I wanted a cute little scarf to wear around my neck (for reasons that the subject should reveal (I'm going to be 40 in a week and had to make a scarf to wear to work today!)). I didn't like any of the patterns I had: too much like a bandana, and with my larger neck, it would end up being too long before it was wide enough. So I set about "creating" my own little design.
I have some lessons learned, mostly based on my preferences* which will lead to version 2.
Matching my guage isn't important. What is important is that you figure out which guage you have and then use that in your calculations for determining width. The weave shouldn't be too open, but an incredibly tight weave isn't necessary either. I didn't swatch so much as just start knitting. A couple rows told me if the weave worked or not.
I used Diakeito ribbon, which is medium width and knits up beautifully and soft...although I don't recommend it in 90-degree weather unless it's a necessity. ;-)
Size US "8's
What I did:
cast on 3
k* until 1 st remains, inc1 (by knitting into the front & back of the last stitch
repeat from * for about 30 rows (20 or so is probably fine).
k 10 or so rows (sadly, I didn't count), until 2 stitches remain, increase each as described above
k remaining rows by increasing the last 3 stitches until you achieve the desired width.
bind off loosely
Since I crammed this onto a 9" straight needle, I used my guage to tell me when to quit knitting. First I figured out how long it needed to be (not too tight around the neck, tied in a knot). I just used my tape measure. Then I figured that many inches times my guage per inch (4.5), and that was the minimum number of stitches I needed before I could bind off. It fit perfectly.
guage per inch ____ x desired length_____ = min # stitches for last row
*lessons learned -- I've learned that I don't like the pointy corner of the scarf. It's cute, but on me it keeps rotating to the center of my neck and it looks like I'm trying to wear a dickey. So next time, I'll cast on about 20 and start from there, maybe increasing 2 per row from the outset.