I’ve been working on a Prismatic Scarf for a while now, as the project I can work on without having to carry or look at charts. (Can’t miss a minute of Capt. Jack Harkness this week, after all!)
The yarn I’m using is from the Plain & Fancy Sheep and Wool Co., from Henderson, TX. A booth at the Kid ‘n Ewe fiber fair in Boerne, TX had a ton of colorways in two weights, and recently Yarnorama in Paige, TX has been able to stock limited amounts. It’s a single ply wool akin to Malabrigo, in colorways as beautiful as Manos. If you ever get a chance to buy this stuff, I highly recommend it!
I love the built-in I-cord edges in the Prismatic pattern, but I wasn’t thrilled with the reversibility. This is the right side:
And this is the wrong side:
Huan-Hua Chye, the author of the Prismatic, said that she was seeking to eliminate the stockinette-based curl of the Dapper Herringbone Scarf. There’s no curl, but there is some bumpiness on the unblocked swatch, even though I was careful to use Fair Isle technique and not tug the yarn loops too tightly. That minor annoyance aside, the most visually striking aspect of the design is the looping created by slipping stitches wyif. The wrong side is just a diagonal pattern of knits and purls, which doesn’t thrill me.
So I decided to try a no-purl version, replacing purls on the wrong side rows with the same “wyif, slip 3 sts” pattern from the front side. The result was a “wrong side” that looks like the original pattern’s “right side”, and my new “right side” has even bigger, more graphical carry-along loops of yarn. Here’s a comparison swatch of the wrong sides:
And the right sides:
Here are closer pictures of the new right side:
And wrong side:
I don’t have anything against the purl stitch, but I know that some other knitters inexplicably avoid purling whenever possible. In this case the purls were my opportunity to jazz up the wrong side, which had the happy side-effect of eliminating bumpiness and making the scarf perfectly flat and non-curly, even without blocking. The two sides aren’t identical, but I think of it as a more reversible version of the Prismatic scarf, since both sides are equally pretty and graphic in their own way.