Kimberly has taught knitting, crochet, and loom knitting classes. She also tests patterns for designers and designs her own patterns.
A "Divergent" Scarf Collection
I am always looking for fresh inspiration as I knit scarves for fun all year long. I recently decided to knit a scarf based on each faction in the Divergent trilogy. The picture above is the simple scarf inspired by the Abnegation faction. In Abnegation, faction members dress simply in gray clothing, live quiet lives of service to others, and try to erase all pride and selfishness from their lives. (They resemble the Amish and other Plain sects in America today.) A simple, warm garter stitch scarf seemed appropriate, with no unnecessary embellishments to draw attention to the wearer.
This scarf is great for beginners. Garter stitch edges don't curl and the texture hides minor mistakes. It looks good even if done a bit too loose or too tight. You can't fail with this simple scarf and it works with almost any yarn. Garter stitch is also thick and warm, appropriate for the dystopian Chicago setting of the novels. See the instructions below.
Abnegation Scarf Knitting Instructions
Using straight needles (I used U.S. size 10) and Red Heart Super Saver worsted acrylic yarn in heather gray, cast on 24 stitches. Knit every stitch, every row, until scarf is the desired length. Cast off. Cut yarn and darn the ends in. That is all!
Cast on a few more stitches if you want a wider scarf, fewer for a skinny scarf.
In Divergent, Beatrice's mother is described as knitting scarves for the children during cozy evenings at home. I suppose she might make scarves like these to keep them warm through those long Chicago winters.
In Divergent, people live in a society divided into five factions:
- Candor values honesty above all other virtues. (They wear black and white.)
- Abnegation values selflessness most of all. (They dress in gray.)
- Erudite values knowledge most of all. (They wear blue.)
- Amity values peace above all. (They wear red and /or yellow.)
- Dauntless values courage, seeing cowardice as the source of society's problems.. (They wear mostly black.)
At the age of sixteen, each person must, on the annual Choosing Day, pick a faction to join for the rest of his or her life. Transfers to other factions leave their families behind. The motto is "Faction before blood." Each faction has an initiation procedure in keeping with its personality: Candor initiates must submit to questioning under truth serum, Erudite initiates get an IQ test, Abnegation initiates perform public service, etc. Those who fail initiation are banished as "factionless" and live as homeless people, doing menial jobs for other factions. Only the Abnegation faction cares for the factionless, donating food and clothing and otherwise trying to help them.
"Amity" Scarf is Finished!
Scarf Knit with Intarsia and Duplicate Stitch
For Amity, I designed a more complicated scarf with a tree motif, since Amity members are the faction involved with agriculture. These nature-loving, peaceful folk grow food for all the factions. They also enjoy making music and just being in fellowship with one another. Since their clothing is red and yellow, I selected Red Heart Super Saver worsted acrylic in burgundy and lemon. (Now that the movie is out, I really like the hand-dyed colors the costume designer used for Amity. I want to do a new design in the movie colors of copper green, saffron, and orange-red.)
I have finished writing instructions for this scarf, including a chart for the tree. The pattern is available for purchase on Smashwords as a PDF and in multiple e-book formats. I enjoy keeping knitting patterns on my Kindle instead of on paper--they don't get wrinkled that way!
The advanced knitter may be able to create the scarf just by looking at the photograph. For that knitter, I have provided the tree chart below for your convenience:
Knitting Chart for Amity Scarf
Closer View of Tree Knitting Pattern
Factionless Scarf Completed
Factionless or Divergent: Unity Scarf
The "factionless" in the Divergent novels are those people who failed initiation into their chosen factions. They live as homeless people, doing menial jobs for those in the five factions and wearing cast-off clothing from any faction. In the second part of the trilogy, Insurgent, we learn the factionless have formed their own community. We also learn that there are many of them and they are well organized.
The "divergent" are people who do not fit into just one faction. They are considered dangerous by some in power because they cannot be controlled easily--their minds are too flexible. Some in the Erudite faction seek to identify and eliminate the "divergent." The heroine, Tris, has aptitude for three factions: Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless.
By the end of the trilogy, many from the factions have learned to work together, blurring the distinctions the faction system kept in place. I wanted to create a pattern that incorporated all the factions.
To design this "Unity Scarf", I decided on two constraints:
- Use 12-row stripes in stockinette stitch using all the faction colors and
- Make sure each color touches every other color at least once.
The faction colors look good together, since they are simply the three primary colors plus black, white, and gray.
Get the "Factionless" pattern for free on Smashwords.
Candor, Erudite and Dauntless
Since the Candor faction values honesty, they wear black and white to represent the way they see the world. There is no gray in the Candor universe. This is a striped garter stitch scarf with a slip-stitch selvedge. I used smaller needles (size 6 U.S.) and sport weight yarn for an extra-soft scarf.
For the Erudite, I designed a stripe pattern based on the Fibonacci sequence: each stripe is the width of the two stripes preceding it. The number of rows in each stripe are thus (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...)
The "Dauntless" scarf is finished, Easy knitting directions are just below.
Dauntless Scarf Directions
Using black worsted yarn and size 4 (U.S.) needles--we want a tight gauge for a sturdy fabric--cast on 16 stitches. Work in 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2) until scarf is 5-6 feet long. Cast off. Hide yarn ends with darning needle. Decorate with your choice of hardware. I used an arrowhead, a shotgun shell button, and another silver button from my collection.
I struggled with the design of an appropriate scarf for Dauntless. They are so active that a regular neck scarf didn't seem practical for their faction. Then I thought of a black belt as in the martial arts. A belt can hold a gun, a knife, keys, and much more. I added the charms as a nod to the faction's fondness for piercings. Of course, this scarf can still be used around the neck--if you don't need it to hold your weapons!
Detail of Dauntless Scarf
What About the Books?
More Knitting Links
- Why bother knitting a scarf? TreeHugger
Because there's far more to it than meets the eye. Here's why I knit.
- domiKNITrix | how-to's | knit faster
- Fiberfrau: Fun with Fabrics and Fibers
Lots of knitting, with some crochet, sewing, and craft-related book reviews thrown in.
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on January 27, 2015:
I have fun taking elements from books I like and turning them into knitting projects.
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 26, 2015:
Ok, I have to be honest. I know nothing about the novel Divergent, but the scarves are awesome!
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on April 11, 2014:
"Dauntless" scarf is finished!
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on March 19, 2014:
Still time to knit a scarf before the Divergent movie hits theaters on Friday!
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on December 05, 2013:
This hub has been updated, since I completed another design.
Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on November 12, 2013:
It's amazing what the written word can inspire! These are lovely and you are quite talented. Voted up.
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on November 08, 2013:
I'm knitting as fast as I can in carpool so I can put up more pictures and patterns!
PWalker281 on November 08, 2013:
What a cool way to come up with ideas for knitted scarves! And now you have me interested in the book and the movie. Thanks! Voted up and shared.
Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on November 08, 2013:
This is very different and eye-catching. Love the scarves and how you knit the whole story together, too.
Donna Herron from USA on November 07, 2013:
I haven't read this book, but I love your idea of designing scarves inspired by novels or other art forms. It's so creative!! Now I definitely want to check out this book and try your designs :) Thanks so much!!
Kimberly Schimmel (author) from North Carolina, USA on November 07, 2013:
Thank you both!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 07, 2013:
This is a great example of a title being so important. I just had to read this to find out what the title meant, and I'm glad I did. I'm not a scarf man but I am a fan of good writing and this qualifies.
Audrey Howitt from California on November 07, 2013: