Knitting at U2

The last Auckland concert is tonight and my companion is driving me in return for free ticket. Wants to get a park. So we’re leaving at 4.30, first act is scheduled for 7.30 (what were they thinking, Kanye West? I can’t name or hum anything by him, although I may have heard his name before. The Rolling Stones concert had Nickelback opening. Good choice for their audience, although at one point in the tour they apparently had Maroon 5 opening for them cough cough we lucky Kiwis. Someone vaguely within genre would have been nice for tonight. Last time they were here they apparently had B.B. King opening. Sweet. Today we have… Kanye West.) and U2 for 8.45. That leaves me with several hours to fill. I shall resume social smoking for the night and also take my knitting.

I can see those security guys now, allowing me to take in pointy metal sticks but NO WATER YOU BETTER NOT TAKE IN WATER! They had better be careful when they paw through my knitting. In the bag will be my Backyard Leaves scarf and second Fetching (well, more like my tenth but the second of this pair). My companion doesn’t know I knit I hope he’s not too :oops: when I start knitting.
Anybody else who’s going, yell out, maybe we can do a mini Stitch ‘n’ Bitch.

Anyone who’s thinking about doing the Leaves scarf, this is the only item I’ve ever knitted from a chart, and I’m confident of being able to do it while out and about, so hopefully this shows you it’s not too complicated and encourages you to try it!


Hi Sara! I just started the Backyard Leaves scarf and I’m already really confused. It’s my first try a reading a chart. I have lots of questions. Can you help me??? Here are my questions so far: Row 1 has 2 more stitches than the set-up row. Do I cast on those stitiches? Also, Row 1 has 2 yo’s, which add stitches. How does that match up with Row 2 which only has 12 stitches? Where are the instructions for the edges? It’s really hard to tell from the picture, but the scarf must be a rectangle, not the shape of the chart. Thanks so much for any clues you can give me!!!

I just wanted to tell you how jealous I am that you’re going to the show. I hope you share all of the details!
The only song I know by Kanye West is “Golddigger” and the only reason for that is because they over play it on the radio.

Hi Gail

In row 1, the two yos create two new stitches, they are knitted so that in future rows they are included.
The set-up row has 10 stitches, which you cast on when you first start. In row 1, you keep all of those 10 stitches, and you also do 2 yos, which adds 2 , so at the end of row 1 you will have 12 stitches. In row 2 you keep all of those 12.

The only row where you cast on is row 3, where these are clearly marked with the + signs (although I actually turn the work before I cast on, so it’s really done at the start of row 4).

In most rows you will be adding more stitches, or decreasing some away, or both, and your stitch count will change a lot. I highly recommend placing the marker where advised in the pattern. The scarf isn’t really rectangular at all!

Here are some pictures. It will look very strange for the first 10-20 rows so don’t be too fast to give up, rip it out, and start again. Keep at it if you think you’re doing it right.

I placed my marker in the middle, it was a tied loop of wool in a different colour, and it had a little tail trailing from the loop which I didn’t bother cutting off. That tail was lifted higher on every row, but it was kind of woven through the previous rows, and that centre line is not straight at all in the scarf!

The shape of the chart really is quite close to the scarf, you’ll start to see this better as you do more rows.
The chart includes the edges, do you see those three stitches at the start and end of every row? Odd rows the same at start and end, and even rows the same?
Look at the symbol meanings on the key, those V-type marks are slipped stitches. Just do the chart as written, the first and last three stitches on every row are the beautiful slipped-stitch edging. Annie’s a genius and I plan to use that edging on many future projects.

I found it helpful to enlarge rows 9-28 on my photocopier and stick it on a piece of cardboard I can prop up in my lap. Also, if you highlight every odd row with one colour highlighter - or colour it with a lightly coloured pencil - your eye won’t get lost and accidentally end up on the row above or below. Also, you’ll know every coloured row goes in one direction, and every uncoloured row the other. And do make photocopies to keep in case your original gets lost, and don’t mark your original copy (that would be the book if you have it).

This is my first chart, and I found it helpful to think not of what stitch I will make, but what the scarf is going to have.

E.g. for me, a dot in the square can mean either knit or purl, depending on what side I’m on. But every single time, that purl dot means ‘PUT A PURL BUMP ON THE GOOD SIDE’ (the front/right side). It’s easy to remember with purl/knit stitches, but when you have a symbol meaning “slip 1 with wool in back on right side, slip one with wool in front on wrong side” I got confused. For that I prefer to think of that symbol as “slip 1 with wool on the bad side/wrong side”. After a couple of repeats it becomes very easy.
It’s also helpful to thread a needle with different-coloured wool and run it THROUGH the stitches (right next to the needle) on every… say…row 28 (or row 8 ), and leave it until next time you get up to a row 28. Later, if you get hopelessly lost, you can unravel back to that other wool, and thread the stitches back onto the knitting needle, and know your next row is a row 9.

And remember, some symbols mean you’re making a new stitch: like the YO, and the ‘k and p in same stitch’.
Other times you’ll be getting rid of one stitch (k2tog, and ssk/ssp stitches) or even two stitches (sssk, k3tog symbols) so your count will change.

If it’s not too late, I recommend a very light colour for this scarf, dark colours hide the pattern in my opinion. That’s a real shame considering the effort required!
Don’t give up! And don’t be afraid to ask about something else, remember the great videos here showing you how to make some stitches as well!
Good luck, it’s really exciting to watch this beautiful scarf take shape (literally).

Well U2 rock Knitwit but my experience of the concert was mediocre. I think I was spoiled by being in the FOURTH row for the Rolling Stones at Easter time. Got there and our view was COMPLETELY obscured by sound tents. Chatted an usher into letting us move into a corner further forward, where the first 2 rows of seats hadn’t been sold, where we could see. Everyone else decided to move into that area too, but they didn’t sit in the free seats… they stood in front of us. One tall guy could have given us a view of the big-screen by taking one step forward but it just doesn’t occur to people to look around and see whom they are inconveniencing. Guy behind us threw an empty (plastic) beer bottle at rude tall guy in the way, lucky he didn’t get smacked.
It’s just rude to stand in front of people who chose to pay extra for seats and now can’t see from those seats! If I wanted to stand I would have bought tickets for the general admission area and gotten a better view! Grrrr!
Well I got some knitting done anyway. And this post has lowered my blood pressure significantly.

I think I don’t find it worth going unless I can get great close seats from now on. At least for a band like U2 who don’t move around a lot on stage.
But glad I went. Kanye West wasn’t on for long. And the only beer they had was Export, come ON, I’d rather drink their wine at $8 for a 187mL bottle (that’s 3/4 of a standard CUP).
Whew… breathe Sarah.

Hi Sarah! Thank you, thank you, thank you, so very much for answering all of my questions. I was on vacation when I bought the book and yarn for the scarf, so I couldn’t go in and ask at my local yarn store. I was beginning to think I had taken on too big of a project, but now that I read you answer, it is all a lot clearer. I only had time to knit a few rows before we had to leave on our drive home from my daughter’s house, but now that we’re home, I can hardly wait to start again!
Say hi to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are in New Zealand on their “dream vacation.”

You’re welcome Gail, I found a lot of helpful stuff about this scarf and pattern on the net so I guess what goes around comes around :slight_smile:
Please let us know how you go and post pictures when finished, I am in love with this pattern and love seeing it finished!. Good luck

So if I cast on at the start of row 4 (rather than 3) how do I go back and complete the stitches that should be in those places for row 4?