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Bison Scarf

Fun to make, and even more fun to wear, this bison scarf was inspired by my move to Colorado. For an experienced knitter, it's quick to make with thick yarn and big needles, and lends a touch of whimsy to winter bundling up.

The Materials you'll need for this Knitting Project:

  • Size 10 ˝ needle or needles (I use a circular one, which keeps the points from tangling in the yarn).
  • #5 double-point needles for I cord horns.
  • 2 skeins knitting worsted in lighter brown, used double, for the body.
  • 1 skein Crystal Palace “Splash” eyelash yarn in black, combined with a skein knitting worsted in black, for the mane. The knitting worsted is used double for the hooves and single for the horns.
  • A small amount of brown knitting worsted, used double, used double for the face and single for the tail.
  • A small amount of black knitting worsted for the hooves and horns.
  • Two buttons for eyes.
  • Tape, yarn needle for weaving in and embroidering the nose, scissors, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches. A row counter or, even better, a metal easel and magnetic strips to hold your chart will make this easier to do.
  • The inspiration behind this scarf pattern

    The Bison--not buffalo, as they are sometimes called--are magnificent creatures. Enormous, brawny, powerful, mostly peaceable, and surely the grazing animal best suited to the harsh weather of the Great Plains, they fell victim to heedless massacre in the 19th Century; but, thanks to a handful of advocates, are having a comeback as a semi-domestic ranch animal now being raised for both meat and hides. As one of the early bison ranchers told me, "Well, you can't herd 'em, but you can chase 'em anywhere they want to go." On many ranches throughout the West, they are thriving once again, and there are more of them living in their old ranges than at any time since the 1870s.

    My bison scarf is a small tribute to a great symbol of the West, and to the people who brought it back to the Plains where it ruled for thousands of years. I love their snowplow heads, their shaggy manes, their runty tails that seem to belong to some other animal entirely. The West wasn't the West without them, and it's very good to have them back. It gives one a sense that some wrongs, however dreadful, can be righted, if only partially.

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