Tuesday, July 14, 2020

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas.

I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906).

Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at Archive.org. I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are patterns, or “receipts,” that Jane may have used herself.

Here’s the original Pyrenees Knit Scarf pattern:




Mrs. Gaugain’s symbols:
“Plain” = knit
P = a plain stitch or loop
O = yarn over
Tr = knit 2 together through the back loops. This is the same as slip, slip, knit (ssk) left-slanting decrease.
T = knit 2 together
B = purl stitch
Upside-down T = purl 2 together
Upside-down Tr = purl 1 stitch, slip onto left needle, slip next stitch over purled stitch, transfer back to right needle
Ti = I’m not 100% sure what this stitch is. The index says: “Take in, by inserting the wire as if you were going to pearl the first loop, and catch in the other as if you were going to knit a plain one; knit them both off together.” As near as I can tell, you insert needle purl-wise into first stitch, then knit-wise into second stitch, and knit the two together. It’s the same as slipping one stitch purl-wise, knitting the second stitch, then passing the slipped stitch over.
Ar = knit 2 together through the back loops, transfer to the left needle, slip the next stitch over the k2tog, then transfer back to the right needle.

I’m not entirely sure what the pattern means by “drawing up at both ends” and attaching a tassel. Do they mean to gather each short end like the opening to a drawstring bag and then attaching a tassel?

From what I’ve read about old UK needle sizes, “two pins of No. 9” were probably knitting needles 3.75mm, or US 5 size. I wasn’t sure what “Berlin wool” was, so I looked it up and it looks to be about the same as embroidery floss, but made with 100% wool, and used for Berlin Wool Work patterns.

Since the pattern calls for casting on 125 stitches, I’m guessing this will make a rather wide scarf, maybe 2 feet wide? It’s supposed to be 7.5 feet long (wow!).


My scarf:

I decided to do a simpler version of this scarf, narrower and shorter like a modern scarf. I also thought it might be useful to make this a one-skein project.

This scarf pattern originally had stripes, but Knit Picks Chroma Twist has gradual color changes, which I thought was perfect for this pattern.

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Twist Fingering, Hollyhock colorway
1 skein = 437.0 yards (399.6 meters), 100 grams

Needles:
US 7 (4.5 mm)

Gauge:
It ended up being about 5.4 stitches in pattern per inch, but all I did was divide the stitch number by the width I got after blocking.

Dimensions:
52” long, 12” wide

I simplified the pattern by making every WS row purled with garter stitch borders rather than lace patterning on every row. The original also had two different versions of a left-slanted decrease, and the difference between them was very minor, so I have combined them so that there is only ssk in the pattern. Since I’m using only one skein of fingering weight yarn, I switched to larger needles and did fewer repeats of the 20-stitch center panel pattern so the scarf would be narrower.

When I wrote out the pattern, I used different symbols to make it more visually clean and I didn’t know how to do an upside-down T anyway.

I renumbered the rows because it was confusing to me to have odd numbered rows be wrong side rows. So now, what is row 1 in the pattern is the set-up row, and row 2 in the pattern is row 1 in my written instructions.

My abbreviations:
k = knit
YO = yarn over
ssk = knit 2 together through the back loops, or slip, slip, knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
Ar = knit 2 together through the back loops, transfer to the left needle, slip the next stitch over the k2tog, then transfer back to the right needle.
Note: This is a rather fiddly decrease, so if you like you can instead do slip 1, k2tog, psso.

I ended up using about 1.4 yards of yarn per row, so I made sure to knit until I had about 21 yards (approximately 5 grams) of yarn left, then started the ending border.


Pattern:
Loosely cast on 65 stitches on US 7 needles. I used crochet cast on.
(For a narrower and longer scarf, cast on 45 stitches and repeat center pattern only 2 times.)

Set-up row (wrong side): Knit one row.

Row 1 (right side): k3, (YO, ssk, k15, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k2
Row 2 and every even row: k3, p to 3 sts from end, k3
Row 3: k2, (k2, YO, ssk, k13, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k3
Row 5: k3, (YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k11, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k2
Row 7: k2, (k2, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k9, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k3
Row 9: k3, (YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k7, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k2
Row 11: k2, (k2, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k5, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k3
Row 13: k3, (YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k3, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k2
Row 15: k2, (k2, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k3
Row 17: k3, (YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, Ar, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k) 3 times, k2

Repeat rows 15-18 for center of scarf. As I mentioned above, I knit until I ended on a row 18 and had at least 5 grams of yarn left before starting ending border.


Ending border:
Row 19: k3, (k2, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, Ar, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k3) 3 times, k2
Row 21: k2, (k4, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k3) 3 times, k3
Row 23: k3, (k4, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, YO, Ar, YO, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k5) 3 times, k2
Row 25: k2, (k6, YO, ssk, YO, ssk, k, k2tog, YO, k2tog, YO, k5) 3 times, k3
Row 27: k3, (k6, YO, ssk, YO, Ar, YO, k2tog, YO, k7) 3 times, k2
Row 29: k2, (k8, YO, ssk, k, k2tog, YO, k7) 3 times, k3
Row 31: k3, (k8, YO, Ar, YO, k9) 3 times, k2
Row 32: knit one row

Bind off loosely. I used a very loose suspended bind off with a US 9 needle.

If you like romance novels, please check out my list of free short stories, novellas, and novels available on my blog! I write Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang, and Christian Regency romance as Camille Elliot. Click here to knit the antique scarf pattern from my Regency romance novel, The Spinster's Christmas.

2 comments :

  1. Thanks for the pattern. I like your version. Nice color. How well does Knit Picks yarns hold up? I haven't bought any from them yet.

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    1. I like the Knit Picks yarn a lot! I buy a lot of their fingering weight yarn and so far it's been pretty durable, even when I knit them into socks. My scarves made from their yarn gets less wear, but the yarn seems to be holding up well. The yarn is nice to knit with, feels good as I'm knitting stitches.

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