Isabella's Scarf to Knit by Carol Rhoades
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Isabella's Scarf to Knit

August 2014
Sport (12 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 6 - 4.0 mm
200 yards (183 m)
36 inches (91.4 cm) long and 4½ inches (11.4 cm) wide at widest point
This pattern is available from for $5.50.

Interweave SKU: EP10331

Finished Size: 36 inches (91.4 cm) long and 4½ inches (11.4 cm) wide at widest point

Yarn: Bijou Basin Ranch Himalayan Trail Bijou Spun,75% yak down/25% super fine merino wool, 200 yards (182.9 m)/2 ounce (56.7 g) ball,1 ball of Natural Cream

Needles: circular 32 inches (80 cm) for Magic Loop or set of 5 double pointed, size 6 (4 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions: Marker; Stitch holder; Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rnds = 4 inches (10.2 cm) in St st

Originally Published: PieceWork September/October 2014

For this scarf in honor of Isabella Bird, I wanted to incorporate details from her journeys into the design. Although few of her mentions of knitting are detailed, she informs her sister (in A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, Letter V) that she has been knitting her a “shell-pattern quilt.” The Fan Shell motif seemed just the ticket, and the yarn choice (a yak down/merino wool blend) connects two of Isabella’s destinations—Tibet, where most yaks live, and Colorado, home of the yaks that supply the fiber for Bijou Basin Ranch yarns. The scarf recalls the lace fabric neck “ruffles” of the nineteenth century and is a style that a lady traveler might find useful—keeping the neck warm but without long ends to tangle with reins, trees on overgrown paths, or a person carrying one up dangerous mountain trails. Knitting the scarf in the round made it warmer and cozier. The pattern is easily memorized and so is quite appropriate as a travel project. All in all, it’s a very Isabella scarf.