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Pink Needles
spacer photos: courtesy Sixth & Spring Books


Knitty is pleased to offer this excerpt from the recent release Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves.

I was allowed to choose a pattern to share with Knitty readers from the book and this one seemed just the thing. I'm not sure that when you think Nicky Epstein you think "ooh, skulls!" But having met her, I can tell you that Nicky is full of surprises.

This scarf has an extra feature -- a set of i-cord ties to make it more vest-like, if you're so inclined.

I can't help but mention that Nicky's skull motif also reminds me rather a lot of Devo and their stacked pyramid hats. According to, those hats are called energy domes, and I think energy domes are due for a comeback.

- Amy R Singer, Editor




Length: 57 inches
Width: 8.5 inches


spacer [MC] Noro/KFI Cash Iroha [40% silk, 30% lambswool, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon; 99yd/91m per 40g skein]; color: #2 Black; 3 skeins
spacer [CC] Noro/KFI Silk Garden [45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool; 109yd/100m per 50g skein]; color: #246; 2 skeins (see Pattern Notes before buying yarn)

Recommended needle size:
spacer 1 set US #8/5mm straight needles
spacer 1 set US #8/5mm double-point needles (only two are used)
spacer 1 spare needle, US #8/5mm or smaller
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

spacer Waste yarn
spacer Tapestry needle

20 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in Skull Mosaic Pattern
[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here].

blankYou may wish to remove darkest sections of CC, to ensure sufficient contrast with MC. If you plan to do a lot of color manipulation, buy an extra skein of CC.

This scarf is worked in two halves, which are joined using three-needle bind off.

Important: On both RS and WS rows, all slipped sts are slipped with yarn held to WS of work (ie. slip with yarn held to back of work on RS rows, and with yarn held to front of work on WS rows).


Skull Mosaic Pattern (Worked over a multiple of 16 sts + 3):
Note: Odd-numbered rows are RS rows, even-numbered rows are WS rows.
Rows 1 & 2: Using MC, k1, [sl 2, k1, sl 1, k9, sl 1, k1, sl 1] to last 2 sts, sl 1, k1.
Rows 3 & 4: Using CC, k1, [k4, sl 1, k1, sl 1, k3, sl 1, k1, sl 1, k3] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 5 & 6: Using MC, k1, [k7, sl 3, k6] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 7 & 8: Using CC, k1, [(k1, sl 1) twice, k2, sl 1, k3, sl 1, k2, sl 1, k1, sl 1] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 9 & 10: Using MC, k1, [k4, sl 1, k7, sl 1, k3] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 11 & 12: Using CC, k1, [sl 1, k1, sl 1, k2, sl 1, k5, sl 1, k2, sl 1, k1] to last 2 sts, sl 1, k1.
Rows 13 & 14: Using MC, k1, [(k3, sl 1, k2, sl 1) twice, k2] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 15 & 16: Using CC, k1, [k1, sl 1, k2, sl 2, k5, sl 2, k2, sl 1] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 17 & 18: Using MC, k1, [k2, sl 1, k3, sl 2, k1, sl 2, k3, sl 1, k1] to last 2 sts, k2
Rows 19 & 20: Using CC, k1, [k3, sl 2, k7, sl 2, k2] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 21 & 22: Using MC, k1, [k5, sl 1, k1, sl 3, k1, sl 1, k4] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 23 & 24: Using CC, k1, [k2, sl 1, k1, sl 1, k7, (sl 1, k1) twice] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 25 & 26: Using MC, k1, [sl 2, k13, sl 1] to last 2 sts, sl 1, k1.
Rows 27 & 28: Using CC, k1, [(k2, sl 1) twice, (k1, sl 1) three times, k2, sl 1, k1] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 29 & 30: Using MC, k1, [k4, sl 1, k7, sl 1, k3] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 31 & 32: Using CC, k1, [k3, sl 1, k2, (sl 1, k1) twice, (sl 1, k2) twice] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 33 & 34: Using MC, k1, [(k2, sl 1) twice, k5, sl 1, k2, sl 1, k1] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 35 & 36: Using CC, k1, [k3, sl 2, k2, sl 1, k1, sl 1, k2, sl 2, k2] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 37 & 38: Using MC, k1, [k1, sl 2, (k3, sl 1) twice, k3, sl 2] to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 39 & 40: Using CC, k1, [k4, sl 2, k5, sl 2, k3] to last 2 sts, k2.
Repeat Rows 1-40 for Skull Mosaic Pattern.

This pattern involves the Intarsia method of color work. When working in this way, different sections of each row are worked with different colors. Use a separate length of yarn for each area of color.
When beginning with a new color, tie the strand of the new color in a slip knot around the strand of the old color. Slide the knot up close to the needle, then proceed with the new color.
When switching from one color to the next within each row, drop the color you have been knitting with, and bring the yarn for the next color up under the yarn of the previous color before you continue knitting. This will twist the 2 yarns around each other. It is very important to do this; if you do not wrap the yarns in this way, the areas of color will not be joined, and you will have holes in your work.

Three-Needle Bind Off
Hold both pieces of knitting with right sides together.
Insert needle into first st on front needle and first st on back needle, and knit them together. *Repeat this for the next st on the front and back needles. Draw the first st worked over the second st.*
Repeat from * to * until all sts have been bound off. Break yarn and draw through remaining st.


Garter Cup Edging
Using MC, CO 7 sts. Work in garter st until piece measures 3 inches. Break yarn and push piece to end of needle; pieces will accumulate on needle.

Make 2 more pieces in the same way, taking care to work the same number of rows in each piece. Do not break yarn after last piece is complete. 3 pieces on needle; total of 21 sts.

Position work so that all pieces are on left needle, with yarn ready to begin working next row on last piece. The side facing you now will be considered the RS of the work.

When working the Joining Row, you will be picking up sts along the RS of the CO edge of each piece. To do this, fold the piece upward so that the CO edge meets the working edge, then fold the CO edge outward and to the left so that its RS is facing you; the folded part of the piece will form a triangular “cup”.

Joining Row [RS]: [K7, fold piece and pick up and k 7 sts along CO edge] 3 times. 42 sts.
Next Row [WS]: K20, k2tog, k20. 41 sts.
K 2 more rows using MC.

Mosaic Pattern:
Before beginning mosaic pattern, wind off a small ball of MC. This will be used to work a border of MC along the left edge of the scarf, using the intarsia method.

Row 1 [RS]: K3 using MC, join CC and k35, join small ball of MC and k3.

Row 2 [WS]: K3 using MC, k35 using CC, k3 using MC.

Rows 3-122: Work Rows 1-40 of Skull Mosaic Pattern three times, working first and last 3 sts of each row using MC as set. Outlined Pattern Repeat section is worked twice in each row. Break CC.

Rows 123-136: K all sts using MC, marking ends of Row 129 with waste yarn. (Ties will later be attached to this row.)

Work Rows 1-136 once more, but do not mark ends of Row 129. Break yarn and place all sts on spare needle.

Make second half in the same way as first half, but do not break yarn or place sts on spare needle.

Join halves using Three Needle Bind Off.


Weave in ends and block as desired.

Ridged I-Cord Ties (Make 2):
Note: I-Cord is worked with the RS facing at all times. After a few rows, work will begin to form a tube.

Using double-point needle and MC, CO 5 sts.
Rows 1-4: Instead of turning work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to your left hand, bring yarn around back of work, and start knitting the sts again.
Row 5: Work as for Row 1, but p all sts.
Repeat these 5 rows until tie measures 8 inches.

When ties are complete, sew tie one to each scarf half, at edge of marked row. Be sure to sew ties along the same edge, so that scarf can be tied when worn as shown.

Weave in remaining ends.
designernameBlankNicky Epstein is the author of the new book Knitting On Top of the World and the best-selling Edgings series: Knitting On the Edge, Knitting Over the Edge, Knitting Beyond the Edge and Crocheting On the Edge as well as Nicky Epstein’s Signature Scarves, Knitted Flowers, Crocheted Flowers and Knitting Never Felt Better. Her designs appear in major crafting magazines, including Vogue Knitting, and she teaches and lectures frequently about her artistry.

Visit her website.