Monday, November 12, 2007

A little outing with Franz

I have a certain kerchief of which I am very fond. I wore it when I first met my marvelous boyfriend and am half-convinced that this is why he loves me.

Let me back up.

A few months ago I noticed that my local Big Chain Craft Store was clearancing out all of their Lion Brand Incredible ribbon. I poked around a bit and found a colorway I adored--City Lights.

Then I went to my local dollar store and saw that they had lots and lots and lots of City Lights. It was a good day.

It's odd that I should like it. For one thing, it's got orange in it, and I never wear orange. But something in it called to me. It's vibrant and shiny and happy.

Maybe it's because it reminds me of certain works by the German Expressionists. I'm thinking August Macke and Franz Marc here.

Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, I came home with the lots and lots and
lots of German Expressionist nylon ribbon and had no idea what to do with it. It doesn't make a soft fabric; it doesn't drape well; it has a tendency to get snagged on things. I was a little worried that it would just sit there looking pretty.

But then the ribbon called out to me. "Grüß Gott!" it said. "It has occurred to you that I am just the thing for a kerchief, ja?"

And the ribbon had a point. It's not too heavy, but is weightier than the silk nonsense that always gets caught
in the wind. It has just a little bit of stretch, so it stays in place. And if you add just a few rows of drop stitch to the headband part, it is so shiny.

I liked the results a lot. So much, in fact, that I made another one, with some slight variations, out of some scrap acrylic yarn. It is a happiness.

And there have been such nice comments about them both, and they were so easy to make, that I decided to learn how to write patterns while knitting a third.


SIZING: I have a large, German-Expressionist-sized head. To adjust Franz to your own head, follow the pattern to the second single-increase section. Knit the single-increase section until the tip of the triangle hangs where you want it to when you put the base of the triangle
on the widest part of your head (where you want the headband section to fall), and then knit the headband section. Keep repeating Row 97 until the ends of the triangle are long enough to reach all the way around and tie around your head.If your head is larger than mine, I pity you. We can never find hats that fit, can we?

MATERIALS USED: Lion Brand Incredible ribbon yarn [100% nylon; 110 yd/100m per 50g skein]; color: City Lights; 2 skeins.

2 US #9/5.25mm straight needles
1 US #9/5.25mm 16" or longer circular needle (At the widest part of the kerchief, the ribbon just
barely fit on one 14" needle. When I used worsted-weight yarn, I needed the circ to hold all the stitches.)

Tapestry needle

GAUGE: 20 st / 40 rows = 4 inches over garter stitch.


k = knit
k1fb = knit into front and then back of stitch, increasing total # of sts by 1.
yo = yarn over
ssk = slip 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit them together.
* * = repeat directions between ** as many times as indicated.



CO 1.

Rows 1-39: k1fb, k to end of row.


Row 40: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 41: k1fb, k1, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 42: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to last st, k1.

Row 43: k1fb, k3, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 44: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 3 sts, yo, ssk, k1.

Row 45: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 46: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to end of row.

Row 47: k1fb, k2, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.

Row 48: k1fb, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 2 sts, yo, ssk.

Row 49: k1fb, k4, *yo, ssk, k3* to last 4 sts, yo, ssk, k2.


Rows 50-79: k1fb, k to end of row.


Row 80: k1fb, *yo2, k1* to end of row.

Row 81: k1fb, k to end of row, dropping all the yos.

Rows 82-85: k4fb, k to end of row.

Row 86: k1fb, *yo2, k1* to end of row.

Row 87: k1fb, k to end of row, dropping all the yos.

Rows 88-93: k4fb, k to end of row.

Row 94: k1fb, *yo3, k1* to end of row.

Row 95: k1fb, k to end of row, dropping all the yos.

Rows 96-97: k4fb, k to end.

BO all sts. Weave in ends.


Ta da!

I wear mine by tying the ends in a knot; you might find that sewing a button on one end and pulling it through the last drop-stitch section works.


I wore my Franz over to my little brother's house once, aglow with the joy of having finished such a shiny project.

"Dude," said the Baby Bruzzer. "It looks like someone ate a bag of Skittles and vomited them onto your head."

Guess you can't win them all.


  1. I picked up a couple skeins of the Rainbow colorway of that stuff. Such prettiness(despite the pink - like the orange for you)...
    My first finished project ever was a cell phone cozy out of the pretty stuff. Slippery devil.
    The plan was to make a belt for me from the rest. Then it became a tie for a friend (until I failed the yarn substitution test). Eventually it became a LOT of icords of varying lengths, from a dozen anklets to headbands and a couple stuffed animal leashes and cell phone fobs along the way. I Finally finished one ball, and have another that keeps watching me-- only this time there isn't enough left for a belt. And I don't particularly look forward to making more icord anymore. But it's still so pretty.

  2. Ihnasarima -- agreed. It's so shiny and tempting!