Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


Some people claim that scarves make for a boring project both to knit and wear, but they are wrong. I’m personally challenging you to go for something bold in both look and technique. This project is a great quick gift knit and a perfect first time introduction to stacked increases and decreases, a technique which creates extreme waves of color.

The aesthetic is inspired by Op Art, a movement originating in the '60s which uses visual trickery to turn flat canvases into paintings with the illusion of movement or dimensionality. Though the suggested color scheme will create an almost 3D look, experimenting with different colors and stripe orders will give you an equally interesting result.


spacer model: Xandy Peters
spacer photos: Beth Shepherd Peters


Width: 9 inches
Length: 67 inches



HiKoo Zumie [50% acrylic, 30% wool, 20% nylon; 110 yd/101 m per 200g skein]
Four Color Version
spacer [MC] Electric Pear; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] Indigo; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] Steely Blue; 1 skein
spacer [CC3] Sky High; 1 skein

Three Color Version
spacer [MC] Aqua; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] Dark Orchid; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] Chinook; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below — every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer one 60-inch US #13/10mm circular needle
spacer two 32-inch US #13/10mm circular needles if a longer circular needle is difficult to find at your local store. Treat these as you would a pair of regular straight needles working back and forth between them.

spacer stitch markers
spacer yarn needle


9 sts/ 18 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

KYOK: (K1, yo, k1) into the same stitch – 1 stitch increased to three.

SB (slip back): Slip back indicated number of sts to the left hand needle so they can be worked again.

Inc1-17: [KYOK, SB2] 7 times, KYOK, PM, k7.
This increase will look like a big clump of sts until a few rows are worked. You may also find it helpful to pull out some of your needle cord before the k7, magic loop style. This will make it easier to complete the increase if the clump of stitches becomes hard to work with.

Dec17-1: K9, [k1, SB3, k3tog tbl] 8 times.
Markers are included to help keep track of stitch count.

Wave Pattern:
Row 1 [RS]: Knit
Row 2 [WS]: K1, [k2tog 4 times, K3, kfb 4 times, k1, slip marker, kfb 4 times, k3, k2tog 4 times, k1] 10 times.

Swatching/Learning the Pattern
If you’ve never worked a pattern with stacked increases and decreases, we highly recommend working a small practice piece. Cast on 33 stitches and work a couple of repeats until you’re comfortable with the pattern.

Adjusting the Pattern
This pattern works on any multiple of 16 stitches plus 1.

In MC, cast on 161 sts.
Increase Row [WS]: K8, [Inc1-17, k15] 9 times Inc1-17, k8. Do not break yarn. 321 sts.

Join CC1.
Work Wave Pattern, moving all markers 1 stitch further down the row as you work Row 1.

Break yarn.

Stitch distribution after Row 2 of wave pattern with RS facing front is as follows: 16sts, [32 sts] x 9, 17 sts. This will remain the same until markers are removed.

Join CC2. Knit 2 rows. Do not break yarn.

For 4-color version: Join CC3.
For 3-color version: Join CC1.
Work Wave Pattern.
For 4-color version: Break yarn.
For 3-color version: Do not break yarn.

Using CC2, knit 2 rows. Break yarn.

Join CC1, work Wave Pattern.
Break yarn.

Using MC, still attached at lower right corner of scarf, pick up and knit 6 sts along the edge of the piece, heading up towards the first live stitch of the row, k to end of row removing markers as you encounter them, pick up and knit 6 sts along left end of scarf, down towards end of first row. 333 sts.

Decrease Row [WS]: K15, [k15, Dec17-1] 9 times, k to end of row.

Bind off loosely.


Weave in ends. Steam block, but do not press ESPECIALLY IF USING RECOMMENDED YARN.


Xandy likes to experiment with stitch patterns and is always adding new swatches to her collection. In early 2015, she left her job as a footwear designer to devote her time to hand knits. She is much happier designing for the knitting community and loves how crafting gives people the freedom to truly express themselves.

You can find her patterns on Ravelry and on her blog.