Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Penelope scarf.

I have always longed for a Penelope scarf. This scarf is one of the major reasons why I decided to learn how to knit over a year ago...I came across a free pattern for it. If you had told me when I started knitting last August that I would have this scarf in a little over a year, I would have laughed. :) The pattern seemed impossibly difficult then.

Over the summer I found some Bamboo Ewe (55% bamboo, 45% wool) on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I got three skeins each of the prettiest colors: a dark purple and a light green. I think I subconsciously chose those two because I knew they were practically identical to the colors of Penelope's movie scarf.

I finally got up enough courage towards the end of July to start knitting the scarf.

This is by far my favorite thing I've ever knitted. :) It was my first project involving more than one color of yarn. It was a bit time-consuming (it took me about 2.5 months, though I did stop working on it for a couple of weeks to do other projects, like the baby blanket), but the pattern was actually simple once you get past the idea of dropping stitches on purpose. {That part was terrifying for the first 1/4 or so.}

At first it bugged me that the scarf wasn't going to be identical to the movie one. The biggest difference is that my scarf is very textured. The black parts where you drop down to create the hexagons make the green and purple bubble out. The movie scarf is completely smooth...I think it's probably done all in stockinette stitch with intarsia. Basically, this way is easier and quicker. Also, the pattern calls for sportweight yarn, but I used worsted, so my hexagons are much bigger than in the movie scarf. I am glad that the colors are pretty much identical, though. The purple in my scarf really has a bit more pink in it than the pictures's just hard to photograph.

It's knit in the round, on circular needles. I started off on my cheap eBay needles (which I had already used with my hat), and about halfway in, the plastic cord broke where it joined one of the needles. Discovery: cheap needles from eBay are fine when it comes to straight or DPNs. But be careful of circulars. I switched over to my size 8 metal DPNs, but it wasn't working out. First of all I really dislike metal needles, but the bigger problem was that my tension was off. The rows knitted on DPNs looked obviously different. So I had to order another size 8 16" circular needle from Etsy, because none of the local stores sell that size (they hardly carry any 16" circulars). Finally, when they arrived I could get back to knitting on the scarf.

I ended up using two skeins each of the Bamboo Ewe (the colors were Grape and Sprout, if you're wondering). For the black, I used about 3/4 a skein of I Love This Wool! in black, of course. The scarf came out to be about 10 inches wide. I didn't measure the length but you can see it below. It's very bulky and heavy, which also means it's very warm. :)

I love how quirky the scarf is. I knitted on it in public a lot this summer (at the farmer's market with my parents), and it got lots of positive attention. Mostly people couldn't figure out why it was a tube if it was a scarf, so I repeatedly explained that when I was finished I was going to sew up the ends. :)

It reminds me a bit of a stained glass window. I can't wait until it's cool enough to wear it.

Until next time,


  1. It looks great! Of course I had to google the movie because I couldn't remember exactly what the movie scarf looked like. Yours may be more textured but I love it all the same. Gives me the urge to take up knitting! :)

  2. Amazing, amazing scarf! I just found you through One Sheepish Girl... glad to see another lover of knitting!

  3. Oh wow! So amazing. I love Penelope and I've been itching to knit a scarf like this! Yours looks so beautiful Kristin!

  4. The texture on this scarf is amazing! It looks really thick and warm. I know you'll be getting a lot of use out of it this fall and winter. :)

  5. This scarf looks fantastic, congratulations!!

  6. Anyway you'd make another for purchase? It's beautiful

  7. I personally love your version of the scarf! Have you thought about making more and selling them? I'd love one for myself 😉 Btw Penelope is currently streaming on Netflix now. I've been waiting months for them to bring it back so my friends can see it!

  8. I'd love to buy one for myself as well. Are you selling them yet?

  9. i feel a promotional gift with the showing of the film in sept. 2006 in chicago,il..they gave out a scarf from the wife #1 gift i ever gave het..she also loves the film


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