There was a time when I fell deep into the Hetalia fandom. I was never much of a fangirl before then; my enthusiasm for most things other than Harry Potter was passive and I tended to consume the content and never cared to discuss or engage with other people about what I was enjoying. Hetalia is what changed me from a passive media consumer to a full-blown fangirl that not only enjoyed its raw content and all the fan creations out there, but also created many things myself, most notably some (regrettable) fanfiction. But my proudest creation was a scarf I made inspired from the character known as Netherlands.
You can see in the picture above that he has a long blue and white scarf. It’s the one thing, along with his gelled hair and the scar on his forehead, that marks him apart from the other characters without being a caricature of the people he is meant to represent. So here is my tutorial of how I made my favorite scarf (and a potential cosplay accessory) inspired from one of the most underappreciated characters in Hetalia.
“Don’t be discouraged if this is your first time knitting. It can be easy to learn to start, and I will provide an easy tutorial for complete beginners along with resources to get you started, as well as an intermediate level pattern for those that already know the basics.”
For starters, I didn’t want to make a plain blue and white scarf. I wanted to make something that would be unique and feel more like my own rather than just a simple cosplay accessory. I was looking to expand my skills as a knitter so I started researching knitting tutorials to experiment with. There are tons of tutorials out there that you can choose from, most of which can be found on Ravelry, but I settled on this tutorial I found for a cable braided scarf.
For a long time, I wanted to try my hand at cable knitting (the twisty pattern in the middle) so I figured this was as good an opportunity as any! The only caveat is that this pattern involved a single solid color throughout and I needed to be able to have a blue and white striped pattern. This meant I had to get creative with what I had on hand!
So I went over to KnitPicks.com and I shopped around their bulky yarns, landing on their Biggo yarn, and buying a few skeins of their Sapphire Heather and Bare. Sadly, this is all that’s left of the yarn used for this project.
Now armed with my necessary materials (yarn, two size 10.5 needles, and one cable needle if doing the intermediate pattern), I began my project. Here are some important things to note. If you’re unsure how to do knit, purl, or cable, I recommend watching the YouTube videos linked here to help you learn and get started. Additionally, although I use a bulky yarn, you can just as easily make this pattern with a smaller weighted yarn, so long as you remember to use the recommended needle size for the yarn you’re using, which is always listed on the packaging of the yarn.
Here are the abbreviations used in just about any pattern tutorial. The links lead to YouTube videos showing you how to do each if you’re new to knitting. They are the two most basic stitches used in this pattern.
For the intermediate pattern, you will be adding a cable (twisty part in the middle) and these will be the abbreviations used.
c12f = slip the next 6 st onto your cable needle and hold to the front of your project, k1p1 the next 6 st from the left-hand needle, k1p1 the 6 st from the cable needle.
c12f = slip 6 st onto your cable needle and hold to the back of your project, k1p1 the next 6 st from the left-hand needle, k1p1 the 6 st from the cable needle.
It looks complicated at first, but once you get to doing it, you’ll find that the concept is simpler than anticipated.
Casting on your colours
Now here is the part where I got a little bit creative, and it’s important for both easy and intermediate levels in this tutorial. We’re going to cast on three separate balls of yarn so that we can have the vertical stripe pattern needed for this scarf. For the easy pattern, you will need 11 stitches in blue, 12 stitches in white, and another 11 stitches in blue.
Easy scarf tutorial
For the easy scarf, all you need to do is a knit stitch and swapping the working yarn as you change sections so that the pieces become weaved together as shown in the following video.
Intermediate scarf tutorial
The intermediate pattern for this scarf follows the same pattern from The Knit Monster shown above. The main difference will be separating the blue and white pieces by “border pieces” (in blue) and the cable piece (in white). For this pattern, you need to cast on 11 blue, 18 white, and then another 11 blue. The reason why you need more white stitches than blue on the borders is simply to compensate for the bulk of the cable pattern, which will “scrunch” up that piece as you knit. To see how I do the vertical striping, please see the easy scarf tutorial above (It’s only 5 minutes!) only instead of doing all knit stitches, you’ll follow the knitting and purling pattern shown in the link.
Important tip: Keep track of your rows so you don’t lose track of where you are in your pattern. Here’s the “chart” I used for my scarf for an idea for what I mean.
As you can see, I numbered the rows from the pattern and marked the front-facing cable with an F and the back-facing cable with a B. I marked the last row of the pattern with a * so that I could remember when to stop when I was ready to do so. Then, every time I finished a row, I made a tally mark for that row so indicate that it’s been done. When I was ready to pick up my knitting again, I could see where I left off and easily picked my project back up!
Even if you’re a complete beginner, this pattern can be easy to learn! Just remember to knit snugly (so not too loose and not too tight). You’ll also want to count your stitches every once in a while to make sure you didn’t accidentally drop any as you go. But even if you do, no worries! It’s easy enough to fix and I’ll share some videos to help with your knitting troubleshooting.
Knitting is a very versatile fibre craft that is slowly seeing a resurgence in younger generations and it’s no wonder why! It can be therapeutic and a variety of patterns can be made for all kinds of clothes, accessories, or house decor (like pillows and stuffed animals). A simple search on the world wide web will land you all kinds of new patterns to experiment with and to explore. Like any other art, just have fun with it!