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Narragansett Bay Scarf

A Fine Fleece
Knitting
April 2008
Sport / 5 ply (12 wpi) ?
24 stitches = 4 inches in seed stitch
US 4 - 3.5 mm
400 yards (366 m)
Approximately 8.5 x 54" (21.5 x 137cm)

Pattern Description from A Fine Fleece: “While working on this book, I had an opportunity to spend some all-too-brief time in the wonderful town of Newport, Rhode Island. This is a town rich in contrasts of old and new, and this juxtaposition played nicely with the contrasting themes running through my head at the time. Even more dramatic was a tourist harbor cruise, where I saw some of the world’s fastest racing boats, America’s Cup winners, luxurious yachts, antique schooners, and working lobster boats all in one tiny space of water. All of the images, including the amazing mansions on the shore and lighthouse dotted about, filled me with design inspiration. However, the only boat my heart yearned for was the lobster boat returning from a morning’s catch, and I desperately wanted to join the couple aboard and really feel what it’s like to do a hard day’s work. I was reminded again of the knitting heritage of fishing ganseys and the romantic vision of lassies knitting dockside while waiting for their loved ones to return from the sea. It seemed fitting to design the Narragansett Bay set for both men and women, and to include pieces that could actually be useful out on the Atlantic. While the exquisite natural white set is far too delicate for fishing, it is a beautiful showcase for the traditional stitchwork. I chose the gansey motif to represent the Claiborne Pell Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in New England, which crosses Narragansett Bay to the island that houses Newport. The hand-dyed Lorna’s Laces yarns are superwash wool, which I always find useful for things like hats and scarves. The ultra-soft Cormo wool is pure and untouched for the cap and scarf, but the wool for the socks was blended with 25 percent nylon for additional strength. These pieces posed more of a design challenge than initially meets the eye. Once I chose a traditional gansey motif, I needed to be sure it fit within the sizes, gauges, and other restrictions I placed upon the project. This involved lots of swatching to determine the various gauges for the three weights of yarn and manipulating the chart to best fit within all the spaces necessary. Changing direction was also needed for the cuff-down knitting of the socks and to make the scarf symmetrical. It was indeed a fun project and a great learning experience for me as a designer. And yes, I do have fantasies of turning this design into a full-blown gansey sweater.”

Skill Level: Intermediate Beginner

Finished Measurements: Approximately 8.5 x 54” (21.5 x 137cm)

Yarn: #2 fine

  • 400 yds (366m) sport weight
  • 2 skeins Lorna’s Laces Yarns Shepherd Sport, 2.5 oz (74g) skeins, each approximately 200 yds (183m), 100% superwash wool Cranberry

Needles and Notions:

  • US size 4 (3.75mm) knitting needles, or size needed to obtain gauge

  • Tapestry needle