I can't remember now how I stumbled upon it, but it's been on my mind ever since. The Red Scarf Project run by the Orphan Foundation of America accepts donations of red scarves from September 1 until December 15, then hand them out to orphans who have graduated from the foster care system and are now attending college. They send out care packages to these students for Valentine's Day, thus the request for red (fire engine, burgundy, or variegated yarns including red, etc.) scarves. They also send them out randomly, so scarves should be unisex. There are some other considerations, so if you decide to donate, please go to the site and read carefully.
For some reason, this particular charity tugs at my heartstrings. I remember my first semesters away from home and how being able to make that connection back home sometimes saved my sanity. Imagine being away from "home" for the first time and having no one to call when you're convinced a professor hates you, when you swear that your dorm-mate staying up partying until 5am nightly will be your undoing, or when you first find out you've made the dean's list. *sniffle*
So I set out to find the perfect unisex reversible pattern...and an inexpensive, soft, washable yarn...'cause we all know college students probably aren't going to handwash...heck, they don't have time!
Then the solution sat right next to me at knit night a few weeks ago. One of my friends was making a scarf using the hurdle stitch. The texture was interesting, the pattern super simple, was completely reversible, and was definitely unisex.
So here is my red scarf:
Hurdle Stitch Scarf
Yarn: I Love This Yarn-Sportweight from Hobby Lobby in Red, or any DK or sportweight yarn; 2 skeins or around 460 yards.
Needles: US 7
Cast on 34 (or any even number of stitches for desired width)
Rows 1-2: Knit.
Rows 3-4: (K1, P1), repeat across.
Repeat rows 1 - 4 to desired length.
Bind off. Tuck in ends.
That's it. Super easy. The perfect project to take with you for knit night since you only barely have to pay attention. A tip? I used a detachable stitch marker to mark the right side of the scarf when starting row 1. This ended up on the right every other row, so I knew when to switch from knitting to k1, p1 ribbing.
I plan to make several of these scarves this year. I'll do black, gray, brown, blue, and olive for friends and family....and will finish up this one for the Red Scarf Project. I hope you'll keep them in mind too...either this year or next.