Back 17 years a few months ago, I started spinning up a bag of fiber called Karaoke Rainbow. Its was mighty colorful stuff and its was colorful in the way that made your eyes hurt a little. But that’s okay. If you have the right pattern even color-riot-yarn can be fetching.
The key is ripples. When you have a highly colorful yarn, or when you’re combining several solid colors that all contrast with each other, plain rows are not your friend. Not in my opinion anyway. The standard back and forth muddies the colors and makes whatever yarn(s) you are working with look both busy and dull at the same time.
Go with Ripples!
They break up the line, add some visual interest, and they aren’t quite so boring to knit.
I designed this pattern to show off my Karaoke Rainbow handspun. The yarn was made with a fractal spinning technique. If you’re a handspinner, fractal spinning is easy; it’s all in how you prep the fiber.
If you’re not a handspinner, here are a few commercially available yarns that mimic fractal handspun to varying degrees:
Ripplet! – a free knit pattern
You can take a copy of this pattern with you. Look for the handy “print&pdf” button in the bottom left corner of this page.
Yarn used: for this project I used 3 ounces (85 grams) of my handspun worsted weight yarn; approximately 200 yds (180 m). (This design can easily be lengthened or shortened depending on how much yarn you have.)
In addition to the fractal-like commercial alternatives above, I think any self-striping yarn will work. I recommend Noro Taiyo. It’s a soft bouncy yarn and the colors are beautiful. Taiyo is one of my favorite yarns ever.
Needle used: US Size 7 (4.5 mm)
Gauge is not important in a scarf but varying the needle size will give you different ripples. If you want a softer, wavy-er ripple increase your needle size. If you want tight, spiky ripples, go with a smaller size.
ssk: slip two stitches knit-wise one at a time, insert left needle into the front on these two slipped stitches, knit them together; a decrease.
k2tog: knit the next two stitches together; a decrease.
DD: slip two stitches knit-wise together, knit the next stitch, pass the slipped stitches over the knit stitch; a double decrease
kOk; knit into the next stitch but do not remove it from the left needle, Yarn Over, knit into the same stitch again, then slip off the left needle; a double increase. (Need some help with that? Check out this youtube.)
Cast On 29 stitches
Knit 2 rows
The pattern is worked in a repeat of 8 rows
Row 1 & all other Right Side rows: k2, ssk, *k2, kOk, k2, DD* two times, k2, kOk, k2, k2tog, k2
Row 2, 4, 6: k2, p25, k2
Row 8: k2, *p1, k7* three times, p1, k2
Repeat rows 1 – 8 forty times. Or to desired length. Or until you are almost out of yarn.
Knit 2 rows and bind off.
Optional button holes
If you prefer infinity scarfs (I do) and would like to add button holes, in the final repeat work these rows in place of those shown above:
Row 4: k2, p4, *bind off one stitch, p7* two times, bind off one stitch, p4, k2
Row 5: k2, ssk, k2, *Cast On 3 stitches, k2, DD, k2* two times, Cast On 3 stitches, k2, k2tog, k2
I used the knitted cast on to make these in-the-middle-of-the row stitches. The backwards e-loop cast on would work too.
For the buttons
I knew I’d never find buttons to match this yarn so I made my own using left over yarn and stitch markers. They are called Dorset buttons and I have video tutorials on how to make them. They are a little tricky at first but once you get the knack of it, you’ll have matching buttons whenever you want them.
Hope you like the Ripplet! as much as I do. And check out our other free patterns. You might find something else that you like.