On the Needles: Clapotis Scarf

Along with practically every knitter in the known knitterverse, I’ve jumped on the Clapotis (pronounced “clap-o-tee”) bandwagon. This wildly popular free scarf/pattern was originally published on Knitty in Fall 2004 and it’s still going strong nearly 8 years later. Some fun stats:

  • Google “Knitty Clapotis” and it comes up in 366,000 search results
  • The Craftster knitalong of the Clapotis has 178 pages
  • On Ravelry, 15,388 users have completed the scarf, 1,975 are currently knitting it and there are 2,252 blog posts devoted to the topic

So why is this pattern so darn popular? For one, it’s gorgeous. For another, it’s a pretty straightforward pattern. The recommended yarn is multicolored wool/silk blend from Lorna’s Laces, however the skeins are pricey at $32-$40/skein (pattern calls for 4 skeins). But, many knitters have found other yarns at a lower price that are just as nice, like Noro Silk Garden (which I’m using) or Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.

I originally printed out the pattern in late 2006 and added it to my pile of future knitting projects. Finally this March I bought the yarn and started to knit. Woo-hoo! I got a little tripped up on a couple of knitting terms though, but now that I’m halfway through the pattern, I’m pretty comfortable.  Here’s my little tutorial so you don’t have to look them up.

K tbl (Knit through back of loop)

This stitch is used before and after each knit stitch that will eventually be dropped to create the lace effect of the scarf. It twists the stitches so that the scarf keeps its body. Instead of knitting into the stitch through the front loop as you usually would (see picture above left), you insert the needle into the back of the loop instead (see picture above right).

Kfb (Knit into front and back of stitch)

This term comes up a lot in the pattern. It also appears in the beginning of the pattern as “Pfb,” or purl into front and back of stitch.  Both stitches are used as an increase method.

  1. Knit into the stitch
  2. Before lifting the knitted stitch off the needle, insert needle into the back of the original stitch and knit that as well — just like k tbl.

Now you have increased by one stitch. For Pfb, use the same technique, except purl instead of knit.

Yarn Choice

As far as the yarn I’m using, Noro Silk Garden 320, it’s OK. There’s a lot of very dark sections and for some reason I thought the color would be more pastel-colored. The transition from light to dark is pretty drastic, but that could be because the pattern is so wide. I’m sure it will look fine to wear in the fall though.

Also, dropping stitches with this yarn is difficult. The mohair in the yarn makes the stitches “stick” and I have to pull the yarn a lot to get the stitch to drop to the bottom of the wrap. It’s a little irritating, to say the least. If I were to knit pattern again, I’d probably choose a silky blend without any mohair. Kind of missed that little detail!

All in all though, it’s a fun pattern. Using the multicolored yarn makes the pattern look interesting while I’m knitting and I’m finding that it knits up pretty quickly. I’m now in the middle of the pattern in the dreaded “straight rows” section.  Six more repeats to go and I’ll be onto the decrease section. Yay! Maybe I’ll complete this in the next couple weeks…before I get distracted with another knitting project!

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11 Responses to On the Needles: Clapotis Scarf

  1. Jody says:

    I knit one of those years ago and I still wear it and love it. You chose some pretty yarn too! Love Noro aside from the knots! I always seem to find at least one in every ball. Good luck!

  2. Bonnie says:

    It’s on my list to do, too! I’m surprised by the wide range of yarns that have been used. It seems that it’s been knit with everything from fingering to bulky weight! I’m hoping to do mine in some leftover aran weight alpaca that I have in my stash. Yours looks great!

  3. Holly says:

    I just finished my Clapotis a week ago! I used Malabrigo Rios – its striping is much more subtle so it looks different. After seeing your pictures I want to try one in Noro too!

  4. CeltChick says:

    Hmmm, I’ve got some Lornas Laces sport weight (no silk, just wool) that has be partly knit up in good ol’ feather & fan, but which has been in hibernation so long now…SIgh! And it’s a lovely colorway, Baltic Sea, which I believe has been discontinued; I may have to frog, wash (to get out the kinks), & re-knit as a Clapotis! Thanks for the inspiration & I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend.

  5. Kim says:

    Is there a more-knitted pattern out there? Surely the designer of a pattern that has resulted in so many finished objects deserves a mention. She deserves a commendation. Kate Gilbert designed Clapotis as well as many other wonderful patterns.

  6. Pingback: Completed Project: The Clapotis Wrap - The Stitcherati

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