The popularity of knitting has expanded exponentially in recent years. It has become a well-publicized favorite pastime of movie stars like Julia Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker. In fact, some social scientists attribute knitting’s rebirth to its celebrity status. The muffler, also called a scarf, is a traditional knitting favorite.
Pick the pattern. Beginning and experienced knitters alike can always find patterns they love. The trick is to make sure it is they pick one they can follow. Pattern books indicate the level of skill required to complete a project. That is not always true of the dozens of free patterns found online. In the finest tradition of better safe than sorry, if a pattern seems confusing, pick a simpler one.
Choose the yarn. You might fall in love with the yarn first, so make sure you pick an appropriate pattern. The muffler pattern will specify the best yarn to use. If the one you want does not match the recommendation, the result might be disappointing. If you find the pattern first, choose the yarn it suggests.
Select the needle. Patterns indicate needle type and size. Mufflers usually call for basic straight needles. In the U.S., knitting needles range in size from 0, the smallest, to 50, an uncommonly large needle designed for specific projects. You might need a different size than the one recommended, depending on how loosely or tightly you knit. That is why the next step is essential.
Check the stitch gauge. Every pattern provides a stitch gauge, which is how many stitches should be in each row and how many rows should be in the finished muffler. Knit a sample five inches wide by five inches long. Compare your sample to the pattern’s gauge. If your gauge is smaller, use a larger needle. If it is larger, use a smaller needle. Do not skip this step.
Find the right notions. Patterns sometimes suggest notions that save time and prevent mistakes. It is a good idea to use them. Two good basics to keep on hand are rubber point protectors and stitch counters. Point protectors slip onto the needles to keep the work from slipping off. Stitch counters are plastic or wood rings that mark the end of stitch patterns, such as knit six, purl four. Markers keep track of where the changes start and stop.
Find what you need. Yarn and hobby shops carry knitting patterns, yarns and supplies. Some also provide expert advice and instruction. There are dozens of websites with free patterns and websites that teach knitting.