Knitwit Love: Knit a Toddler Scarf with Felt Heart Appliques
In the fall of 1996 I packed my bags and left New York City to go to an awesome women’s college in what I had deemed a rural community. I had NYC cred which made me feel very cool and, oddly enough, made people mistake me for cool. Funny how that works. So ultimately, I fancied myself to be awesome. However, I deemed many people in college to be “awesome.” I may have had NYC to back me up, but leaving for school let me meet people from different places, with different personalities, and different skills. One group that truly fascinated me was “the knitters.”
Occasionally, I would be sitting in class and hear the faint click-click of a knitter knitting and purling their way to a hat that looked look a strawberry, or mittens that would actually keep their fingers warm. I could not comprehend how two sticks and yarn could be used to make cozy and cuddly things. I was jealous but assumed that I, a woman who could not sew a button on (something I corrected recently), could never learn an old-school domestic skill as knitting.
Years later, when even Barnes & Noble began to peddle knitting kits, I asked some of my fellow alumnae who had knitting skills to teach me. I learned how to knit, purl, knit in the round, increase, and decrease and then promptly lost interest. I could not stand making anything that took more than a day or two, but how many baby hats could I make?
But then, two things happened: I had a friend who wanted to learn how to knit and I had a baby. (Not in that order.)
The day before Thanksgiving I taught my crafty partner in crime, M, to knit. We both started with a simple garter stitch scarf – which means casting on, doing a straight forward knit stitch back and forth and casting off. I decided to go toddler size and by the time my family and I left our home for Thanksgiving dinner, my daughter G, was sporting this fantastic little garter stitch scarf.
Here’s how to make your own:
- A worsted weight yarn. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn in Fisherman. I use Lion Brand because I often find myself around the corner from their store. Do pick a yarn that is safe for machine wash and drying – kids are messy.
- US Size 8 (5mm) Needles
- Large eye blunt needle to weave in ends
- Fashion felt
- Embroidery floss in a contrasting color to the felt and complimentary color to the yarn
- Embroidery needle
- 4.5″ wide 36″long
- Cast on 14 stitches (or however many you need to make your scarf 4.5″ wide – make a 4″ square swatch to determine how many stitches you will need per row).
- Knit all rows until you have the desired length – for 2T go for 36 inches.
- Weave in ends with large-eyed blunt needle
- Pick a simple shape that will make the wearer happy. G is obsessed with hearts right now and hearts are easy. I have a ton of fashion felt leftover from making G a Halloween costume (read: online ordering mishap + absolute inability to ever return a purchase) so I grabbed some red felt and cut two hearts 3.5″ wide.
- Cut your shapes from the felt
- Pin your felt shapes to the ends of each scarf so that the bottom of the shape is pointed toward the bottom end of the scarf and they are both on the same side of the scarf.
- Use the embroidery floss and needle to straight stitch the applique to the scarf about 1/4 of an inch inside the edge of the applique. Try to hide the floss in the garter stitch on the back of the scarf and keep your stitches on the applique even and regular. Feel free to use fancy stitches by the way. I went for easy-peasy because dinner was quickly approaching.
Voila! Awesome scarf. My daughter constantly tells people, “I lub my scarpf! I lub my scarpf! My mommy made it!” And man, does that make me feel way more awesome and proud than being from NYC ever could.