How to Knit a Scarf With a Picture in It

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If you're unfamiliar with picture knitting or knitting from a chart, knitting a picture into a scarf may seem like a very advanced technique. Fortunately, creating your own chart to work pictures and designs into your knitting is not as difficult as you may think. You simply put the picture onto a grid and follow the chart you've made to choose what color to make each stitch. Before you know it, simple flowers, detailed portraits or inspired landscapes will spread themselves across your knitting.

Things You'll Need

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn in two or more colors
  • Simple scarf pattern
  • Knitter's graph paper or plain graph paper, or a computer-created chart

Creating a Chart on Graph Paper

  • Obtain a piece of graph paper or knitter's graph paper with the same gauge (number of stitches or boxes across and down) as your scarf pattern.

  • Sketch or trace your desired picture onto the graph paper, keeping in mind the size you want the picture relative to the size of the scarf.

  • Color your picture according to the colors of yarn you plan to use in your project.

Knitting Your Scarf

  • Choose a pattern for a simple scarf without a complex stitch pattern or cables.

  • Cast on in your background color yarn. Knit your scarf according to your pattern until you come to the point you'd like to start your picture.

  • Reference your chart to begin creating your picture, starting from the bottom right corner of the picture. Continue knitting the stitches indicated in your scarf pattern as you use your chart to change colors.

    Each row of knitting should follow each row of squares on the chart, with rows on the front side of your scarf starting from the right side of the chart and rows on the back side of your scarf starting from the left side of the chart. Use intarsia knitting technique for large blocks of a single color and fair isle knitting technique for small numbers of stitches in two or more colors.

  • Repeat your picture as desired along the length of the scarf, or continue knitting in your background color to the end of your scarf pattern and bind off. Weave in ends.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not want to create a free-hand or traced chart on graph paper, use one of the many knitting chart-making programs available online.
  • Familiarize yourself with knitting in multiple colors, through the intarsia or fair isle methods, before you begin your project.
  • If this is your first attempt at making a knitting chart or knitting in multiple colors, choose a simple picture with no more than two or three colors.
  • When knitting with multiple colors of yarn, let your yarn strands carry loosely along the back of your knitting to avoid warping in your finished piece.

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  • Photo Credit MASH/Photodisc/Getty Images
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