The House Elf's Scarf by Marianne Case

The House Elf's Scarf

April 2016
Any gauge - designed for any gauge ?
0 stitches and 0 rows = 4 inches
One size
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This scarf has been designed using a variation of what is sometimes called “Elfin Lace.” It’s a panel of closely-set Elfin Lace eyelet clusters with 2 garter stitches along each long side and a feather-like end border.

The design is charted only.

There is no gauge, as every yarn is different. Use a larger needle than you would use to knit a firm fabric with whatever yarn you have. (This would be a larger needle than is recommended on the yarn label.) The yarn in the sample photo felt like a heavy fingering weight but has a slight mohair halo, so I chose a US size 6 needle. I usually use a size 5 to knit fingering weight lace, and size 4 for light fingering, if you’re new to lace knitting and would like a guide. Each knitter also has his or her own preference for how tightly or loosely to knit and how they prefer the resulting fabric to drape.

The best yarns to use would be laceweight to sport weight. A yarn with an angora or mohair halo gives a nice effect. Beads may be added if desired.

The scarf is knitted in two halves from the ends, and seamed in the middle with the kitchener stitch; it’s easiest to knit the two halves at the same time using both the inside and the outside ends of the yarn and stopping when you run out.

The scarf must be blocked, so natural fibers are best, but I used a yarn that was a mix of natural and man-made fibers and steam-blocked it. I’ve had good results with steam-blocking or even “killing” yarn which has acrylic content. If you are going to “kill” your yarn (by ironing it) test a sample swatch first.

I’ve named it “The House Elf’s Scarf” to play on the definition of “Elfin” which can mean “small and delicate” or “of elves.” The first elf I thought of was Dobby the house elf, and how the inadvertent gift of Harry Potter’s sock (an item of clothing) set him free. I like to imagine Dobby going free not just with his sock, but also this scarf around his neck. If it were knit in black it would look like something Bellatrix Lestrange might wear, not that she’d give it to Dobby!

Update 8/31/16: a spelling error has been corrected.

Please notify me if you spot an error or a typo.