As, I imagine, with most pale, brunette children with a penchant for Little House on the Prairie, I tried to learn how to knit when I was about 8 years old. I can remember the knitting needles (slim, grey, plastic) and the wool (fairly thin, baby pink, probably polyester) and the excruciatingly painful battle to keep the loops on the needle. I think I managed about 20 rows – full of holes, dropped stitches and sudden surges in tension – before I decided that my attempt at a scarf would in fact do perfectly well as a square, woollen drinks coaster, and put down my knitting needles for the foreseeable future.
Then, as I imagine with most pale, brunette, teenage girls with a penchant for the Bronte sisters, at around the age of 19 I attempted it again. This time the needles were slightly bigger, the wool was just that little bit chunkier, and I managed to attain a fairly decent level of tension and a constant number of stitches. I lovingly promised my boyfriend at the time that I would knit him a scarf, although ran out of passion about 50 rows in, at which point I decided that what he really wanted was in fact a rectangular, woollen placemat and, once more, put down my knitting needles for good.
And so now, as a pale, brunette millennial with a penchant for challenging the 9-5 lifestyle, and the need for a creative outlet, it only seems right that I should attempt this again. I’ve learnt along the way that the bigger the needle and the chunkier the wool, the faster the scarf grows, and so I’m hoping that – spread out across five 45 minute lunch breaks – I might actually be able to achieve more than just a coaster or a placemat. I’m aiming for the full-blown scarf.
Apart from the two attempts mentioned above, I’m a complete amateur, so if I can do this, you can do this!
There’s a multitude of videos on youtube about how to knit a scarf – just make sure you include the search term “for complete beginners”, otherwise they all go a bit too quickly and you’ll get lost. I’m going to be following this one, largely for aesthetic reasons (all the others are a bit too cottage industry).
In terms of needles and wool, it’s probably best if you go to a wool shop and ask for advice on what size needle and type of wool to get (as I mentioned, I’m a complete novice so I’m afraid I can’t provide any suggestions other than “big” and “chunky”). Just explain that you are trying to knit an entire scarf in around 4 hours.
If you’re nowhere near a wool shop, Hobbycraft has a great online shop and you can refine your search to “super chunky” wools. The widest needles you can buy there are 10mm ones – the girl in the video above uses 20mm ones so maybe have a look on some other websites first, otherwise 10mm should be fine.
This is totally doable…