Knitting on the Road: The Vacation Scarf

The Vacation Scarf

I spent last week camping in paradise, a.k.a. Yellowstone National Park. I went with a friend and we had so much fun seeing wildlife (bears, wolves, coyotes, moose, elk, pronghorn, and lots of bison!).

I brought along some knitting—a baby vest, a tee-shirt, and some random yarn just in case—but I hardly knit at all! There was just too much to see and do, and most days we got back to our campsite too late to sit around and knit; who wants to knit outside in 50-degree weather, let alone have your knitting smell like a campfire!

I did get some knitting done in the car, though, and a funny thing happened when I picked up the needles after several days of not knitting: I experienced an odd feeling, almost like an adrenalin rush, when I picked up the needles again. It was so weird! I guess I shouldn't have extended amounts of time away from knitting—it might be bad for my health.

Even though the projects I brought were fairly easy knits, I ended up not wanting to work on anything the least bit complicated—I still needed to be able to look out the window to see geysers and bison and wolves (oh, my!). So, I decided to make one of my easy go-to items: the eyelet scarf.

    Three Scarves
A Scarf of Your Very Own by Ann Budd   

I started thinking about this scarf after looking through our new eBook, Best of 2010 Patterns for Knitted Accessories. There's a pattern in there called A Scarf of Your Very Own, by Ann Budd. Ann took three lace patterns and did the math to make three different scarves out of laceweight yarn. While I was deciding what to work on in the car, I thought about this project and remembered my simple eyelet pattern.

This is one of my favorite quickie scarves, and I've made several for gifts. You can use any weight yarn and any size needles. What I'm using for my current scarf is a fingering weight, handspun seacell/merino blend from Three Irish Girls.

I got this yarn at the Sock Summit, and I've been admiring it for almost a year! I'm so glad I threw it in my backpack at the last minute. I had size 7 needles on hand, so I cast on 24 stitches, thinking I'd get about a 5 inch-wide scarf, which I did. (No real swatching on this one; I figured if I didn't like the width I'd just start over.)

Here's my pattern, now named The Vacation Scarf.

CO 24 stitches.
Row 1: K1, *YO, K2tog; rep from * to last st, K1.
Row 2: K1, *YO, P2tog; rep from * to last st, K1.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until scarf is the desired length (or until you run out of yarn!).

Pretty easy, huh?

This pattern gives you a lot of bang for your knitting buck. The lace pattern looks really fancy and it shows off variegated yarn really well, and it's a great stash-buster for those special one or two skeins of yarn you bought on vacation. (Yes, I did visit a yarn shop in Jackson, WY—Knit on Pearl is just darling!)

Kathleen at Yellowstone    
Kathleen and Mimi at Yellowstone Falls

If you're like me and you love a good accessory to take on the road with you, check out Best of 2010 Patterns for Knitted Accessories! Since it's an eBook, you can print out just the pattern you want to work on and slip it into your vacation knitting bag (mine was a Ziplock baggie!)


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

28 thoughts on “Knitting on the Road: The Vacation Scarf

  1. I need a couple of quick gifts for a visit I’ll be making soon and this looks like the perfect thing to do on short notice! I love the little patterns you throw in your emails and usually save them to work up later. Thanx for taking the time to share with us.

  2. Hi Kathleen!
    I loved this post because I always knit on the road. Even in the subway on my way home. My latest addition was an iPad. I highly recommend the iPad because I keep all my PDFs in it, so I always have the patterns available! I used to carry a lot of books and paper with me, but now everything became easier! Loved the scarf, it should be very fast to knit.

  3. I would not mind if my knittins smelled like a campfire. I love the smell of woodsmoke campfire. I live in the big sky country. I have lived many places but always come home. There are many great little yarn outlets here, some in the most unexpected places. Please check out a new find of mine. The wool is grown in Montana and then spun in Canada. She does such a good job and the yarn is heaven. The colors are just wonderful. I fell in love at first feel of the yarns.

  4. I just got back from a fabulous vacation, on which I bought fabulous yarn 🙂 This post is very timely…I’m just planning out a lace scarf/shawl as a Christmas gift for my lovely choir director, and while I want something fancier than this it was still inspiring to read about the topic right now!

  5. Kathleen!
    I intend to post after receiving most all of your wonderfully inspirational “Knitting Daily” installments. It seems to me that I await their arrival in my inbox and I read each one completely. You have caused me to laugh, destash AND step out of my comfort zone into the world of patterns that I NEVER would have considered. Thank you for such a wonderful resource with the very real human (you) behind it! I am going to try the “Vacation Scarf” when next I need a project to do where I do not want to be bothered with carrying around instructions, much less paying attention to the instructions!
    Again, sincere and hearfelt thanks to YOU!!

  6. I’m amazed that anyone could knit while driving through Yellowstone, or would want to! When I’ve been to Yellowstone I could never take my eyes off the scenery, possibly especially when we were caught in a Bison traffic jam for half an hour. Glad you enjoyed Yellowstone – it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

  7. I also love Knit on Pearl, and my ditty bag from there is constantly in my larger knitting bag. My mom lives in Jackson, WY, so a couple of trips to Knit on Pearl to see the pups (and the yarn) while I am there is a must.

    Thanks for the vacation scarf pattern. I also hope to knit some simple scarves for gifts this Christmas, so I will definitely give this one a try with some of the yarn in my stash.

  8. Hi Kathleen
    I also always knit on the road / camping / and even whilst sailing. Each project then becomes a memory.
    Just a couple of tips to share – I photocopy then laminate the pattern and keep the ball of yarn in a plastic Ziplock bag with a hole for the yarn to pull through.
    A tragic travel knitter

  9. Dear Kathleen, I like the pattern for the Vacation Scarf, but I would like to increase the width to make a shawl. How many stitches make up the pattern?
    Thanks, Deb L

  10. Kathleen – you made me laugh – I too just got back from vacation but had the opposite problem: knitting a warm afghan was too much in 90-plus weather (we were out West too, but farther north than you were). I did get some kitchen items, baby socks and a chemo cap done. It was a long trip.

    PS if knitting smells like a campfire sometimes the recipient likes it even better – shows you went somewhere fun and still thought of them!

    Thanks for the pattern. I can see many possibilities in this simple lace.

  11. Okay Kathleen: I’ve started this pattern at least four times and when I get about three or four rows done, I end up with either 25 or 23 stitches on my needle. Somewhere, I’m not yo in the right place. Can you help me by giving me a little more detailed instructions.

  12. Well, since you posted this pattern, I am now on scarf 3 and 4 ! So easy and mindless, and such a pretty pattern. Versatile too! The first two were heavier versions for my friend and my mom, and now I’m working on a narrower version, and one with the lace weight yarn. Thanks for the pattern!

    Lanie (just a little north of you in Mead)

  13. I have downloaded Patterns to my Kindle, and also my phone. memorizing doesn’t need to happen, before I leave home. Thanks for the quick and easy scarf!
    Question: Do the airlines allow knitting needles on flights?

  14. How did you manage to camp in YNP at this time of the year? I worked there for a whole season; it’s pretty cold!

    BUT I’m getting ready to fly to my college reunion and was thinking just last night about what to knit on the plane. This may be it!

  15. Kathleen, how did you manage to camp in YNP at this time of the year? I worked there for a whole season; it’s pretty cold!

    BUT I’m getting ready to fly to my college reunion and was thinking just last night about what to knit on the plane. This may be it!

  16. Oh, and I forgot to comment on Kathleen’s adrenaline rush: a similar thing happened to me within about a week of my stay there to work (in my case, it was a bad dream that actually gave me some closure!). A long-time employee suggested that my brain “detoxed” because the air is so clean there. Your thought for the day!

  17. I want to read comments about the feature on mistakes. I can’t seem to find it. How to I call up that one? As for scarfs I took your spider lace pattern and added it as a border on a scarf of pearl over knit texture to creat a magnificent shawl. Thanks for all your help. These articles are a real inspiration.

  18. I have a yarn store in West Yellowstone, MT, just outside the west entrance to Yellowstone…did you manage to stop by when you were here? We would have loved to meet you!

  19. The link to “Best of 2010 Patterns for Knitted Accessories” isn’t working — when I click it, I get a “404 Not Found” message on the Interweave web site.

    Any chance it could be fixed? It sounds like a great e-book. Thanks!