Many of the beginning knitters I’ve taught think their first project should be a scarf, more often than not, a basic garter stitch scarf. I generally counsel them against this, pointing out that scarves are really, really long and can get veeeeery boring very fast.
I’ve written about moving beyond scarves before. I might suggest a neck warmer — which is really a short, wide scarf turned on its side and buttoned — or a hat, which allows you to learn decreases or even cables. My favorite first knitting project by a student was a golf club “cozy.” How cute is that?!
But now I’ve discovered my go-to recommendation for a first project: the Encompass Scarf by the wonderful Yarn Harlot herself (scroll down post).
A circular scarf that you wrap twice around your neck, this lovely is an easy and relatively quick knit. It’s a good first knit for the following reasons:
– includes 4 different patterns (garter, seed, moss, and a modified rib of sorts) so there’s variety — thereby avoiding the boredom that hits after 6 inches of a garter stitch scarf;
– practicing different stitch patterns gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you develop an eye for patterns. It’s a wonderful feeling to realize when to switch stitches without looking at the pattern — trust me, high cleverness factor is important, especially to a beginner;
– knitting in the round is a great skill (again, cleverness factor) that you’ll use in many other projects — hats, sweaters, socks — even golf club cozies!
Next time I make Encompass, think I’ll put together different patterns. Let the learning continue!