Free Knitting Pattern: Changing Leaves Cowl or Scarf
I love the changing leaves of Fall. In fact, the only thing I might love more is the changing colors of beautiful yarn! This free knitting pattern combines both: this charming neckwarmer features a colorful design of falling leaves while displaying some of your favorite colors of yarn. This is a great project for using some of your leftover yarn!
This pattern includes directions to make a cowl or a scarf. However, this is not a pattern for beginning knitters. You will need to know how to switch colors while knitting in a row and how to read a charted pattern.
To make it easier to print and read these charts, I've posted all three charts as one jpeg on my blog. You should be able to click on this jpeg, resize it so you can read the charts, and print it out on one sheet of paper.
Main Color - 2 (for cowl) or 3 skeins (for scarf) of Knit Picks Swish Worsted Weight yarn (110 yards each) in Squirrel Heather
For leaves - assorted balls (about 30 yards each) of worsted weight yarn in various colors (I used 4 different colors)
size #7 needle ( or correct size needle for gauge)
tapestry needle to weave in ends
20 sts x 32 rows = 4 inches
8 inches by 30 inches for cowl
8 inches by 60 inches for scarf
Directions for Cowl
This cowl is knitted back and forth, then the ends are joined together to form a loop. Using the leaf charts, you can add as many leaves as you want, and place them around the cowl as you choose. I put three leaves in a line on one side of my cowl, then included just one leaf on the other side as an accent. The directions below describe my placement, but you can modify this for your own design.
To start: Cast on 40 sts in main color. I used a provisional cast on so I could join my ends to finish my cowl, but you can use the cast on of your choice and just seam the ends together in a loop.
Knit first 3 sts following Edge Chart (above), place marker, knit rest of row to last three sts, place marker, and follow Edge Chart for last three sts. Continue to follow Edge Chart through the entire cowl. This will create a rib design on edges of three knit rows and three purl rows.
Knit 30 rows in Stst (continue to follow Edge Chart for first 3 sts and last three sts). End on a WS row.
Start you first leaf by following Chart A, knitting the leaf in a contrast color. For the first one or two rows of the leaf chart, I floated my main color behind the leaf stitches, being careful not to pull my main yarn too tight behind these stitches. As I moved further up the chart, I joined a second ball of my main color to knit the left side of my background. As a result, I was working with three balls of yarn across one row of knitting. This way, I did not have long floats behind my design. I twisted my lines of yarn colors to avoid holes in my knitting when it made sense to do it. When I was finished knitting the leaf, I went back to knitting with only one ball of my main color.
After completing Chart A, knit in main color for 6 rows in Stst. Remember to continue the rib edge throughout the pattern.
Then begin Chart B.
After finishing Chart B, switch back to main color and knit for 6 rows in Stst.
Knit third leaf following Chart A.
Then knit for 30 rows in main color in Stst.
Follow Chart B for final leaf.
Continue knitting in main color in Stst for 42 rows. Be sure to end on row 6 of Edge Chart.
You may want to block your cowl gently before joining by pinning it down and spraying with cool water. This will smooth any wrinkling in the leaves and at the edges. Join ends together using three needle bind off or seam together. Weave in loose ends.
Directions for Changing Leaves Scarf
The scarf pattern follows the same design as the cowl, only with a garter border. You can place the leaves as you choose.
Cast on 40 sts in main color. Knit for 4 rows in garter st, ending on a WS row. Next row: knit first 3 sts in garter, place marker, knit across row in Stst to last three sts, place marker, knit 3 sts in garter.
Knit 6 rows (total) in Stst, maintaining 3 sts garter border on both edges. Begin first leaf by following Chart A.
After finishing leaf design, knit 6 more rows in Stst with main color.
Begin Chart B. Then switch back to main color for 6 rows of Stst.
Continue pattern by knitting Chart A, then Chart B, separated by 6 rows of Stst until your scarf is about 60 inches long or to desired length. End scarf with another 4 rows of garter st. Bind off and weave in ends. Block lightly to smooth leaves.
© 2013 Donna Herron. No part of this pattern may be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the author/designer. For personal use only. This pattern and materials made from this pattern are not meant for commercial sale.
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