At a party recently I admired a friend's scarf. It was a simple cotton scarf with a really interesting pattern. She told me it was a gift from our friend Jane who by luck was standing two feet away. Jane lent me the Jo Sharp pattern book it was in but for anyone who wants to make one I've since found the same design on Ravelry free to download from Frazzled Knits here. It is basically an old knit/lace stitch called seafoam or dropped stitch.
Being a very basic knitter it took me a whole day to decode the pattern (literally) but I finally twigged (thank you ravelry forum!). To save you the time if you are as green a knitter as me here's how you do it - where it says YO (yarn over) pull the thread to the front (between the needles) before the knit stitch. For YO twice you wrap it round the needle and back through to the front, and go twice round the needle for YO 3 times (email me if this is still confusing). On the next row you drop these extra loops and that's what gives you the neat effect.
This was the first wool that came to hand from my stash, but I think the neutral colour will go well with a range of outfits. I did really like the cotton version too. Something about the smoothness of the cotton gave it a wonderful defined look. Hers was only half width too so it would be a great summer scarf. I might have to try that next. It is quick to knit and once you get the rhythm you don't need to keep looking at the pattern. p.s. forgive the 'fashion' shot. I will be much more appreciative of other people's attempts to photograph themselves in future. This is the best of a bad bunch taken in the bathroom mirror but I did want to show how it looks on!