Behind the Design: Ordo

Last, but not least, after an inordinate wait, comes the simplest pattern in the Liturgical Year series: an infinity scarf based quite clearly on the liturgical year calendar itself.

When I was young, at one point I acquired a circular calendar of the liturgical year. It had a box, distorted to sit as part of the circle, for every day of that year, organized into neat columns for each week. And of course, the colors on each day matched the colors we saw in church. It looked something like this:

I don’t know if it was as pretty as this one, but to my young eyes it was everything it should be. I pinned it above my bed and stared at it often. Every saint day was noted, and important days were red. I loved the way it made every day feel special, like it belonged to someone interesting, and those in the know could participate.*

So the decision to pattern an infinity scarf after that calendar was fairly simple. It took me a while to settle on a stitch pattern, but I ended up with fisherman’s rib – a double-sided, forgiving stitch that captures an impossible amount of air in this soft yarn.

The pattern is fairly simple, but it is exceedingly customizable. I used five colors of Kirby Meritime; you could use up to seven if you wished to differentiate between Lent and Advent and between Christmas and Easter seasons. If you have a patron saint, you can add some red where their feast day lies. The pattern, now available on Ravelry, includes detailed instructions for customizing the pattern to the colors of your tradition. I’ve even made up a chart of the year, so if your tradition has drastically differently-organized season, you can calculate out for yourself how many rows of each color to do.

Like most infinity scarves, it can be worn a couple different ways. I made sure that it relaxed to a convenient length to be worn both open (above) and double-wrapped (below). Forgive my droll expression; I never know what my face looks like in photos these days.

Mom has assembled a new kit, including enough yarn for any combination of appropriate liturgical colors we could think of. Details are on the kits page.  I can’t imagine a yarn more soft and light to have around the neck than Kirby Meritime, especially in this fluffy stitch pattern. Sometimes large cowls weigh heavily on my tense neck, but this I put on and forget it’s there aside from the extra warmth to bury my face in.

*(Also, in my youth I had a deep affection for color-coded organization. Mom, those homeschooling schedules brought a great deal of comfort to an anxiety-prone child. It gave me hope that no matter what today looked like, tomorrow might look like those neat little colorful boxes. That must be what’s behind my current state of dependency on Google calendar. Don’t worry, I won’t design a pattern based on that, though it’s tempting.)

3 thoughts on “Behind the Design: Ordo

  1. It looks like a fun and easy pattern to make, and would be a nice gift…..esp. to someone who celebrates the liturgical year! I can’t wait to make this one.
    Yes, the pattern kit includes 7 colors, and we’re pricing it so that you only pay for the actual yardage required in the pattern….allowing some extra for different versions of the scarf.


  2. I would love to know where one could purchase a liturgical calendar such as the one pictured above, for the Anglican church liturgical year. Suggestions?


  3. Oh man, Karen, I wish I knew! A brief google and amazon search gives me nothing. The RCC ones aren’t vastly different, though I couldn’t really tell you where to find one of those either. Let me know if ou do!


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