Saturday, September 20, 2014

DIY - machine knitting: fancy lace scarves in two hours

A scarf like this. In two hours: you got that right!

For my mother in law's birthday, I decided to make her a pretty lace scarf that would be ideal for the first cold, nippy fall days.

in front of the window, from my instagram

Then, I liked it so much, I decided to make another one for me in a pretty linen-cotton blend.

I bought a pretty merino/alpaca yarn on Ebay (this one) and thought it would be perfect for this project.

love these speckles!!
Now I'm thinking to make another one, for myself... and I'm thinking cashmere this time! 

I saw this scarf called "racked magic" on Knit-it-Now, it's a double bed scarf, reversible, and once you get the hang of it, it goes really fast.
I tried the tutorial on knit it now step by step, but I ended up making few changes. 

Cast on a multiple of 8 + 4 stitches.
I didn't use the e-wrap cast on method, because I don't like the look of it, so I casted on using the chain stitch cast on.

After that, knit on the first bed 8 rows. I suggest to use a much lower tension than you'd use for the rest of the scarf.
I did NOT do this on the woolen scarf, so the rolled edge looks much wider than the rest of the scarf.
On the linen scarf, I knit the 8 rows for the rolled edge at the beginning and the end at tension 2, while the rest of the work is done at tension 4.2. It turned out much prettier this way.
(look at the edges on both scarves in the first two pictures!)

Then pull up the ribber (rack on 5) and get the needles set: 4 needles on the main bed, 4 on the ribber, ending with 4 needles on the main bed.

Now set your ribber on H.

From now on, you'll knit 2 rows and move the rack to 4, then knit 2 rows, move the rack to 3, knit 2 rows, move to 2, and so on until you'll get to 0.
Once you get to rack 0, knit two rows, then move the rack back to 1 and knit 2 rows and so on until 10.
Here's where I made mine different than the one on the video on knit it now: I didn't repeat the two rows once I got to 0 and then back to 10.
So my sheet to keep track of the rows and racking looks a bit different.
The result is that where the two beds cross you'll see more of a diamond shape rather than an oval shape. No big of a difference, but I like it better.

image from knit it now

click on the link rake lace scarf row count sheet  if you want to download and print the sheet to keep track of the racking !
Always start and end the scarf at the rack 5 position, so you'll have a balanced repetition.
Once you're done with the motif, pass all the needles on the main bed, and knit 8 rows.
Bind off loosely.
I used the bind off around the pegs, I found it less tight and much faster.

Note: pull up the needles on each side while racking: my machine wasn't working the stitches right at the beginning, but worked perfectly once I started to put the needles at each edge on the main bed onto the E position!

Another note: if for some reason you have to stop the work, do it with the carriage on the LEFT. this will save you for trying to remember wether or not you've already shifted the rack.

woolen scarf:
84 stitches
yarn: Baruffa 70%merino 30% alpaca 2/14
tension 4.2
8 rows stockinette + 522 rows motif + 8 rows stockinette
dimensions: 30cm x 147 cm (11-7/8" x 57-7/8")

cotton linen scarf:
100 stitches
yarn: Lanar 50%cotton - 50% linen 2/20
tension: stockinette 2 // motif 4.2
8 rows stockinette + 562 rows motif + 8 rows stockinette
dimensions: 35.5 cm x 180 cm (14" x 70-7/8")

give it a try, it's such a rewarding knit!


keep in touch! 


  1. This looks exactly like what I want to try and make, thank you

  2. Very nice scarves, both.
    Thanks for your explanation and your tips and notes.
    I really like to try this.
    Thanks for posting!

  3. Thank you for sharing, I will hopefully get a chance to try this technique once the garden is all in.

  4. Thanks for sharing, it looks lovely


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