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This weekend is the LA County Yarn Crawl and this pattern is the fruits of collaboration with Gather, a magical little yarn store in the very heart of Down Town Los Angeles in the sunny land of California. You can find it nestled in an upstairs corner of The Last Bookstore, which has a tunnel built out of books and a large fantasy section. Basically it’s just the sort of place you’d expect to find a unicorn on vacation, except the unicorn in this scenario refers only to the tails of the Tosh variety.

The long (long enough to wrap around my sister and I), bias knit, garter stitch, diagonally striped scarf is a riff on my Diagonapples pattern some knitters might be familiar with. Apples for Unicorns has a slightly more forgiving number of stitches per row: 25% less and a WHOLE lot less ends to sew in as it is specially designed to utilise one full skein of Tosh Merino Light and your choice of 6 (or more!) Unicorn Tails; hence the name, Apples for Unicorns.

Basically, it’s the very pinnacle of comfort knitting. Lots of garter stitch and enough little points of interest to keep you engaged. Once you have increased to the main section of the pattern, you knit along on a comfortable bias, with eyelets every now and then to keep you incentivised to do ‘just a little bit more’. The placement of these picot rows add an element of functional beauty by disguising the change of colour between stripes to make the scarf completely reversible.The majority of this project doesn’t require close counting, which makes it a good project to do while having epic chats (such as at the cosy knit night at Gather). Though simple, it is quite striking and when you are in your stride it can prove addictive. The theory of the pattern is well explained and extensive notes will give you all the tips I’ve gathered while knitting many a bias scarf.

And now for a little more magic, you see, there are lovely overlapping people in this story. The first owner of Gather was Evi T’Bolt. It was under her invitation that I first taught there. She’s a honey-coloured force of nature. You’ll see her name appearing as the photographer of the images you see here and in the patterns. The ownership of Gather has now been passed on to Tifanee Taylor. The funny thing is, beyond the yarnie connection, Tifanee and I also have a second photographer connection in the form of E.J Rose, whose name you may recognise as the originator of the photo essay The Adventures of Pengwee and The Boy in my Penguin: a Knit Collection book or as @bigdaddylonewolf on instagram. Such as the one pictured below.

Erica and Tifanee have been friends for many years – before Tifanee moved to LA and they were both on the other side of the USA. That connection is just another thing that makes the creative circle around Gather magical, as if the ‘gather’ refers to bringing good folks together, as well as beautiful yarn. I look forward to visiting every time I am in LA, which is fairly regularly (given the long distance), due to the fact my sister (who is in the photos) and my in-laws live there.

This weekend is the LA County Yarn Crawl (6 to 9 April, 2017) which seemed like the perfect time to make sure this pattern was out in the world. Also, I know Tifanee is flush with Unicorn Tails and that’s a good thing, because that Madeline Tosh can be hard to track down because she is so popular! I wish I could drop in on Gather to say hello to Tifanee and Danielle (who knitted the sample you see here), stroke the colours of yarn and talk knitting. And I have a feeling there will be snacks.

You can purchase the pattern here on Ravlery.