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The Rory Needs a Break Scarf

This modified Unicorn Stripes (by Antonia Shankland) scarf was a form of therapy.  Who cares that it’s super long and repetitive?  It uses lots of stash yarns, some of which were Madelinetosh mini skeins.   The colors were beautiful to watch as they alternated and I found my stresses somewhat calmed by watching it grow.

I’m wondering when the whole mini skein/ Unicorn Tail thing became a thing.  How smart to sell small quantities for someone to make a striped project without having to purchase a huge skein in each color.  I would never have been able to buy all of the skeins necessary to make this scarf.  As it is, I didn’t even have to buy the Unicorn Tails.  I received all of them in gift bags with each class I attended at Veera and Joji Knit America.  I also won two skeins of Byzantine in Twist Light as a door prize.  “See!” I explained to my husband, “I had to take these classes to save us money.”  Frugality first, I always say.

Details:  I used size 3 needles and an easy tension with fingering weight yarn.  My scarf looks more “airy” than the pattern sample but I wasn’t worried about that.  It’s a knitted tube and looks full when worn.

I used a 15 color repeat, twice, then finished with a stripe in the first color.  Each of these stripes used about half a unicorn tail, except the first and last.  They had some additional garter stitch rows.  Since that color was used twice in the 15 colored order, then again at the end, I needed 3 mini skeins of it.

Okay, so this is how I made the 15 or so tails I had stretch to knit this scarf designed for 30 different shades.  Basically, I reduced my cast on by a third, so it’s not as wide as the original, and I reduced the number of rounds in each stripe by 2.  Nothing complicated.  Since I still didn’t have enough of the precious madelinetosh in varying color ways, I supplemented other fingering weight leftovers from my stash.

The pattern sample definitely follows a more rainbow hued pattern, but I think I got close enough by adding some green, brown and yellow and organizing my stripes so that, at any point, each stripe was surrounded by colors that worked with it.  Of course, I would have loved to make the true extra squishy scarf, with every color available but I  used what I had.

 I originally envisioned pretending to ride down a wooded road, with someone holding my scarf, flapping, behind me as though I were really booking, but we got rained out.  I also couldn’t guilt trip anyone, besides my daughter, into helping me.   If they help me, I have to listen to their comments, anyway.  So if I turn to get a photo of the back of a knit, my son says I’m taking creepy mom booty photos.   Of course, after a few run-ins with stranglinscarfluvr on flickr, I’m inclined to agree with him.  Sigh.

You know this scarf could give the Memories Blanket trend some real competition.  It uses a mini skein per stripe (or half, if you reduce cast on like me) and you don’t have to wait for four years to finally hold up a completed mini blanket, all covered in pet hair and dust and say, “Look, we finally have a blanket that will cover a portion of our legs!”

I say this, but I started my own Misty Colored Memories Blanket with leftovers from this scarf.  More on that over the next four years.

 So do you remember which Gilmore Girls episode this knit is inspired by?   It’s the one where Rory and Paris decide to go to Florida for Spring Break and then only want to spend the whole time watching old VHS tapes in their room.  They just aren’t partying types.  I think Paris and Emily are so awful that they’re my favorite characters on the whole show.

I think this scarf definitely has the same vibe as Rory’s.  However, it’s just about Spring Break and warm here, so this scarf is doomed to be packed away until next fall.

The Gilmore Girls KAL is just about to wrap up.  There are so many beautiful finished knits.  Check them out.

Antonia Shankland has designed several great knits featuring madelinetosh yarn.  The Bubble Wrap Cowl is one of my favorites.

Completely irrelevant but just in case I wonder later, or you wonder ever, here’s my striping order. Everything is Madelinetosh, except where noted:

Silver Fox, Pop Rocks, Dirty Panther, Tarte, Gloss Fingering in Hawk, Gynx Yarn in Goth Girl, Moonstone (I think), Ink (I think), Celadon (I think), Cousteau, Silver Fox, Shire, Cascade 220 Fingering in Olive, Cascade 220 Fingering in Yellow, Suri-Al Fibers Chiron in brown, then I repeated the whole list.  I ended with one last stripe of Silver Fox, so the ends of the scarf matched.
Now prepare for another creepy mom booty photo.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

Other posts on this knit:  It was fate and stashdiving for stripes.

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  1. cute photos as always. The first one is my favourite but I like the ones from your back too. It's funny what we make our kids do to get photos. I used to take a lot of selfies but nowadays I am too lazy to set up my tripod and my new camera doesn't have a good remote, so I have to find a kid to shoot me too.

  2. That is exactly my problem, Corinne. I don't have an hour to play with a tripod, in a small space. Plus, I usually look like I'm either about to go for a run or just came back from one. So my daughter has come to expect that when she visits us on Sundays, there will be FO photos. She was whining about needing to do homework the whole time, then I went inside and found her watching The IT Crowd. :/

  3. hehe, cheeky. But I guess we are asking for a lot. Quite often I look at the photos and don't like them and they have to take more and more. Fortunately Antonia is often a good photographer and she starts to know what I want. My son on the other hand is either very lucky with his first shot or then he gets bored 😉

  4. I love it! Seems perfect to me.

    And I used to love Emily Gilmore – she was such a wonderful character. 🙂

  5. beautiful! I may have to get a bunch of unicorn tails and do this too. I love Unicorn tails, but I never buy them because I don't know what to make… now I do.

  6. What an awesome knit & the perfect Rory scarf 🙂 I love the idea of combining Unicorn Tails and bits and bobs…and attending such an amazing workshop was definitely for the free yarn! I'm going to try that one of my husband! 🙂

  7. Love this, Michelle! It's so fun and colorful, and the perfect way to showcase those beautiful unicorn tails, not to mention do a little stashbusting at the same time. A win in all categories!

  8. This scarf is great! I hope you wear it everyday forever! Ok… Maybe not. I too was disappointed with the GG ending. I thought Rory deserved more! And Lorelei singing "I will always love you" ugh! Tears!

  9. … says the beautiful girl with the beautiful beach as a backdrop for FO shoots :). I have to work to find an uncluttered background, besides that brown door I always use. But thank you. It helps having my daughter to take them.

  10. Thanks, Jenna! We have this thing we do where if my husband forgets something or accidentally breaks something, I say, "That'll be 2.5 skeins of yarn." As if that will settle our debt. It's just a joke, but sick, huh.

  11. Thanks, Jennifer! I have a feeling I'll be doing another one one day as a gift. The semi-solids just look so great striped together.

  12. I am very lucky with the background, that's true 🙂 Your daughter takes amazing pictures – so warm and beautiful!

  13. the scarf is absolutely gorgeous, and a Gilmore Girls knit along wowzer! 🙂 your pictures are beautiful too and I agree wholeheartedly how much nicer it is to see something colourful grow so fast and to feel stresses melt away 🙂 perhaps there will be a nice cool summer evening you can rock the scarf on! 🙂 jenny xx

  14. The scarf is gorgeous … love the colours! This seams so much fun to wear ! we do not have unicorn tails! I want unicorn tails !

  15. Okay that turned out even better than I thought it would! I couldn't work out the construction of it until you mentioned that it was knit in a tube. That's a great way to do a scarf so that the right side shows all around. 😀

    Although that last photo is freaking me out – don't get the scarf end stuck in the back wheel!!

  16. What a beautiful scarf! And you photos on you bike are a delight. I agree that your scarf reminds me a lot of Rory's.

  17. I don't blame you Sasha! I usually buy inexpensive yarn in sweater quantities, so getting these little freebies in a goody bag was a big treat! I can certainly see why all of Ravelry seems addicted to mini skein swaps now.

  18. I wasn't going to make it a tube, but I realized that I could almost knit one whole round in the time it would take for me to knit the front, turn it, poke around on Pinterest because turning broke my concentration, then purl across the back. So, I'm glad I opted to reduce stitches, but keep it a tube.
    About the last photo, I actually thought about Isadora Duncan as I was riding!!

  19. Thanks, Elena! I hadn't planned to do two knits for this KAL, but her scarf caught my eye as I was watching, and I remembered the Unicorn Stripes pattern in my queue. I'm glad I did, it was a nice little knitting treat.

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