By Michelle Kempner
Fall is an exciting time. The leaves are changing, the kids are back to school, and football season is starting up. Since you are starting to pull your knitting needles and yarn back out of the closet, why not use them to knit a scarf to support your favorite sports team? The scarf could have an image of the school mascot or a professional sports team logo. You can design the pattern yourself using photo software and the existing sports team logo and have a very unique scarf to wear to games.
Vanna’s Choice Yarn 3 balls in team colors
Photo editing software
Step 1: Find an image of the logo that you want to use to make the pattern. Simple iconic images work best. Often older logos are more iconic. You can try image searches for older versions of a team’s logo.
Step 2: Open the logo in the photo editing software of your choice. You may need to play with the rotation to get it to work right for your scarf. I rotated the eagle to be vertical. Because a knit stitch is taller than it is wide, you need to shorten the image height-wise before making the pattern. Make sure that you have the proportions unlocked and then reduce the height only of the image by 75%. When you knit the pattern, the height will stretch to the appropriate proportions. Crop the image as tight to the logo as you can.
Step 3: Determine how many colors you want to include in your scarf. I chose to use 3 colors: white, green and black. Change the image mode to indexed color, and reduce the number of colors to the number of colors of yarn you are using. Reduce the image size to the number of stitches you want the pattern to be. Look at the gauge of the yarn you are using. My yarn is 16 stitches for 4″. Because of the complexity of my image, I chose to make about an 8″-wide scarf. I created a 24-stitch eagle pattern by reducing the image size to 24 pixels. After reducing, zoom in and clean up the design to finish your pattern. Turn on grid lines on your screen, and then you have your knitting pattern.
Step 4: Cast on 6 more stitches than the number in your pattern. Since my pattern is 24 stitches, I cast on 30.
Step 5: Knit rows 1 to 4 in garter stitch and the first 3 stitches and last 3 stitches of every row in knit stitch, no matter what side you are on, to keep the scarf from rolling. On the 5th row, start following your pattern, working in stockinette stitch.
Step 6: If you are following this pattern, continue knitting your scarf in stockinette until you are almost at your desired length. The beauty of designing your own scarf is that you can be as creative as you like. After I knit the pattern one time, I decided to add stripes to give it an athletic feel. For my stripes, I knit 2 rows in black after the eagle pattern. Then I knit 4 rows in green, 2 rows in white, and 4 rows in green again, all in stockinette. If you aren’t yet tired of all the stranded knitting, you could decide to repeat the pattern across the whole scarf.
Step 7: Once you get to the other side of the scarf, include the stripes pattern again. Then, turn the pattern upside down and repeat the eagle pattern.
Step 8: When you finish, knit 4 rows in garter and then bind off. Weave in all the yarn ends.
Even with the garter stitch border, the scarf will still roll quite a bit. Make sure to lay the scarf out flat and block it overnight. Because of all of the stranded knitting, the wrong side of the scarf will look a bit messy. Cut a piece of matching fleece or flannel and hand-sew it to the back of the scarf.
Now that you are finished, you have a one-of-a-kind scarf to show off your team fandom! Wear your unique scarf proudly to all your favorite team’s events and games.
For more details on both making a pattern from an image and stranded knitting, watch Becky’s video podcast from the skeleton cardigan project.
About the Author:
Michelle Kempner’s goal in life is to have as little free time as possible. She works in technology at an interactive agency in New York during the day while sewing, knitting, baking, blogging, running, swimming, and biking her weekends away.