The Winter Games: Are you Ready?

Snowflakes Scarf by Carol Huebscher Rhoades

Because we’re huge fans, we’ve been spending a bit of time in the PieceWork office over the last few months anticipating the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. We love every aspect of the Olympics: from the opening ceremonies to the range of sports represented and the often nearly heroic efforts of the participants. It’s this adoration that led to PieceWork’s Winter Games eBook. We’ve included four new and unique knitting designs inspired by the Winter Games to keep your hands busy through the anticipation and excitement in Sochi. Whether you’re keeping score during hockey games or tracking speeds of downhill skiers, you’ll love these knitting projects.

Here’s Carol Huebscher Rhoades to tell you the behind-the-scenes details of designing her stunning Snowflakes Scarf:

When I was asked to design a scarf for this eBook, I kept thinking “stars” instead of “snowflakes.” Once I started looking at charted motifs, I understood my confusion. Many of the charts for knitted snowflakes are actually star patterns. Star motifs usually have eight points but snowflakes have six points. I even checked a few snowflakes as they came down in a Wisconsin flurry and, yes, they all had six points. Using an X with a horizontal line though the center as the starting point, I graphed a few options for this scarf.

The next challenge was how to work the snowflake motifs easily. Two-color stranded knitting is best when unused colors float only a short distance (over 3-5 stitches). I didn’t want to clutter the surface with a lot of filler to make the knitting easier, so I decided that double knitting, while slower, would make a better “palette” for the motifs.

Mittens based on a Finnish-American Design Adapted from Mittens in the Collection of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum by Susan Strawn

Because this is a project in honor of the events in Sochi, Russia, a challenge was definitely in order. Double knitting takes some focus but is basically knit, purl throughout. You’ll have to pay attention to the color changes so that each face of the scarf is mirror image. The challenging part is the year, 2014, because it is a reverse image on each side and the stitch pairs are not color sequenced in tandem. Believe me, though, knitting from the chart is much easier than constructing the chart! Just remember that you will still be alternating knit and purl across. Check each row as you work to make sure the color sequence is correct. If you do find an error, you can drop down to that stitch and use a crochet hook to latch up the correct sequence.

Download your Winter Games eBook today to knit all four projects plus learn a bit of history about past Olympics, too. It’s quite possibly more fun than zooming down the mountains at 90 mph in the luge!

Happy knitting,