eliminate some of the curling at the ends.

The "bear" scarf I made for my Florida friend rolls a lot. He likes it that way. I offered to block or edge it and he said no, he likes it the way it is. So, rolling can be a design element, too.

For the most part, I now avoid stockinette. Adding a rib throughout (even a 1x4 or so) or yo elements (lace patterns) alleviates the internal stress to a degree. I had a book from the library that had tons of stitch patterns, both knit and crochet. It rated each stitch as far as "drape" quality. The ones with excellent drape tended to be more "open" in nature and didn't roll as bad. Ones with poor drape tended to be stiffer and also tended to roll more.

And welcome. I haven't really been on here all that long but I've found the group here to be friendly, funny, inspiring, knowledgeable and a ton of fun.

drmel94's picture

Stockinette rolls because the distance traveled by the yarn in front is actually just slightly less than that in the back. This is sometimes a useful effect, but if it's not what you want then garter stitch borders or ribbing, which have both been mentioned, can be helpful in preventing the roll.

As a new knitter, a useful exercise might be to knit up a lot of swatches of different basic stitch patterns, just to get a feel for how different patterns affect the feel and look of the fabric. Scarves can get a bit monotonous the farther along you knit on them, but if you'd like a finished object, you can do the swatches as dishcloths so that you get both the learning experience and a useful item out of it at the end.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

scenter's picture

Another tip to help control curling in stockinette is to slip the first stitch of every row.

On the coffee cozy, I would recommend trying bamboo or wooden needles. Knitting in the round is nothing more than joining the 'head to the tail' of your knitting, so go for it. The right side of your work is always facing you. Does the cozy pattern start out with the 'standard' cast on 6 stitches and divide onto 3 needles (2 st/needle)? If so, sometimes I have found it easier to start with 3 stitches each on 2 needles, and shift to the three needles after the stitch count gets to about 12 (6/ needle => 4/needle) or so. This 2-needle method controls the inherant floppiness of the new work better, but only works for a few rows (you would be stretching the end stitches too much if you keep at it). Be sure to place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round, as it can be easy to loose your place in the repeats.

skippytheknitter's picture

Thanks so much for the advice. I think the next scarf I make I'll use a rib all the way around, then explore other patterns from there. The coffee cozy starts with "CO 48sts and join in the round", so I assume that I CO 24 sts on each of 2 circular needles? Any recommendations for length? Here's the pattern that I am trying to use:

Thanks again for the great suggestions!

scenter's picture

Aha! It's not a closed bottom cozy. Yes, CO 24 on each (or cast 48 on one and then slip 24 to the other) fold the work in half and join head to tail, making sure that your stitches all face in without twisting around the needle (or you'll be making an unintended Möbius). Pull the stitches on the needle with the tail (assuming you did a long tail cast on) to the center of the cable of that circular, and let them hang.

Working on two circulars the stitches always go back onto the same needle as they were on, so, you start with the other end of the same needle that the first stitch you will knit is on (as your right hand needle). The other circular just dangles until you pick it up after knitting the first half is done, when you pull the stitches you just completed onto the middle of the cable for that circular, skootch the next stitches to the end of the second circular, grab its other end, and knit.

hope that makes sense