Self-care is a big theme right now as we all grit our teeth and muscle through lockdowns, so today’s project is the gift of self-love; a challenge to knit yourself your own Valentine’s scarf to hibernate in through the brunt of winter (Southern hemisphere readers, I want to be you!)

This project can be done in a couple of days and requires only the basic knit-one-purl-one stitch, so is a great one to try if you’ve never knitted before, or have a spare child or grandchild on hand who needs distracting with a new craft.  The pom-poms are a tactile joy, and there are no rules on length; you can keep going until your yarn runs out or until your head disappears, whichever comes first.

I used a gorgeous chunky-knit yarn of mid-blues shot through with a rusty-taupe, called Wedgewood by Stylecraft (shade 2144), together with 12mm needles – but any yarn will do. I also designed a tonal scarf pin to hold the scarf in place; I’m one of these people who gesticulates wildly and is never still, so lack the poise to maintain an artfully tossed shoulder drape.  You may well be more accomplished.

So let’s begin…

I’ve assumed a basic knowledge of knitting here, but if you’re a total novice, YouTube has brilliant tutorials for how to cast on and off and how to knit basic stitches.

  • Choose your yarn and needles, being guided by the yarn instructions on size. I cast on 40 stitches to create a scarf with a wide drape.  If you’re making one to tuck into a jacket or coat, you’ll want less bulk.
  • Knit the requisite number of rows to get to your desired length; I used a ball and a half of yarn to get this long, wraparound scarf.  The best way to judge is to periodically try it on as you knit.  Don’t get carried away!  Cast off when you’re done.
  • Using the leftover yarn, or a different yarn for contrast, make four pom-poms.  I used Clover pom-pom makers which are very simple, but you can also make them by hand using a cardboard ring (my mum taught me this way as a child!) instead; Pinterest and YouTube again both have great tutorials.  keep the end thread of the pom pom around 10 inches long; you’ll use this to attach it to the scarf ends
  • Thread the yarn end through a yarn needle and stitch each pom-pom to the four end points of the scarf.  You’re done!
  • To make my pin, I used an inexpensive wooden shawl pin and painted it with acrylic paints to tonally match the scarf.

  • Final stage; strut up and down the street, tossing your pom-poms and imagining yourself to be the envy of the neighbourhood.

Happy Valentine’s to you!