This simple wrap combines two fundamentals of knitting to create a reversible, welted texture: stocking stitch and reverse stocking. It is knitted on the bias, increasing in width as you go, so you can make it any size you like and use any tension of yarn you like – it’s a great stash-buster! The pattern may look long and complicated, but it isn’t, it’s just written with detail for inexperienced knitters and people with short attention spans. The pattern repeat is long, so a chart is included to guide you and help you keep track of where you are in the pattern. You can use any yarn you like, which makes it a great stash buster (see amounts below).
Its called the cottage wrap because it’s a great thing to wrap around your shoulders on a cool night, but maybe especially at the cottage. It is a freebie, from us to you. Please enjoy this pattern as we all emerge from our nests with joy and trepidation.
approx 82”/205cm long (from tip to tip) & 20”/50cm deep (at longest point)
The amount of yarn you use is flexible and depends on the type of fibre you choose and the thickness of the yarn – you’ll probably need 2 scarves worth of yarn. Yarns that are knit as a looser fabric will go further, yarns knit tighter may require some extra, especially bulky to super bulky weight yarns. Use a needle size that works for your yarn.
This pattern has been percolating for a long time … it was a victim of a bit of “scope-creep“, the result of some underlying issues with perfectionism (and the sundry crud that that springs from). I’d like to say thank you to my sample knitters Tessa and Adrienne, who made the wraps in the pictures and helped edit the pattern. Thank you to Erica, Noel and Rosie for just putting up with me. Thanks to Judit who helps me clear the blocks. Thanks also go to everyone whose been so patient and waited for me to finish the pattern. This pattern was far from being my dissertation and definitely not my life’s work, but it was a bit of an albatross. I’d like to raise a toast to letting go of our tethers and stretching our wings: may it be the first of many similar experiences for us all. In the words of my then eight year old nice: “You watch this girl go!”
I loved out first version of the Quaker Yarn Stretcher that we made a second in a lighter, springier colour. We used the same yarn, one skein of Handmaiden Maiden Hair, but we tried some larger (7mm/US10.75) needles this time and got an even lighter, airier effect. It still makes a great, light-as-air scarf, but you can see in the pictures below it’s a perfect wrap for cool summer evenings and chilly wedding halls everywhere. Or just drape it on things around your hose and enjoy the prettiness all year (I seriously used to have a friend who did this – she used to art-direct her apartment long before blogging and the internet. Her for-display-only yarn basket was what got me into knitting).
The yarn, Handmaiden Maiden Hair, is just gorgeous, I absolutely adore working with it before, during, and after the project. Apparently you do to, so we have ordered more in some springier colours and it is on it’s way!
We accidentally changed the pattern and worked e rows of garter stitch instead of reverse-stocking stitch, but it isn’t highly noticeable (see modifications below)
I splurged and got myself a second set of Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers, because I absolutely freakin’ LOVE THEM. Blocking the shawl was a dream with them, they are my favourite new thing.
R 1 to 12: Work Rows 1 to 12 as written in pattern
I LOVE this project, the Quaker Yarn Stretcher was definitely a win. When I cast on I wasn’t sure if it was right for the yarn (Handmaiden Maiden Hair) but my intuition told me that it would work out, so I pushed on, and I’m glad I did. By the time I was ready to cast-off, I was wishing I had another ball – not because I thought the project needed to be larger, but because I was just enjoying it so much. The size is just right for a fall scarf. The fabric is light and airy; the silk in the yarn shows up as beautiful highlights of colour, and the kid mohair creates a soft, beautiful halo. If the Handmaiden Maiden Hair is a little out of your budget, or your skin is too sensitive for any type of mohair, try a skein or two of Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino on 4mm/US6 to 4.5mm/US7 needles (2 skeins if you want a larger size) – it’s 100% super soft merino wool and puffs up with a beautiful aura type halo effect.
I love this yarn (Handmaiden Maiden Hair) SO MUCH, that I don’t feel like it matters what you make with it … but I am also very happy with it (Capture) too. Embodying the best of two worlds, Maiden Hair is sumptuous, but also an interesting texture. It’s a strand of stunning silk swaddled in the loveliness kid mohair. It has both sheen and aura, an unusual but delicious combination. The pattern was simple, effective, and fairly easy. I worked 12 rounds for each section. Overall, I am very, very happy with this project, and I’m itching to make something else with this yarn!