On the needles: Cartridge Belt Ribbed Scarf

I hope you are having a good week. Winter here in the Midwest has started off on a very cold note, but thank goodness for the sun. It’s been a very sunny week, and I suspect the ample sunlight is the only reason we are taking winter – the sudden and low subzero temps, the icy sidewalks, the  wind, and dealing with all of the above while de-snowing the car or waiting for a bus at 7 am – in what seems to be good stride.

Ok. Among my holiday WIPs this week is a scarf for a dear friend. This is a holiday but also a Thank You gift to someone who has helped me quite a bit over the years with my work and studies – a thank you that is long overdue. The scarf is worked in what is now my new favourite rib stitch: the cartridge belt rib. I first discovered this stitch while perusing Purl Soho’s No-Purl Ribbed Scarf. I was intrigued by the idea of a rib that didn’t require any purls! Beyond being simple, other advantages of this rib: it’s entirely reversible, lays down flat, and produces a lovely elongated stitch and dense (warm) fabric.

The rib evokes the cylindrical bumps of a cartridge belt but, I imagine, is much cozier to wear around the neck in winter.

Working this stitch requires a multiple of 4 + 3 stitches. The rib is a 2-row repeat, worked as follows:

Row 1: knit 3, *[slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 3]; repeat from * to end of row

Row 2: knit 1, *[slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 3]; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 1

Slipping 1 (purlwise) with yarn in front makes the ‘hollow’ of the rib without purling.

I’ve been making headway on the scarf – a few inches here and there, and I should hit around 60″ before long (scarf-length preferences are subjective, but for a scarf like this, I’d like it to be long enough to at least go ‘once around’ and still hang midway down the torso). The stitch pattern is quick to memorize; the scarf shows you the way as you make it. The ‘knit 3, slip 1′ repeat is also easily set to 4/4 time, if you think of knitting in that way (I often do). I’m finding it much funner to do my flat knits on circular needles. I’m not sure why. Something about their flexibility and portability makes it exciting to get my needles and go. I feel like I can take ’em anywhere.


rj scarf 4.JPG

I love making (and wearing) scarves, and I love the idea of wrapping a dear friend in a little bit of woolly warmth on a cold day – like gifting a warm hug.

A Big Thanks goes to luciddays.wordpress.com/ for the beautiful fabric photographed here.

I look forward to catching up on your crafty projects and holiday happenings. What are you excited to be doing/working on this week?