Knit One

The Italian Lesson Knit-Along


As the temperature drops in Calabresi and the winter holidays approach, Anastasia bundles up in one of her first knitting projects, the Mistake Rib Scarf designed by Purl Soho. The original pattern is free and available at or On the Purl Soho website, the featured yarn has been discontinued but the replacement is a beautiful cashmere marino bloom (shown below in dove grey).

Photo credit: Purl Soho

Purl Soho suggests you can use any of their sport weight yarns for this project. But this luscious scarf can be made with virtually any yarn. If you have a deep stash (and we know most of you do) toss it for that yarn you love but just haven’t found the right project for. If you’re newer to knitting and don’t have extra yarn on hand, indulge in something soft, rich, and comforting. Just like Anastasia did!

This is a very straight-forward pattern and Purl Soho has easy-to-follow videos that show you how to do the required long-tail cast-on. There’s one instruction, though, that newer knitters, or those who may be a little rusty (Mary raises her hand), may not be familiar with or remember how to do. The first stitch of every row needs to beslipped knit-wise, which we define here to make sure your project get off the ground smoothly.


Slip stitch knit-wise: A “slipped stitch” occurs when you transfer a stitch from one needle to the other without knitting or purling. To slip the first stitch knit-wise, bring the yarn to the back, then slide the right-hand needle through the first stitch as if to knit but simply slip that stitch from the left needle to the right needle. From there, continue with the pattern.

If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, Purl Soho has a two-tone variation of the Mistake Rib Scarf (shown here in Dove Grey and Honey Pink) that really deepens the pattern in beautiful and unexpected ways.

It’s definitely worth checking out!

Photo credit: Purl Soho

So, choose your yarn, get your needles, and get ready to cast on with us! In about two weeks, on Sunday, July 9th, paid subscribers to Backstory Serial can join us via Zoom for the Italian Lesson’s first-ever knit-along! If you want to start the project sooner, just bring what you’ve already done—we’d love to see the progress you’ve made. We’ll send out a link as the date gets closer—we can’t wait!