Keep Your Neck Warm with Grandma Twombly’s Knitted Scarf

Who couldn’t use a warm scarf this time of year? For the March/April 2010 issue of PieceWork, contributor Virginia McGlynn re-created her grandmother’s back-of-the-neck knitted scarf, which can be sized for just about anyone and the length is adjustable. Virginia had three of her grandmother’s scarves; all three measured differently—all three are the same pattern. The following is from Virginia’s project:

My Grandmother Twombly was born in 1863 and lived until 1953. I enjoyed her company. She had full-time help at home, and so she had plenty of time to do handwork, especially knitting. She would sit at a front window and knit, stopping only when someone walked by, and she would take the time to look up that person’s age in the “book of lies”!

Knitted Scarf

One of three scarves knitted by the designer’s grandmother. Photo by Jason Reid.


  • Yarns Alpaca Sox (affiliate link) Kettle Dyes, 60% alpaca/20% merino wool/20% nylon yarn, fingering weight, 450 yards (411 m)/100 g ball, 1 ball of #1870 Watercress
  • Needles size 7 (4.5 mm) (affiliate link) or size needed to obtain gauge
    Tapestry needle

Finished size: 12¾ inches (32.4 cm) wide and 28½ inches (72.4 cm) long, after blocking

Gauge: 23 sts and 30 rows = 4 inches (10.2 cm) in garter st

—Virginia McGlynn

Knitted Scarf

Virginia McGlynn’s back-of-the-neck scarf based on ones her grandmother made. Photo by Joe Coca.

Virginia McGlynn (1924–2017) grew up in Reading, Massachusetts, and as an adult, lived in Beverly where she owned and operated the Abbott Street Yarn Shoppe, which opened in 1973. She raised eight children and self-published three knitting books illustrated by her husband, Walter J. McGlynn (1924–1988). Additionally, Virginia served on the Beverly city council for five years, and she was an avid sports fan who loved to take the train into Boston a couple of times a year to see the Celtics play.

Download a copy of the March/April 2010 issue of PieceWork to make your own knitted scarf based on Grandmother Twombly’s classic pattern. Plus, download this free vintage knitted scarf pattern, “Ribbed Scarf with a Crocheted Edging.”

Find more vintage knitting projects in PieceWork!

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