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mesillaanatoliaungranny smitht-twistjameseyjardin anglais
exchequeredtendrilsnagano sakuraconvertibletopireid
double scoop
tiny tether
pedicure sockshederanautie
blossomkatjafelted tea cosy

After graduation, I decided to high-tail it out of the country for a while and spend a year in Japan teaching English. I was placed smack dab in the middle of the big island, in a prefecture only notable for having hosted the Olympics a couple of years ago.

It's still unbelievably cold here, but already thoughts are turning to spring which, in Japan, is synonymous with sakura -- the beautiful cherry blossoms that bloom only at this time of year. Sitting in my tiny apartment, breathing in the fumes from my kerosene heater, I thought I ought to hurry things along a bit.

This is a long, skinny, felted scarf, with i-cord pieces at either end to simulate branches. The blossoms are knit using a picot cast-on and two different colors of yarn. Once you have the felted base, you can get creative with the number and placement of the flowers. Samurai simplicity or Tokyo excess, the choice is up to you!

model: Sara Parelhoff photos: Sara Parelhoff, Elisha Joyce


Length after felting: 57 inches



[MC] Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky [85% wool/15% mohair; 125 yds/114m per 113g skein]; color: #M07 Sable; 1 skein

[CC1] Gems Opal [100% Merino wool; 225yd/205m per 100g skein]; color: Pink Panther; 1 skein
[CC2] Gems Pearl [100% Merino wool; 172yd/157m per 50g skein]; color: Eggplant; 1 skein

1 set US #11/8mm straight needles
1 set US #10/6mm double-point needles
1 set US #2/2.75mm straight needles
Large tapestry needle
Small tapestry needle

Scarf: 12 sts/16 rows in stockinette st using Lambs' Pride Bulky and US #11/8mm needles

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

S2KP: Slip next 2 sts together to right needle, as if to knit them together; k next st, pass slipped sts over st just knit. This forms a centered double decrease.

Using a circular or double-point needle, CO required number of sts.
Next Row: Instead of turning work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to your left hand, bring yarn around back of work, and start knitting the sts again.
Repeat this row to form I-cord. After a few rows, work will begin to form a tube.

Picot Cast On
When working the Picot Cast On, use the knitted cast on method (directions below).

Knitted Cast-on
Place slip knot on left needle. Insert right needle into loop, wrap yarn and draw through as if to knit but do not remove slip knot from needle. Place new stitch onto left needle.
*Insert right needle into last stitch made on left needle. Wrap yarn and draw through as if to knit but do not remove stitch from left needle. Place new stitch on left needle.
Repeat from * for knitted cast-on


Using double-point needle and MC, CO 3 sts. Work 8 inches in I-Cord. Break yarn and set aside. (If you have a set of 4 double-point needles, you can use a new needle for each piece of I-Cord.)

CO 3 sts. Work 7 inches in I-Cord. Break yarn and set aside.

CO 2 sts. Work 4 inches in I-Cord. Do not break yarn.

Turn work around so WS is facing. Move 4-inch I-Cord to right end of needle, slip 8-inch I-Cord onto left end of working needle and slide it to to center of needle, then slip 7-inch I-Cord onto left end of needle. P all sts to join strands of I-Cord; 8 sts on needle.

Next Row [RS]: Using US 11/8mm needles, k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1. 6 sts rem.

Cont in stockinette st until work measures 60 inches from end of longest I-Cord, ending with a WS row.

Next Row [RS]: Using double-point needle, k3. Place rem sts on hold on a second double-point needle.

Work 7.5 inches of I-Cord over first 3 sts. BO these sts.

Rejoin yarn to rem sts with RS facing, and work 4.5 inches of I-Cord. BO rem sts.

Weave in ends. Sew I-Cord ends through the tubular center of the I-Cord and into the body of the scarf, being careful not to pull or scrunch the cord.

Flowers (Make 9)
Note: Be sure to leave long tails of CC2, as one tail is used to create the center of the flower, and the other is used to attach it to the scarf. See notes on Picot Cast On , in Pattern Notes above.

Using US #2/2.75mm needles and CC2, leaving a long tail, work Picot Cast On as follows:
CO4, BO1, CO2, BO1, [CO5, BO1, CO2, BO1] 4 times, CO1. 25 sts on needle.

Break yarn, leaving a long tail, and proceed as follows, using CC1:
Row 1
[WS]: P all sts.
Row 2
[RS]: [Ssk, k1, k2tog] to end. 15 sts rem.
Row 3
[WS]: P all sts.
Row 4
[RS]: [S2KP] to end. 5 sts rem.

Break yarn and draw through rem sts. Pull tight and sew edges together to form flower shape.

Weave in MC ends. With one CC tail, embellish flower center by sewing a few sts in the center of the flower (see photo), then weave in this end.


Felt scarf as follows:

Place scarf in a zipped-up pillow case or delicates bag, and run it through a hot cycle in a top-loading washing machine with a bit of soap, checking on it every 15 minutes or so. When most of the stitch definition is gone, take it out, rinse it in hot water, and lay it flat to dry.

When dry, use remaining CC2 yarn tails to sew flowers firmly to scarf. Use the photo as a guide, or just go is the name of the game!


Though usually a resident of the D.C. burb known as Northern Virginia, Sara is spending the year in Nagano, Japan, learning to snowboard, attempting to stay warm, and of course, knitting like a fiend.