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Four Peaks Scarf: Tunisian on the Bias

Crochet
October 2012
Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi) ?
13.5 stitches and 13.5 rows = 4 inches in Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss)
8.0 mm (L)
6.5 mm (K)
7.0 mm
250 - 400 yards (229 - 366 m)
1 skein = 50"-long scarf. More yarn = longer (and/or wider) scarf.
This pattern is available for $5.99 USD
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Four Peaks Scarf is a newly remastered, rectangular variation of the L-shaped Five Peaks Shawl. (Five Peaks first appeared in Interweave Crochet magazine, Spring 2010 issue.)

It’s easy to use any yarn weight, fiber, amount, and Tunisian hook size. Pictured are both dense wintery wool scarves and breezy summery options.

“Four Peaks” refers to what it’s like to start in one corner (a “peak”) and then crochet Tunisian rows diagonally to create the remaining three “peaks” of a symmetrical Tunisian rectangle (i.e., a scarf; or…stole, shrug, headband, afghan, and more!). This geometric construction method frees you to do several other promising things with Tunisian crochet.

The eyelet edging is built in to each biasing row for seamless effortless striping. This exciting special effect wouldn’t be the same if the edging had to be added later instead.

Four Peaks also introduces the ”Tunisian foundation slip stitch.” I’ve discovered that special increase methods along the left edge are needed for the Tunisian eyelets to drape symmetrically. The Five Peaks pattern uses an alternate method I developed called the “double half-hitch.” (Developing stretchy, pretty, and symmetrically draping Tunisian crochet edges is a big design priority for me; see my newsletter issue #48 (Link is secure and goes to my MailChimp service.)

Pattern includes a stitch diagram and easy customizing instructions for any length, width, and amount of yarn you have on hand. My favorite way to crochet the Four Peaks Scarf (and the Five Peaks Shawl) is with a chart, because all rows face the front. It also reveals the simple logic that underlies fancy-looking biasing rows and eyelet stitches.

Skill Level Intermediate. Almost all of the scarf is Tunisian Simple Stitch (a beginner-level stitch), and the return pass for each row is the standard one that beginners learn. How each forward pass begins and ends is what makes this Intermediate level. You should have experience using easier Tunisian crochet patterns before attempting it. My free Symmetrical Tunisian Diamond 101 pattern is the best preparation for the Four Peaks experience. Burly, a Tunisian Simple Stitch men’s scarf pattern for beginners, would be a basic review. Tunisian Shakti Scarfythings is also a good way to experience simple lacy biasing.

After using this pattern, you will know (if you didn’t already):

  • How to start a Tunisian crochet project in one corner and build a scarf on the diagonal by increasing along both edges.
  • How to shape the left edge with a Tunisian Foundation Slip Stitch so that it matches the stretch and drape of the right edge.
  • How to edge Tunisian crochet with lacy eyelets as you go.
  • How to choose a good combination of hook size and yarn for this kind of design.

Finished Measurements (measured flat)
One skein of the summery rainbow bamboo-rayon yarn yielded a 50” x 9.5” {127 x 24 cm} scarf.
One skein of the wintery wool yarn yielded a 34” x 10” {86 x 25.5 cm} scarf.
Pattern includes information for customizing the scarf’s width and length.

About the Yarns Used
For Summery rainbow scarf, Mondial Bamboo (100% Bamboo rayon; 252yds/230m per 3.5oz/100g skein): 1 skein in color #680 Parrot. (This yarn seems like a #3 Light Weight one to me, a.k.a. DK, light worsted wt.)
For Wintery wool scarf, Patons Classic Wool Worsted (100% Wool; 210yds/192m per 3.5oz/100g skein): 1 skein in color Palais for a wide neckwarmer, 2 for a full length scarf.

Substituting Yarns: I’ve swatched several types of yarn and hook sizes for this pattern. Each new yarn I try gives unpredictable results because biasing Tunisian eyelet fabric is more dynamic than any other Tunisian crochet I’ve made. Be prepared to swatch the first 16 rows or so of the pattern to accurately see if you’re using a large enough crochet hook for the yarn. This is because the eyelets start out seeming quite loose, but as the solid stitches between the eyelet edges increase, the fabric will firm up. For the summery rainbow bamboo scarf, I almost decided on a K/6.5 mm hook with this limp, slippery yarn. By the 16th row, however, the solid part of the scarf was feeling stiffer than I wanted it to. I started over with the next larger hook size (L/8 mm; I don’t have the 7 mm and 7.5 mm nonstandard Tunisian hook sizes).

It’s also important to block it briefly (spritz with water and stretch out evenly to dry) before making decisions about your swatch. This is because extra ease is purposely built into the edges, and blocking evens it out to bring out its elegance.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try using hot steam on a swatch to:

  • Soften a 100% wool, llama, or camel yarn.
  • Make an acrylic yarn go as limp as rayon (a.k.a. “killing acrylic”)--taking great care that you don’t melt it instead.

You might like to try this pattern with a thinner yarn from the #2 Fine Weight category (a.k.a. sock yarn, fingering, light sport, baby) and a size J/US10/6mm or K/US10.5/6.5 mm Tunisian crochet hook. For a light breezy scarf, I liked a K hook with my Louet Euroflax swatch.