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Knitted Scarves Inspired by Novels: The Hunger Games

Updated on March 7, 2020
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Kimberly has taught knitting, crochet, and loom knitting classes. She also tests patterns for designers and designs her own patterns.

The Fire Scarf

Two-strand ribbed scarf on large needles
Two-strand ribbed scarf on large needles | Source

The Hunger Games: The Novel

In The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins describes an America that has become Panem, a nation with a wealthy, decadent Capitol which rules over twelve conquered Districts. The Districts, in punishment for their past rebellion, must each send one teen male and female to the Capitol each year to compete in a televised reality show fight to the death. The winner's district will receive extra food for a year, thus The Hunger Games is the name for the barbaric contest.

While many of the books that inspire my knitting designs are much happier, there is inspiration to be found in this dark story as well. I envisioned a scarf to represent the Capitol: gaudy and completely impractical. A scarf to represent the districts, on the other hand, should be durable and practical, with just a touch of rebellion (fire, perhaps!)

Here's how I translate those ideas into color and fiber and wearable knits.

Nightlock Berry Scarf


Nightlock Scarf Design

When I found a purple yarn and a stitich called "gooseberry stitch" I decided to create a scarf that reminded me of the poisonous berries Katniss used to threaten the Gamemaker in the Hunger Games so that she and Peeta could both survive to be victors. The ends are in gooseberry stitch while the body of the scarf is seed stitch--one of my favorite stitches for scarves.

Seed stitch is reversible, does not curl, and drapes well. The gooseberry stitch is not difficult, although some of the finger positions are a bit awkward until you complete several of the bobbles. Practice makes perfect!

District Design Ideas

I am still coming up with concepts for scarves from the Districts, where the people are poor and live only to produce what the Capitol wants. I have completed a scarf modeled after the tribute outfits Cinna designed for Katniss and Peeta in Catching Fire. It is done in 1 x 1 ribbing using two strands of different colors of worsted weight yarn. Every six rows, I changed one of the two colors, giving a subtle color gradient along the length of the scarf. I aimed for a look like flickering flames.

Frivolous "Capitol" Scarf


Instructions for the "Capitol" Scarf

Effie Trinket might wear an outrageous scarf such as this. In fact, this scarf is rather subdued when compared to some of the frou-frou Effie wears in the movies!

Gather several small balls of novelty yarns in a variety of colors and textures. Chenille. fake fur, metallic, feather, and ribbon yarns are all possible choices. Using large needles (about U.S. size 11) cast on 14 stitches. Knit the following drop stitch pattern:

  • Knit first 4 rows.
  • For the fifth row, wrap yarn around needle twice for each stitch instead of once. You should have 28 loops/wraps on the needle at the end of the row.
  • For the sixth row, knit into the first loop of each double wrap and drop the second loop of each double wrap. This creates an elongated stitch.

Do two or three pattern repeats before changing to a different yarn. Continue the pattern until your scarf is the desired length or you run out of outrageous yarns to use. Cast off. Darn in yarn ends.

Note: You might knit a small swatch trying three wraps instead of two for the drop stitch. If you like the open effect, then do the stitch dropping the two extra wraps per stitch.

See the Drop Stitch

Your Turn

Have you read the Hunger Games novels?

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