Past December marked my 3 years of living in Japan. In a way it feels that time flew by so fast and at the same time I can’t grasp all I have seen and done while living here. Not that I have done a great amount of traveling around the country. But there are these weekends and holidays in this freelancer’s world when I get a chance to get away and appreciate what surrounds me and marvel at it!

Not to be rude, but I think many visited 1 day tours take us to popular touristy spots so I lost count of all the castles that we got to visit and I can’t identify many of them because their architecture quite honestly the same. Kakegawa castle or Odawara castle.
However, being me as someone obsessed with details I always tend to remember surroundings and the grounds more vividly. In this case, I just love these geometric streamers that most sacred places in Japan are decorated with. To my westerner eyes they look very origami and very Japanese – called “shide“. In Shinto they represent a lightning, sacred trees and many places are marked with a thick piece of rope and shide. Then last year I happened to visit famous Ryōgoku Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo for sumo wrestling and I noticed that these same streamers are decorating the belts of most prized fighters, but in this case they are called “gohei“. In either case those lightning looking streamers are used to bless and cleanse.


To embody this geometric detail into my work I have decided on the zigzag looking scarf that is made in an unsual sort of way. 落雷 RAKURAI (jap.) (noun) – means “thunderbolt”, bolt of lightning”.
It’s a fun scarf that is worked in the round while those hills and valleys are shaped at the same time. It’s completely reversible and is worked using only a single skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in this gorgeous color called Tomato. A vibrant orange with enough red to make this accessory pop! Winter in Japan in most parts is very grey and snowless and it gets dark very early, so the need for brighter object around to liven up an eye feels like a necessity.


My main goal while working this fabric was to try to keep it flat and pointy just like a piece of paper would. But it would still look great if you try to wrap it around your neck and not just look decorative on your coat. And voila – an origami, or in this case more 2 dimensional kirigami for your neck!


Here are some pattern specs:
Beginner Intermediate

Width 3.75”
Length 56”

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% superwash merino wool; 420yds/384m; approx.115g);
1 skein in Tomato
OR 420 yds of any other fingering weight wool

US 3 (3.25 mm) dpns or 2 circulars

28 sts and 36 rnds in 4”/10cm over St st swatch worked in the round

On Ravelry

USD 6.00

And to kickstart good will of this New Year (even though the Holiday festivities and gift giving season is already over for most part) the upcoming posts featuring my 3 different scarf designs are going to have a giveaway attached to it!!!


The haul to the winner!
A pdf copy of Rakurai Scarf pattern
1 skein of Madelinetosh TML in Tomato (original yarn and color used for Rakurai scarf)
A set of US 3 double pointed wooden DREAMZ needles by Knitter’s Pride
A tape measure from Namaste
A needle gauge wheel from Craftsy

What do you need to do to enter?

Leave a comment on this post telling me what was the scarf pattern you knit last or knitting at the moment with valid contact information (Ravelry ID, email)

Like Olgajazzy page on Facebook and remember to mark to get notifications

If you are already a fan of my FB page, join Olgajazzy group on Ravelry

Make sure to do all that by end of Saturday, 11:59pm EST,  January 12, 2013. Thank you all for participating! Entries are now closed!
And I will announce the winner Monday!

Good luck and Happy Knitting!

40 Responses to “Rakurai”

  1. Deborah says:

    Hello, momartist (on Ravelry) here. I am working on a Kwoosh of Opal Van Gogh in the Starry Night colorway.

    I Love the zig zag scarf! It looks like a fun project!

  2. I love the color! The last scarf I knitted was the Spectra scarf by Stephen West. My ravelry name is maventheavenger. Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  3. Annika says:

    I have some sparkly yarn that I think I may use for this one, but I would never turn my nose up at tml! I can’t even remember the last time I knitted a scarf! Probably Xeriscape, which I made for a Christmas gift in 2011.

  4. Francesca says:

    I’ve just finished Liz Abinante’s Saroyan, it’s drying at the moment. Haven’t made a scarf for myself in a long while before that one, then I found out I NEEDED scarves!

    frannington on Ravelry.

  5. Birgitte says:

    I knit more shawls than scarves, but the last scarf I did was a simple one I designed myself. Before that, it was Peaks Island Hood by Ysolda.

    Love the colour and design of your new scarf!

    I’m BirgitteStrikker on Ravelry.

  6. Hi there. I am (sloooowly) knitting Branching Out, from Susan Lawrence. And I LOVE the Rakurai scarf!

    pilarination on Ravelry

  7. TracyC611 says:


    What a lovely giveaway. Thank you and a Happy New Year.

    I like strict geometry and am currently working on the stripe study shawl.

    Tracyc611 on Ravelry

  8. jsdknits says:

    I’m knitting another garter stitch scarf, my own design, for a beginner’s knitting class I teach next Wednesday.

    Danielsj on Ravelry

  9. What a brilliant design. I so enjoy all of your designs. Didn’t realize you lived in Japan. I lived in Kyoto for 7 years many years ago. Cheers! 🙂

  10. Gorgeous! Love that color and the shape – very unique!

    It’s been a while since I knitted a scarf, but I plan on knitting some lacy ones in 2013!

    jaykayknits on Ravelry

  11. sara says:

    My most recent project finished is your Aranami, knit in various light weight Madelinetosh yarns (sock, pashmina and tosh merino light). It looks so pretty as a shawl, or wrapped around twice when I need the warmth around my neck.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    saradenbo on ravelry

  12. Kendra says:

    I love seeing the inspiration behind a new pattern!
    I’m working on Stephen West’s Herbivore, in Tosh Merino Light. I’m misskender on Ravelry!

  13. craftzone says:

    Hi, I am Craftzone on Ravelry and currently are knitting “Inland Sea” by Kieran Foley.

  14. I’m Stitched-Together on Ravelry and I have just finished knitting Spectra by Stephen West.

  15. Sarah says:

    I’m stobol on Ravelry. The last scarf I knit was a herringbone scarf for my husband!

  16. Axta says:

    Dear Olga,

    I am Axta on ravelry. The last scarf I knit was the Subtle Mesh Red scarf for a yarn designer, so the yarn has no name yet…it was a lovely Worsted weight yarn in the beautiful tones of red and black.

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway…it would be the best start to my rather dull beginning of year with daughter falling sick twice!!

  17. Jessica says:

    The last scarf I did was a very tiny one in moss stitch for a Mother Bear! Now I am doing a test knit of a leafy cowl… can’t share the details! jayellesea on Rav

  18. Hey Olga! Love this new scarf…and how awesome could it be for boys/girls who are reading the Harry Potter books as well?! Though I’m not on FB (am I the last holdout?), I just joined your group on Ravelry (how was I not a member already?). The last “scarf” I knit was a shawlette for one of my daughter’s teachers using recycled Road to China Light that a friend sent me from an old frogged project. I loved reusing AND being able to gift a great project! Happy Knitting! Karen aka choochooknits

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I’m teapartyer on Ravelry. The last shawl I knit was Ripple Rock. Thanks for the opportunity!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I love this scarf and all of your work.

    I’m majusvirag on ravelry and last time I knitted a Not a Drop scarf.
    But I’ve just finished a Foggy Hat and I think that I want a scarf with similar pattern.

    Happy 2013!

  21. Mackenzie says:

    The last scarf I knit was really a shawl – I just use it as a scarf! It was the Color Affection shawl.

    Mackenzie (artmajorese on ravelry)

  22. Katie says:

    I’m making an infinity scarf right now of my own design – colorwork in grellow!

    katieemma on Ravelry

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for such a lovely give away. I’m currently working on a honey cowl. I have been a fan of your pattern for a while.love the new scarf. Rav id busymom07755

  24. Silvia M. says:

    I’m currently knitting two: Sen-Sen and the Array Cowl from Shibui Knits.

    I already like Olgajazzy on FB and I’m a member of the Ravelry group too!

  25. Zulka says:

    Twój szalik jest świetny! Ostatni szalik, jaki wydziergałam, był według mojego pomysłu i spodobał się właścicielowi.
    Zulka na Ravelry 🙂

  26. Paula Castro says:

    Hi, I’m Pacas at Ravelry. I’ve never done a scarf, only cowls, this one is very original and love the tomato color. At this moment I’m knitting a cowl of my own design.
    Love your work 🙂

  27. Ravelry ID: annieknits7

    Love this entire concept! Amazing to see how much thought and artistry went into making this scarf.

    I am currently knitting way too many things, but most current is For the Love of Kindle from Ravelry, with Patons KROY Socks FX in the Cameo Colors colorway for a friend. May just have to make it for myself, too!

  28. Sabine says:

    Ravelry ID: Gundel12

    Just finished a super bulky scarf in Noro Furisode along with a hat. Wore those during our Christmas camping trip!

    Cheers and Happy New Year!

  29. carrie says:

    I’m working on a Westlake shawl, and I just finished a Hitchhiker. I love the color and shape of your scarf!

  30. caroline aka FiberTribe says:

    I’m working on a bias loop scarf out of Debbie Bliss Angel and Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in turquoise for my mother. The Tosh yarn you’re using is delicious! Lovely giveaway.
    I’m FiberTribe on Rav.

  31. Lily says:

    Beautiful! And you look as adorable as the scarf – you are a good knitwear model 🙂

    The last scarf I knit (and the last thing I knit since 6the grade, just about!) was Jared Flood’s Guernsey Wrap, which I finished in November and blocked after Christmas. I’m so pleased with it. I can’t wait to put the pictures of the FO on ravelry!

    ravelry ID: crystalpony

    Liked you on facebook and joined your ravelry group as well.

  32. Leanne says:

    Hello. My ravelry id is ‘iammine’.

    I am currently knitting a Magrathea scarf in a pretty variegated green yarn (Cakewalk Footsie).

    I LOVE Japanese inspired knits, or anything from Japan really. I went to Tokyo and Katsuura City in 2006 and I loved every moment there. I also remember the shrines and the zig-zaggy things. 😉 It will be so much fun to knit one.

  33. Sarah says:

    Hello, KiwiSJ (on Ravelry) dropping by. I’m just kicking off the Lulu scarf, designed by a fellow Kiwi (Mel Clark) – having a go with lighter weight yarn than I’m used to (Kidsilk Haze) – fingers crossed to win your cool prize!

  34. Susan H says:

    I just cast on a cowl that I’m designing myself. I have so many scarves waiting in the queue. How many times have I bought one skein of gorgeous yarn with a scarf in mind?

    I LOVE your designs!

    sgeorge24 on Rav

  35. Rocksolana says:

    I love your designs. They are always so creative. The last scarf I knit was Nancy Marchant’s Hosta Scarf in brioche stitch using Reynolds Odyssey in purples and a variegated yellow rayon yarn purchased at Rhinebeck several years ago. My Ravelry id is ukimom. Thanks for doing this giveaway.

  36. canithinki says:

    The last scarf I made was a Haruni shawl in lace weight so it was really a scarf.

    conradk on Ravelry

  37. So fun! On Ravelry, I’m CherylCS and the last scarf I knitted was the honey cowl.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Love your designs! Have been admiring them for a long time. I am kbuergel on ravelry. Just before Christmas I knit Shoormal (Shetland Trader) for a gift. Thanks for the chance to win this lovely prize!
    Kim Buergel

  39. Angela says:

    What a gorgeous color and interesting pattern. The last scarf I completed was the Hitchhiker scarf by Martina Behm using Tanis Fiber Arts ‘red label’ in Atlantic colorway. I was also drawn to the geometric look of the Zuni shawl by Danielle Chalson which I made with MadTosh Pashmina. It’s more of a shawlette but I wear it as a scarf.
    What a great giveaway!
    gunnerfan on Ravelry

  40. Angela says:

    What a gorgeous color and interesting pattern. The last scarf I knit was Hitchhiker by Martina Behm in Tanis Fiber Arts ‘red label’ in Atlantic colorway. I was also drawn to the geometric look of the Zuni shawl by Allison Chalson which I made in MadTosh Pashmina. It’s more of a shawlette but I wear it as a scarf.
    What a great giveaway!
    gunnerfan on Ravelry

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