This design takes up the theme of sophisticated combinations, using a light and a dark color, brioche and garter stitch, and two different textures. Just like the crossing over and recombination of chromosomes reshuffles genetic material, this scarf combines two knitting techniques and plays with swapping the background and the foreground color to create a timeless, wearable accessory with a unique look.
Did You Know?
Life wouldn’t have developed any further if the first cells had never experienced mutations or made mistakes during DNA replication. In fact, genetic recombination, or the exchange of pieces of DNA, is a crucial process during the formation of sperm and egg cells, resulting in an offspring that resembles its progenitors while also displaying highly individual traits.
How Does it Work?
The two strands of a DNA molecule, twisted into a double helix, were the inspiration behind the lines of cable stitches that travel across this scarf. When James Watson and Francis Crick, influenced by a crucial crystallographic image taken in the lab of Rosalind Franklin, constructed their model of the DNA double helix in 1953, they achieved a breakthrough: the model immediately suggested both how information is stored in this molecule and how it is replicated and transmitted to offspring.
The strands of DNA are composed of millions of nucleotides strung together in a particular sequence, and this sequence translates into a “construction manual” for the organism. Both strands carry the same information in an antiparallel manner, with their nucleotides forming hydrogen bonds between them – depicted in this design by horizontal lines of garter stitches. Since these bonds are relatively weak, the strands can easily be “unzipped” and replicated during cell division, yielding two identical copies for the daughter cells.
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Rosy Green Wool, Cheeky Merino Joy (100% Merino; 350 yds [320 m]/100 gr): Color Garden Pond (DC), 1 skein, Color Haze (LC), 1 skein.
The sample cowl used approx. 200 yds [183m] DC and 165 yds [150m] LC.
Size US 2.5 (3.0mm): 16″ (40cm) circular needle
Or size needed to obtain gauge
23 sts and 24 rows = 4″ [10cm] in patt after blocking
Gauge is not crucial for this design, but will affect size of the finished piece and yardage required.
Scarf: 60” [150cm] long and 8.5” [22cm] wide
Cowl: 31” [79cm] around and 8.5” [22cm] wide
Scarf & Cowl: Tapestry needle, 2 different stitch markers (mA and mB), cable needle.
Cowl only: 4 buttons (approx. 1’’ [2.5cm] diameter)
See the Standard Abbreviations.
About the Designer: Sabine Kastner
After a degree in biology and a few years of scientific research, Sabine turned to science communication and is now active in STEM education. She rediscovered her knitting needles in 2013 after a long hiatus, and since then rarely leaves the house without a small project that allows her to try out new techniques and interesting details. Much of her inspiration for designs comes from nature or biological structures.