Vallombrosa is a great simple scarf. The ribbed texture makes it feel deceptively thick whilst being reasonably yarn-efficient. This is a great sitting-in-front-of-the-tv knit, because it doesn’t demand a lot of attention and it grows satisfyingly quickly due to the big wool and needles. It’s quite wide so perfect for cold days when you want a scarf that’s big enough to keep your ears warm too.

It has a great structural quality due to the twisted rib stitches, and I love the way they look like a series of little braids running down the length of the scarf.

The beauty of the wool is the transition from shade to shade (the charcoal to cream transition inspired the name Vallombrosa – which means Valley of Shadows) so colour matching the end of each ball of yarn with the beginning of the next is vital to avoid any sharp lines. Be aware that not each ball is made up of one length of yarn and the occasional knot can scupper your otherwise perfect transition.

I didn’t make this scarf very long – under 5ft – so it’s not a hanging to your knees kind of scarf, but I’ve given an idea of how far a ball of yarn goes so you can estimate how much you’d need to do this.  To my mind, it’s about the right length for tucking into a coat, or at this length, you could try joining up the ends to make a twice-round-the-neck cowl.

Here it is in progress, and in action! (Excuse the messy hair, but I needed to show how wide it is because I can’t seem to find my tape measure.)

For day to day wear, I’ve taken to folding it in half lengthways – that way when I speak, it doesn’t come out as a muffled squeak.

Here it is folded, and tucked into my coat. This photo also serves as proof that I do occasionally brush my hair.

Vallombrosa Pattern

Gauge: 40 stitches in ribbed pattern makes a scarf around 9 inches wide. Row gauge is really unimportant for a scarf but see the yarn section for approximate yardage requirements.  

Notions; I set straight 6mm needles (I used an old set of bamboo needles I found lying around) and crochet hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn; Patons Shadow Tweed, 3 x 100g balls in shade “grey, undyed, charcoal”. Each ball of yarn makes just over 30 inches of scarf and is made up of about 130m of yarn. Shadow tweed comes in a whole range of colours.


c/o 40 stitches (this is a ribbed scarf, so you need to use a flexible cast on. I used a long tail cast on).

Then repeat:

Row 1: Sl1, p1, then repeat *k1tbl, p1* until end of row.

Row 2: Sl1, p1tbl, then repeat *k1, p1tbl* until end of row.

When it’s reached the length you want, bind off loosely and weave in ends.

And … that’s the pattern! I didn’t block it because it’s plenty wide enough at the moment  but if you wanted to, a bit of gentle width-ways blocking would really bring out the twisted rib pattern.



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