This is Mom's Disaster Scarf, v.2:
Pattern: My own (co 168 st, double rib, change colors after 3 rows)
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun, held doubled
Needles: Clover 13" bamboo circs
This scarf started out as "Mom's Scarf." She pointed out to me a scarf she had seen on one of the soap operas that she watches (this one mostly for the knitwear, as she's not finding the storylines too compelling) and asked if I could make it. It was very long, and looked like it was made sideways in a double rib pattern. So, over winter break, I got down to work.
My conception of a side-to-side scarf is that the basic limit is on the length of the scarf, and this one needed to be long. So, I should cast on as many stitches as I possibly could. Cleverly, though, I was able to just about double this number by taping two 29" circular needles together. Mom helped. We held the tips of the ends of each needle together, overlapping up to where the point stopped, then wrapped them up together in saran wrap. Then we taped over it, keeping saran wrap between the tape and the actual needle. It was not elegant, but it worked.
I cast on about 250 stitches. I didn't count or anything - why should I for a scarf? The idea of a swatch didn't even cross my mind. Again: scarf.
So I knit and knit and knit and knit. Simple pattern. It went pretty fast. When I sat down to cast off, it took forever. Oh man. I would look down and think, okay, about a fourth done. Then I would look down and think, hmm, that looks good about right there. And then cast off some more. And think, hmm, it would be good if the scarf stopped right there. Wow, there sure are lots of stitches left to bind off. And then: GOOD FREAKING GRAPES HOW MUCH MORE DO I HAVE TO CAST OFF? That was after about an hour.
And, surprise: the scarf was twelve feet long. I am not kidding about how long the scarf was. I could hold it at the mid point with my arm stretched as far into the air as it would go, and the ends would brush the floor. While this would work for someone who is 6'3", neither of us is 6'3". When Mom wrapped it around her neck twice, the ends dragged. D'oh.
Hence v.2. Using the original twelve-foot scarf as a gauge swatch (oh, that hurts), we determined that the ideal number of stitches to cast on for the length Mom wanted was 168. It probably only took a couple hours of knitting.
I know I could've steeked the original and chopped the extra length off, but really the idea of knitting an entirely new scarf was much more appealing than the idea of trying to use a sewing machine to make a hacked-off end look presentable. And of course, because it was knit side-to-side, there was no way to tink back to any sort of acceptable length.
Moral: don't underestimate super-bulky yarn in double rib for a side-to-side scarf.