THE CHENILLE SCARF
June Hudson created the new design that was no doubt part of John Nathan-Turner's vision for a more polished production. It's the big one, but thanks to a width of only 42 stitches and aran weight yarn, it knits fairly quickly - unless you're lucky enough to find chenille yarn, which can be troublesome to knit.
There were at least two screen-used scarves. The S18A pattern above represents the one most often seen on screen. It has some subtle differences to the previous pattern that was on this site, itself an adaptation of the pattern distributed by the BBC in the 1980s. The S18B pattern has a few more minor differences (possibly more that aren't yet accounted for). It appears to have been reserved mostly for publicity photos and doesn't appear in many scenes. It is the one being worn by Janet Fielding in the photo below.
There were also some scarves knitted for exhibition, but there are no plans to include those patterns here.
14 tassels space evenly on 42 stitches. Start on stitch #2, leave 2 stitches between each tassel and end on stitch #41. Initially I thought only rust and wine should be used for the tassels, but it has now become apparent that a few strands of purple appear in the tassels - 1 purple, 3 rust and 3 wine strands for each tassel.
The edges of the scarves have a crocheted slip stitch border along the length of each side in rust. The S18B scarf sometimes appears to have only one border, but it is merely the border curling towards the front side of the scarf. Look closely in the photo of Janet Fielding below, and you can see the rust yarn peeking through the back near the edge where the border can't otherwise be seen. Some exhibition versions of the scarf have a purple border.
See more about crocheting the edge here.
A recent review of the original yarn samples for this scarf has been helpful in curbing some misconceptions about the colors. Generally, the rust is quite close to the red in the original 7-color scarf only slightly more orange. The wine is a very slightly violet burgundy (not too purple, though). The purple is virtually the same as that of the original 7-color scarf. The important thing to remember is that the contrast between these colors is low.
The original yarn information has been hiding in plain site right on the old pattern (with errors, mind) distributed by the BBC in the 1980s. These are Sirdar Chenille (acrylic/wool blend) 523 Rust, 525 Wine and 526 Plum. Though there might have been color reformulation, Sirdar continued to use identical color number designations at least through the 1990s for all chenille. Several years ago I ordered these exact colors but received DK weight skeins. Nonetheless they're a very good indicator of what the colors should be and easily verified the other color information on hand.
I've noticed that many fans' replicas get the wine wrong. It ends up being far too red. This is reinforced by two things. First, the reflective nature of chenille fiber causes "bloom" on film. This brightens and shifts the hue in photos to the familiar deep red (see the photo of Janet Fielding below with this effect). Second, Lion Brand Suede was a popular yarn choice (now discontinued) for knitting replicas, and one color concession was that a deep red had to be subbed for the true burgundy. Unfortunately, the Lion colors continue to influence.
Under decent lighting and without color grading, the colors on video are truer in relation to each other (hues shift but equally) than vintage film or print. It's not reliable enough to actually choose colors by, but the unaltered screen grabs below give a better sense for how this scarf should look.
You can also use free paint chips found in hardware stores as a guide. These by Behr are quite close.
|S-H-200 New Brick
S-H-110 Wine Tasting
S-G-690 Delicious Berry
YARN RECOMMENDATIONS (12/20/2012)
If you can find worsted or aran weight Sirdar chenille, well, lucky you! The next best thing will be locating some Crystal Palace cotton chenille in the hopelessly discontinued colors of 5137 Cinnabar, 9121 Claret and 9719 Plum. Claret is very slightly too violet, but it is the exact color of the melton coat. Currently produced 4021 Red Velvet can be subbed for Claret, though it will be deep red much like the Lion Suede again.
Lion Brand Suede is a little heavier than the right weight and has pretty good colors - Garnet, Eggplant and Spice. The contrast was a little too high between the colors, Eggplant needed to be more of a red-violet, and see above for the problem with Garnet. You will need to hunt for it on eBay and elsewhere as it is no longer produced.
I have been investigating industrial acrylic chenille, which is available on cones. The perfect trio of colors has not been found so far, but if you decide to search, the weight you'll want is around no lighter than 900 ypp and no heavier than 700 ypp (yards per pound).
Texere Plush Chenille (12/20/2012)
These colors are quite good - maybe better than Lion Brand Suede. The best part is that they're readily available online. It's aran weight acrylic and will generally work on a US #7. Overall the palette runs a little lighter than the actual scarf.
|just fine, a little desaturated
a bit light, dilute burgundy, slightly pinkish
could be a bit bluer
virtually indistinguishable from Merlot
Lion Brand Jiffy (12/20/2012)
This non-chenille option has colors approximately equal to Lion Brand Suede. It's fuzzy and has sufficient bulk relative to light weight making a fair substitute for chenille. It's very easy to find in craft stores and online.
technically closer hue but doesn't work as well as Paprika
Worsted Acrylic (05/01/2012)
This option is even farther removed from chenille, but the colors are practically perfect. Experiment with needle sizes to reach the desired width. These selections are a wee bit under aran weight.
|Knit Picks Brava Worsted
Red Heart Soft Yarn
Knit Picks Brava Worsted
Red Heart Soft Yarn
Red Heart Soft Yarn
Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted
Knit Picks Brava Worsted
4608 Wine (too red)
25720 Currant (lower contrast with wine)
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