Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gold and Blue - The School Spirit Scarf

Milan Puskar Stadium
WVU 73 - Baylor 60
I attended my first college football game one year ago - WVU Mountaineers vs. Baylor Bears - and it was a heckuva lotta fun. Great weather, good friends, high scoring game. And the Mountaineers won. That's always a bonus, especially at a home game.

I'll be heading back up to a game this year, the last regular season game for the Mountaineers against Iowa State Cyclones. I'm totally excited.

Every year, someone asks me "Do you have a pattern for a [insert team name] scarf?" or "Can you knit me a hat for [insert team name]?" It's a difficult thing. Generally, most sports teams are defined by two colors. WVU is blue and gold. Or navy and yellow. Or, according to the alumni page: "Old Gold and Blue." But I'm off track.

In case you're not aware, scarves usually have two sides -- a front and a back -- and because of how most people just toss them on, a scarf with an obvious "wrong" side can look messy. Two-color scarves make this problem even more noticeable. So I set out to try to design a scarf that would be attractive on either side. I started by trying just plain stripes. Boring. I turned to mosaic knitting, which I know from experience mainly looks like horizontal stripes on the "wrong" side but everything I tried just looked busy on the front.

Then I tried a variation of a stitch I used in another mosaic scarf that appears to mimic ribbing. Casting on a large number of stitches and joining in the round, I knitted a long cowl scarf in gold and blue with stripes running perpendicular to each other. Problem solved!

Top - front
Bottom - back

Mosaic knitting creates a tight, firm fabric. Each row is knitted with only one color and involves a lot of slipped stitches. The slipped stitches are what give the fabric a solid structure. You can minimize that by knitting at a loose gauge than would generally feel comfortable.

Pick out a yarn that you love in the perfect colors for your school and needles a couple sizes larger than recommended by the yarn and let's get started!

So here you go - free pattern for the Rodeo Ball School Spirit Scarf!

And scroll down for information about how I'll send you this exact scarf for your collection!!

Disclaimer: This is just a general guideline and I do not promise that you will be in love with your finished project. You will be required to use your brain, make some decisions on your own and fly by the seat of your pants. But please, fly!

Rodeo Ball School Spirit Scarf


  • Color A and Color B: yarn in two colors - probably about 200 yards each if worsted weight, 300 yards each if DK/sport/fingering weight. I wouldn't recommend much heavier than worsted or it's an unwieldy wall of wool, but maybe that might be perfect if you're rooting for the North Dakota State Bisons - they're way up north.
  • 24" - 30" circular needles several sizes larger than your yarn would recommend.
  • stitch marker

Apparently, I'm gazing
out into the future and
dreaming of more scarves.


Cast on an even number of stitches with Color B. (Here you probably want to do a small swatch. If you have a specific size in mind, you'll have to be very careful about the swatch and counting. I didn't have anything specific, so I cast on 20 stitches, worked in stockinette for about 20 rows and did some measuring and then a little math. I came up with 140 stitches.)

Join your cast on in the round (make sure it's not twisted!) and let's go!

Round 1: With Color A, *knit 1, slip 1 with yarn in front, repeat from * to end of round, drop Color A to back of the scarf
Round 2: With Color B, *slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 1, repeat from * to end of round, drop Color B to back of the scarf

Repeat these two rounds over and over and over and over and over again until you get the size you want and finish knitting after you finish Round 2. Bind off with Color A. Weave in your ends and start rooting for your team!

Do you want this scarf for yourself? Tweet at me with the tweet below and include a snapshot of you displaying some kind of school/seasonal spirit! It'll be fun. I'll check all of the tweets between when this goes up and 11:59 PM EST on November 28, 2013. Everyone will go in a virtual hat and I'll draw a winner. Rules: live somewhere mail service runs so you can get this scarf!

I want a @RodeoKnits original! #RodeoBall