January 17, 2017

Sort Of Realistic Fox Scarf - Free Pattern

I was going to make this a shop exclusive pattern, but there are a couple reasons why I feel better giving it away. First, there are already so many takes on this concept. It's not unique, nor is it all that difficult to  figure out. That's how I came to make one. There are a lot patterns for fox scarves and stoles that are purposely cute and artificial in appearance, but I wanted a slightly more realistic one. I'd never want the real thing, not even a secondhand one. That's too icky for me. I won't even eat most of the animals that the vast majority of people have no problem eating; I couldn't drape a dead fox around my shoulders.

I admit...I still kind of like the look though.

So I have merged my love for vintage fashion and wildlife with a more realistic but cruelty free fox scarf.


That brings me to the second reason this is a free pattern. I cannot find a good yarn to recommend that hasn't been discontinued. You can still find eyelash/faux fur yarn needed for the body in most craft supply chains, but you'll need a boucle or mohair-like yarn for the face and ears. You'll also need that yarn to closely match the eyelash/fur yarn. That has been surprisingly tough. This bulky yarn trend--which, yes, I hate and am apparently the only one who does--has pushed all other novelty and textured yarns off the shelves. It's bulky, baby, and worsted, and that's all you can get with any sort of color variation--at least in my area. If you're going to make this scarf, I hope you have better luck than I when it comes to finding a reasonably priced boucle and a fur yarn that work together.


For the black scarf, I used black Fun Fur from Lion Brand with black TLC Amore from Red Heart. The golden scarf was made with champagne Fun Fur from Lion Brand and soft earth Divine from Patons.  I can't bring myself to sell a pattern when the yarns necessary to produce a similar result are so elusive. If you have some stashed or you're up for the challenge of finding substitutes, then I hope you'll enjoy making your own fox scarf with the help of the pattern below.

Okay one last note: I realize the irony of me moaning about bulky yarn saturation when Patons' Divine and Lion Brand's Fun Fur are both technically bulky yarns.







Fox Scarf

You will need:

Four double pointed needles (DPN) in U.S. size 6 (4mm)
Straight needles in U.S. size 8 (5 mm)

50 yards of boucle or mohair style yarn for the face and ears
370 yards of eyelash or faux fur yarn for the body and tail
Gauge: 16 sts for 13 rows = 4 inches in eyelash/faux fur yarn using size 8 needles.

You will also need polyfill stuffing for the head, safety eyes, a safety nose or floss to embroider one, a needle for assembly, tape measure, stitch counter, and round marker. I recommend using snaps so your scarf can then be closed and worn lower around the shoulders.  

Abbreviations and Techniques:


Knit-in-the-Round
Knit Straight
Cast On

Knit (K)
Purl (P)

Knit Front and Back (Kfb)
Knit Two Together (K2tog)
Purl Two Together (P2tog)
Make One Increase (M1)
Bind Off
Draw-Through
Round (Rnd)

Total stitches are indicated within ( ) after increase and decrease rounds. Stitches to be repeated are indicated within [ ].

   
The pattern starts with the tip of the fox’s nose. The head is knit in the round.


Head

Using boucile/mohair yarn, CO 6 sts on 3 DPNs, place marker and knit the following rounds:

Rnd 1. K1, [Kfb] three times (9 sts)
Rnd 2. Kfb, K7, Kfb (11 sts)
Rnd 3. K all sts
Rnd 4. Kfb, K9, Kfb (13 sts)
Rnd 5. K all sts
Rnd 6. Kfb, K11, Kfb (15 sts)
Rnd 7. K all sts
Rnd 8. Kfb, K13, Kfb (17 sts)
Rnd 9. K7, [Kfb] three times, K7 (20 sts)
Rnd 10. K7, Kfb, K1, [Kfb] twice, K1, Kfb, K7 (24 sts)
Rnd 11. K7, Kfb, K3, [Kfb] twice, K3 Kfb, K7 (28 sts)
Rnd 12. K7, [Kfb, K2] twice, [Kfb] twice,  [K2, Kfb] twice, K7 (34 sts)
Rnd 13. K7, Kfb, K8, [Kfb] twice, K8, Kfb, K7 (38 sts)
Rnd 14. K7, Kfb, K22, Kfb, K7 (40 sts)
Rnd 15. K all sts


Switch to eyelash/faux fur yarn.

P all sts for eight rounds.

Rnd 25. P 10, Slip the next 20 sts onto the next needle. Remove marker. Starting with the last st of the round, slip the remaining 10 sts onto the back of the first needle so that all sts are parallel on two DPNs.  

Add the safety nose if you're using one. Stuff the end of the fox’s nose and add safety eyes. Stuff the rest of the fox’s head firm.

Body

Using the straight needles, knit one st from the first DPN, then one st from the second. Continue in this fashion until all 40 sts are on one straight needle. This will also close up the fox’s head.

Work in garter st until the scarf is 46 inches long or desired length. End on a wrong side row.




Tail

Distribute 40 sts on three DPNs. Place marker and work in the round as follows:

Rnd 1. P all sts
Rnd 2. [P2tog] twenty times (20 sts)
Rnd 3. P all sts
Rnd 4. [P2tog] ten times (10 sts)
Rnds 5 – 7. P all sts
Rnd 8. [P1, M1] ten times (20 sts)
Rnd 9 -10. P all sts
Rnd 11. [P1, M1] twenty times (40 sts)
Rnds 12 – 40 P all sts

If you would like your fox to have an extra long tail, continue knitting rnds. until the desired length is reached, then work from rnd. 41 to end.

Rnd 41. [P2, P2tog] ten times (30 sts)
Rnds 42 -46. P all sts
Rnd 47. [P1, P2tog] ten times (20 sts)
Rnd 48. P all sts
Rnd 49. [P2tog] ten times (10 sts)
Rnds 50-52. P all sts
Rnd 53. [P2tog] five times (5 sts)

Draw the yarn through the remaining sts to close. Tail is not stuffed. 

Ears
Make two

Using straight needles, CO 12 sts and work the following rows:

Row 1. K all sts
Row 2. P all sts
Row 3. [K2tog, K3] twice, K2tog (9 sts)
Row 4. P all sts
Row 5. K2tog, K5, K2tog (7 sts)
Row 6. P2tog, P3, P2tog (5 sts)
Row 7. K2tog, K1, K2tog (3 sts)

Bind off. Fold the ear in half and stitch closed.

Finishing


Attach the ears to the top of the fox’s head. Use pins to help you determine an ideal position before sewing them in place. Attach snaps below the fox's chin and at the base of the tail if desired.



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