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Saving A Curling Scarf.

Don't you just hate it when a piece you've spent hours working on doesn't turn out the way you imagined it?

It looks like this...

...when it should be more like this.

After just a couple of rows into the Trellis scarf I noticed the cast on edge started to roll upwards ever so slightly. As I continued to knit the curling got worse and worse until it seemed to calm down when the scarf measured 10 cm or so from the CO edge. I didn't really stress much about it thinking it would be easily fixed later on and continued to knit further.

Halfway through knitting the scarf I faced another problem with the scarf. The CO edge still rolled up and now the sides started to curl inwards. So badly that the scarf lost more than half of it's width. I hate it when it happens. If this was something I designed myself I could maybe live with the mistake, but when it's a pattern that is published I would assume such things would have been fixed. Or at least mentioned in the pattern. There's only the normal "block as desired" at the bottom of the instructions but mistakes like this can't be fixed with even the most vigorous blocking. It can in some cases be a temporary fix, but from experience I know that a piece that needs constant blocking between every use will soon be forgotten to the bottom of my wardrobe never to see daylight again. And that would be a shame because apart from the curling I really like the scarf.

I should have known that a border of just one slipped stitch, one knit stitch and one purl stitch at each side is not enough to keep the edges from curling, but since I've never done the lattice stitch before I didn't know how it would work as a fabric. I assumed it would make the finished fabric sturdier. For your information, it doesn't; the scarf behaves like a plain stockinette scarf.

I thought about dropping all the stitches from the sides an re-knitting them to form a garter stitch edge, but came to the conclusion that a) 3 stitch wide garter section per side would not be enough to stop the curling and b) it would be a suicide mission to begin with with such a long scarf. So I tried to fix the curling by crocheting a few rows of single crochet border to both of the sides. At first it looked like it would fix the curling, but after a while the scarf slowly rolled back to its deformed shape.

I was a bit more successful with fixing the ends rolling upwards. I added 1x1 ribbing to both ends of the scarf by picking up one stitch per one from the cast on and bind off edge onto 3.5 mm needles (I used 4.0 mm for the main section) plus some additional ones from the crocheted border. I then knitted 5 stitches per side in garter stitch and 1x1 ribbing with the rest of the stitches. I made the ribbing some 8 cm long. This did fix the rolling upwards as anticipated, but it did nothing to stop the sides from curling inwards (again, as anticipated).

I've been searching through the internet for a way to fix this problem and the only real options I found is to unravel the whole scarf and start again or to live with the curling. I don't want to do either of those. There were some viable solutions on the TECHknitting blog but only the option of lining the scarf might work with the Trellis.

However I didn't really find any real information on suitable lining materials. The TECHknitting blog suggested using either polar fleece or silk, but there are different weights of both fabrics and it doesn't tell you what to use. I have lovely cotton fabrics at home but I'm not sure if they are sturdy enough to stop the scarf from rolling and don't want to cut them in vain. I don't really want to use polar fleece for this scarf, because it really isn't very stylish and I'm also unsure about the silk: again buying and cutting such a nice fabric possibly to no avail since I don't know how thick it should be.

I'm going to do some tests with the lining and will let you know how it worked out once I'm finished.

P.S. I read through people's comments on the Purl Bee website to see if anyone has commented about the curling. There was only one comment about it and it regarded the curling upwards but not the one inwards. The reply from the editor was a bit snobbish "I don't believe the curling is bad enough to require a garter edge". Oh please.
I don't believe the curling is bad enough to require a garter edge. - See more at:
I don't believe the curling is bad enough to require a garter edge. - See more at:
I don't believe the curling is bad enough to require a garter edge. - See more at:


  1. Oh no! That's the worst. I always wondered why store bought stockinette scarfs didn't curl until I read another one of TECHknitting's brilliant posts:
    Chemical blocking! Not that useful for us hand knitters, but I feel better knowing how this magic is achieved.

    I hope lining your Trellis Scarf helps!

    1. Techknitting is such an amazing blog, I've learned a lot from it. I wish I knew as much about knitting... Maybe some day... :)


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