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mrs. whatsit's neckerfuffle

Commuknity - Winter 2008
mrs whatsit's neckerfuffle

Mrs. Whatsit's Neckerfuffle by Jordynn Jack

In Madeleine L’Engle’s famous children’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Whatsit is one of the three supernatural sisters (the other two are Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who) who transport Meg Murry to the fifth-dimensional land of Camazotz. In the novel, Mrs. Whatsit is described as wearing many layers of clothing, including several scarves. I think she would have loved this “neckerfuffle” for its warmth, softness, and its “wrinkles”—which remind me of the “wrinkles in time” she used to travel between dimensions.

I call this a “neckerfuffle” not only because of its wrinkly, ruffly pattern, but because it is somewhere between a neckwarmer and a scarf. By sewing two buttons to the end, you can adjust the length, and the long tail tucks into your jacket to prevent the chilly gap caused by most neckwarmers. Maybe if she had worn one of these, Mrs. Whatsit wouldn’t have needed so many scarves after all. 


One size
Finished measurements: Approximately 4” X 32” 


Malabrigo Chunky (100% merino wool; 104 yards [95 meters]/100 g): #204 Velvet Grapes (MC), 1 ball. 


US#10 (6 mm): straight or circular


18 sts and 24 rows = 4” in St st


Tapestry needle; two 1” buttons

Pattern Notes

•    To create a selvedge, slip the first stitch of every row.
•    This pattern can be worked over any number of stitches. If you would like a wider or narrower neckerfuffle, simply cast on as many stitches as you would like. The folds are worked over half of the total stitch count, alternating sides (i.e. over the second half of the stitches for the first “fold,” and over the first half of the stitches for the second “fold.”)


CO 20 sts.

Setup: Knit 6 rows.

Begin folding pattern:

Rows 1-19 : Work in St st (Knit on RS, Purl on WS), beg with a RS row.
Row 20 (FOLD ROW - WS): P10, *using the right needle, pick up the st 10 rows below (insert needle from top down) and add it to the left needle, p2tog. Repeat from *to end of row.

Rows 21-39: Work in St st (Knit on RS, Purl on WS), beg with a RS row.

Row 40 (FOLD ROW - WS): *Using the right needle, pick up a stitch 10 rows below (insert needle from top down) and add it to the left needle, p2tog. Repeat from *10 times, then p10.

Rep folding patt (rows 1-40) 3 more times (180 rows total).

Next row (buttonhole row - RS): K9, yo, k2tog, k to end of row.

Continue in St st for 5 more rows.

Knit 6 rows.

Bind off.


Sew on buttons between the 2nd and 3rd “folds” on the end opposite the buttonhole, or place them wherever you would like them for proper fit.  

Wet block if desired. 

About the Designer: Jordynn Jack

jordynn jackJordynn Jack knits and designs patterns in North Carolina, where she is also professor of Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina. Her designs are inspired by all things nerdy, from literary references to microscopic images of plants. She is one half of the Knitty Professors, who blog at knittyprofessors.blogspot.com.  You can find her on Ravelry under the user name canadianbacon.

Pattern and images © 2008 Jordynn Jack. Contact .


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