Posted by: christinelaennec | February 21, 2013

The Miss Marple Scarf

In the midst of this very strange time, you can bet I have been knitting.  I’ve just finished the Miss Marple Scarf.  It’s available free on Ravelry, and the designer is SusanneS-vV.  When things are stressful, there’s nothing like garter stitch to soothe the soul:

The Miss Marple Scarf (goes to Huntly)

The Miss Marple Scarf (goes to Huntly)

The wool is Rowan’s Lima, a gift to me from a generous friend.  It’s incredibly warm and I’ve been wearing the scarf around the house.  The design is simple but effective:

The Miss Marple Scarf (at rest)

The Miss Marple Scarf (at rest)

The Miss Marple Scarf has been my “easier” knitting project.  My main knitting project has been a case of one step forward, two steps back.  I began Solveig Hisdal’s beautiful leaf cardigan over the Christmas holidays, would you believe?  I wanted to try knitting holding the wool in both hands, and it took me quite a while and three goes at the leaf pattern to settle on a technique I was happy with.  (That was after doing a swatch in the round.)  After I finished the first repeat of the leaf pattern, I took it all off the needles to measure, just in case.  Good thing I did, as it was so big it would have been unwearable.

Fourth time's the charm?  Too-big first pattern repeat of Solveig Hisdal's Leaf Cardigan.

Fifth time’s the charm? Too-big fourth attempt at Solveig Hisdal’s Leaf Cardigan.

So I’ve procured new, smaller needles, and I’ve begun again.  I never mind redoing things – as the Dafter says, you get more knitting for your money that way.

I hope you’re all having a good week.  Only a month until the official start of spring now!




  1. Hello Christine,
    I love your Miss Marple scarf 🙂 I saw it in your last post and was wondering where it was from, a lovely colour for you to wear.
    I also love the Solveig Hisdal garment you are making, her book is simply gorgeous to look at, all those beautiful colours.
    I hope all is going well with your move. Thinking of you.
    A big hug, Heike

  2. Ohhh I love your miss marple scarf !!! I know there are free pattern on ravely but I always have trouble with knitting patterns in English LOL and when I want to translate them I got very funny words hihihi

  3. The scarf is lovely and the colour is perfect for you. Glad you thought to measure the leaf sweater before finishing it.

  4. Lovely scard Christine….crafting is so relaxing..
    Erna x

  5. The scarf is lovely and I’m going to take a look on doing one myself. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing such a unique part of the world with us.

  6. I do that too knit or sketch when things of daily life are stressful. And I agree, there’s nothing like garter stitch to soothe the soul.. Thinking about you — hoping the sun is shining and warming up your day..

  7. My best friend gave me that pattern and some beautiful alpaca yarn for my birthday. I haven’t started it yet, though. You’re is beautiful – looks toasty warm!

    Knitting does the soul good….I call it one of my “tools” for fighting the doldrums. ❤

  8. your knitting is lovely and that purpley color looks very good on you. I was intrigued when you talked about knitting with the wool in both hands. how does that work? what a gorgeous leaf pattern and i love the colors!

  9. Your scarf is very pretty on you, Christine and looks very soft, too. Your sweater pattern is so lovely. I admire your talent and patience. Such beautiful results! xoxo

  10. I agree about garter stitch. It’s so soul soothing. Whereas knitting Solveig Hisdale is aggravating. I LOVE her designs but they are probably designed more for machines than humans. I have the kit for that very same sweater. I knit one sleeve and then could never make the gauge again. Part of the problem is that the pattern goes from complex with long carries to simple stripes. Anyway, if you want one sleeve, you can have it. I do so want the sweater, but will never have the patience to make it.

  11. I love Miss Marple and her sleuthing skills and I definitely love your wonderful scarf! The color is great on you and it does look warm. Hope you’re doing well…

  12. I think you have a very positive attitude. If that had been me with the leaf pattern I’m sure I’d have given up long ago, but what you’ve produced is beautiful. The Marple scarf looks lovely and cosy, too, just the thing for this wintry weather.

  13. Oh, what a lovely scarf! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  14. Knitting and crocheting are very satisfying pursuits for me as well: healing, puzzling, challenging, and sometimes triumphant, too 🙂 I very much like your Miss Marple scarf, both its pattern and color. [The leaf-pattern-yarn-in-both-hands is beautiful, but scares me :)]

    I read the Bob’s Red Mill article you mentioned in your comment on my blog and found it delightful. My husband and I attended a Bible School in northern CA when he was in his 60s and I in my late 50s. We did not attempt to learn Hebrew and Greek, but we made up note cards and quizzed each other on the material we were studying just as Bob and his wife did in their studies. Several of the Bible verses my husband printed out on notecards my daughters put on the front of our refrigerator with magnets after my husband’s death and they are precious reminders of him as well as the importance and Truth of Scripture.

    When my husband and I moved to Portland in 2007, we lived just a few miles from Bob’s Red Mill. I love visiting his shop and little cafe there.

    Since moving to Boring after my husband’s death in 2009 I have just visited the Red Mill once, I think, but his products are in all the grocery stores in which I shop, and I especially appreciate the line of gluten free choices he has.

    I have heard that his business practices are good, too, but I did not know that he and his wife had moved to Portland so that they could attend seminary. Interesting!!!

  15. The scarf is beautiful and a wonderful colour, I never mind undoing, I have been learning to crochet with the CAL group on Rav lots of help from everyone but I have had to ‘undo’ so many times I think I have crocheted at least 10 squares and end up ith just one but at least I got it right in the end.

    Keep up the good work


  16. You get more knitting for your money – somehow that needs to become a life’s motto. Can we apply it to cleaning? Driving? Grocery shopping? Hmmm.

  17. Dear all,

    Thanks yet again for your kind comments! And thanks for saying that it’s a nice colour on me – I do like vibrant colours, especially when I feel so washed out these days.

    Ann – I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. I do love Scotland and love to share it with people.

    Kristeen – we have had a good share of sun lately, albeit with snow and ice at times as well. Thanks!

    ajb – There are a few ways to knit with both hands. I ‘throw’ with my right hand and use the Continental method with my left. I might try to do a little post about it sometime.

    Sigrid – What a shame about your sleeve! Maybe someone else can knit the cardigan up for you? You hit the nail on the head about this pattern. It isn’t a true fair isle, because the pattern doesn’t alternate the colours at a regular interval. Perhaps it really is better suited to machine knitting. Also as you say, the patterned bands are interspersed with single colour rows. But I will persevere!

    Gracie – I’m so glad you liked the article about Bob! It’s great that you have those verses to bring you closer to your husband.

    Susan – undoing (or knitting in reverse, as I think of it) and I are very old friends! Sometimes it horrifies onlookers, but once I’ve made up my mind it doesn’t bother me.

    Kelly – how funny, thanks for the laugh. So every time you have to go back to your children’s school to deliver a forgotten lunch, book, etc. you can think, “More trips to school for my money! Hooray!”

  18. I have knitted this scarf twice now and love it but I have had trouble getting the second spade to the same size as the first one. It ends up longer and thinner? Yours looks a perfect match so perhaps I am reading the pattern wrong!

    • Dear Susan,
      I’ve gone back and looked at the pattern again with what you’ve said in mind. It seems to me that, unless you’re adding extra rows in between increases and decreases when you do the second “spade”, it’s probably a tension thing. I know that my tension can often change during a project, especially when I get into the swing of things and relax a bit. I once made a cardigan where you knit the button band up to the middle of the collar, and one side of the collar was about 2″ longer than the other!

      You could perhaps knit the scarf in two halves and graft it down the middle. You could knit two “spades” from the bottom up, through the ribbing, and continuing the increase til you got to the middle of the scarf. You could even do what I like to do when knitting two flat sleeves – knit them both at the same time, side by side on a circular needle. (With two balls of wool, obviously.) Then you’re doing each row twice – Row 1 of sleeve 1, then Row 1 of sleeve 2, turn; Row 2 of sleeve 2, Row 2 of sleeve 1, turn, etc. The results will be as identical as it’s possible to be.

      A lot of scarves are made in two halves and grafted, for the sake of symmetry, and I think it would certainly work with the simple garter stitch of the Miss Marple Scarf.

      Just a thought. Good luck!

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