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Free Pattern: The Helix Scarf

Mar 14, 2011

The Helix Scarf by Stephenie Gaustad
"While thumbing through Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr, I saw a scarf that got its inspiration from seaweed. On only my first cup of tea that morning, I started thinking about a favorite sea creature, the nudibranch or sea slug (an unfortunate name for such a beauty with wildly colored, flaring skirts). Thus the germ for the structure of the Helix Scarf was planted." —Stephenie Gaustad

Isn't this often how an idea is sparked? You see something and your mind gallops off in an unexpected direction. I love it when this happens, and I'm thankful that it happened to Stephenie because it resulted in the Helix Scarf, a rippling, ruffling bit of stylish beauty.

The Helix Scarf Came to my attention as part of a Spin-Off Magazine reader challenge. Spin-Off does poses challenges several times a year and it's so much fun to see what readers come up with.

The editors choose a pattern and then challenge readers to come up with their own versions, spinning their own yarn to make the pattern, and adding mods as they see fit.

I'm in awe of the results of these creative readers, so I thought I'd share some of the finished projects to inspire you, too. All of the entries were knitted using handspun yarn, but if you're not a spinner, you can knit Helix with your favorite commercial yarn, of course, or pick up some beautiful handspun at your LYS!

Elizabeth Souza's Helix Scarf. Elizabeth used baby camel and silk fibers for her scarf. So soft! Fall Foliage by Lori Lawson. Lori used a picot edging to add a bit of whimsy.

New Beginnings by Sarah Wilson. Sarah spun up a worsted weight yarn for her Helix variation. Gilding the Lily by Leslie Ann Hauer. Leslie added a simple lace pattern to her Helix Scarf.
Download the Helix Scarf to see the rest of the fantastic entries, too (the pattern begins on page 2 of the download). You'll see scarves knit out of various yarn weights,  and there's a pattern for each of the variations challenge participants came up with!

This challenge is just one of the fun and exciting articles Spin-Off offers to knitters. Subscribe now so you don't miss out on any upcoming challenges or unique knitting patterns.


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gracietb wrote
on Oct 12, 2012 4:54 PM

Just downloaded The scarfs and they are beautiful...I am having a problem with Alexandra's short rows.

Pattern reads:

knit 30 turn

k10, turn.

yo, k10 back to edge: turn

k5; turn.

yo, K5; turn

 k5,sl 1-ssk-;psso(the slipped Stitch is a yo) Here is where I am having trouble>>K4,(I only have 3 before the yo)sl1-ssk-psso(the slipped stitch is a yo)  K 19  to end of the row. What am I doing wrong

dora47au wrote
on Sep 8, 2011 12:08 AM

i joined the site but now there is nowhere to download pattern for helix sc arf help please i am new to this site but love the scarf

gayle@5 wrote
on Mar 23, 2011 1:31 PM

When I downloaded the pattern I could only see the picture on page 6, like some other posters.  A hint from one of the posters (silly girl,, led me to try opening it with Adobe Reader instead of Mac OS X Preview.  All the pictures showed up!

MaryW wrote
on Mar 22, 2011 3:52 PM

I'd like to try these scarves, especially the one with rounded ends. However, I haven't done much with short rows and the instructions for the rounded end scarf says it's done in 2 stitch short row increments across half the stitches. Can anyone give me some more detailed instructions? I'm lost. Thanks.

woodssaraj wrote
on Mar 20, 2011 8:30 PM


Just downloaded and printed the 29 pages of the Helix scarf pattern and gallery.

I'm very disappointed to have only one picture (both on the computer and printed out.).  I notice from the comments that I am not the only one having trouble.


hollyknits wrote
on Mar 19, 2011 9:47 PM

When I go to download the pattern, it just takes me to a page to subscribe to your publication. What am I doing wrong? (I'm running Mac OSX 10.6.6)

grammiesmile wrote
on Mar 16, 2011 10:41 AM

Please please please fix the download for the Helix Scarf.  I have  just recently returned to knitting after a 30 year absence after seeing this gorgeous scarf but I have been unable to download it to my Mac OS10.  Please help.  I live  in Ellensburg - not that far from Spokane. Thank you in advance

Mary Hoffman An old dog-71- who is eager to learn new knitting skills

bgray wrote
on Mar 15, 2011 9:32 PM

I've tried to download to my iPad, but I don't see any of the pictures. I'll try the laptop tomorrow.

wickedzoot wrote
on Mar 15, 2011 7:05 PM

Hi All.  Kathleen thank you for you wonderful website!  I have just begun the Helix scarf but I am having difficulties understanding the patter.  When it states to "knit back to the edge" does that mean knit across an entire row.  I am having trouble see how I am getting to the other side of the row after my w&t's.  This is the very first time I have ever knit w&t/short rows.  

Any advice would be welcome.  Thank you and keep those needles clicking!!!!!


LisaM@10 wrote
on Mar 14, 2011 8:14 PM

Wish I could download the PDF to my iBooks app vs. printing  a hard copy via my desktop.  I have been unable to download the entire PDF without losing content or photos.  Hopefully it will work tomorrow because the pictures and instructions would look much better on my iPad.

LisaM@10 wrote
on Mar 14, 2011 8:06 PM

I was able to download the PDF to my desktop computer with all of the photos and instructions.  It would not download to my iPad (I'd prefer to save the PDF in iBooks vs. printing a hard copy) even though I've never had a problem downloading other Knitting Daily PDF's to my iBooks library.  Rather bummed out but will try again tomorrow.

HendrikaT wrote
on Mar 14, 2011 5:23 PM

Hi Kathleen,

I love the Helix scarves!  A bit coincidental as I am knitting a similar pattern at the moment from a free knitting book from the Australian Better Homes and Garden Issue for April 2011.  The BHG pattern has 33 stitches and does the wedge over 2 then 4 then 6 then 8 then 10; results is a more frilly edge.  I loved some of the ones in the free dowload and will make some more of those - the Lacy one especially!

Thanks for the patterns

Cheers from a 'going into Autumn' Blue Mountains in Australia


on Mar 14, 2011 7:50 AM

Somehow I keep thinking of Noro yarns when I see these scarves, which are so pretty you almost couldn't make a mistake!

gramm wrote
on Mar 14, 2011 7:20 AM

I think my granddaughter would love this-and my daughter! Glad to know it is "easy to make". Have to put this on the list of to do's.

Maezing2 wrote
on Mar 14, 2011 7:10 AM

I'm working on one of these, was published in the Spin Mag this month. It is so cute!!! Easy to make.