FO: Camp Scarf

Due to my self-imposed summer UFO challenge, I didn’t have a great car-knitting project. Every weekend, before we left the house for our weekend fun or errands (drive to the coast, farmer’s market) I’d get frustrated since I wasn’t loving my lace project or its needles. And once July rolled around I was itching to start a new project; I grabbed a single skein of yarn, some needles and added the pattern to my shiny (ipod Touch). Despite my “gauge doesn’t matter” decisions it wasn’t the right yarn-pattern fit so I ripped out that day’s work. And on July 4th I mashed together two, maybe three patterns (Textured Shawl Recipe, Simple yet Effective Shawl and Lacy Baktus) and started this scarf. I’ve made a couple design decisions I regret but it was a fun project and flew by with the large yarn and needles.  Then it languished waiting for blocking. It ended up a smidge smaller than I’d prefer, and I probably could have gone up another needle size or two for better draping.  But now I have a non-precious scarf to keep my neck warm around the campfire (next year). Gauge appears to be about 3″ per inch in stockinette after blocking, but there aren’t any large portions of stockinette for a really good measure. Ideally I would have ended this with a section of garter stitch but I ran out of yarn after the last yarn-over section and when I cast off I had just enough to weave-in my ends. I’m not sure if this yarn will prove to be too itchy for my neck and I suspect I might need to add a cute button to help keep it wrapped since it isn’t long enough to bring the ends back around my neck if I want to wear it “cowboy style”.


Yarn: 1 skein of Stitch Nation Full o’ Sheep (Honeycomb)
Needles: Us 9 (harmony)
Size: hypotenuse measures 34.5″ after blocking, 14″ from center point to hypotenuse (was is that called?  geometry fail)

September 30, 2011. Tags: , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Focus and Satisficing

Every so often I really focus on one knitting project, I mean I currently have four different projects on the needles, two waiting for final finishing touches and one waiting for a good blocking, but I am making conscious effort to only work on one project – the project with a deadline – my grandmother’s scarf.

See way back in early 2003 when I finally learned to crochet (after 2 previous failed attempts) I decided to make my grandmother a scarf.  My brand new shiny crochet book (The Encyclopedia of Crochet by Donna Kooler) had this seed stitch scarf done in chenille that I thought my grandmother would like and then I found what felt like the perfect yarn, a fawn colored chenille.  So I set about to make this scarf for her;  I think I finished it in time for Christmas 2004.  This past December I was visiting my grandmother and she showed me her scarf and told me how much she liked it.  Well, I was inwardly dismayed that I hadn’t yet made her a replacement.  You see this scarf has stretched and wormed a little and was no longer the silky drapey scarf I remembered giving her.  (We will ignore the possibility that it was awful to begin with.)  I resolved to knit her a scarf, but I knew I couldn’t get it done in time for Christmas and so I decided to get it done for her birthday in early February.  Meanwhile I knit gifts during the month of December and brought along sock yarn for my travel project.  I poked around a little bit for patterns and yarn but didn’t think about it enough.  Right after Christmas I find the perfect pattern, lightweight, drapey, a little bit lacy but it doesn’t scream LACE and I start thinking about yarns.  I do a swatch of the pattern (in sock yarn) to make sure it is doable and like the results I’m getting.
scarf swatch
Suddenly it is the middle of January and I realize I am short on time and I can’t find a yarn I like anywhere near my budget. I don’t mind splurging a little on the fiber, but I’m not going to drop $75 on yarn for something that might get felted and shrunken.  And my LYS is out of colors that would work for my grandmother plus I’m worried about my ability to finish two skeins of sock yarn in essentially two weeks.  So I start satisficing.  I bought Classic Elite’s Wool Bam Boo because I thought she’d like the color and it would match several of her regular outfits.  And I started looking at patterns calling for DK weight yarn instead of thinner stuff (I am too attached to the above swatch done in thin yarn with three pattern repeats) and I settle on making the Drop Scarf, Kpixie’s modified version of Clapotis.  And I’m quite close to copying another Raveler’s project, her finished object lured me to this pattern (she made her scarf wider and longer than the pattern specifies). I cast on last Monday or Tuesday and finished the first skein last night.

Drop Scarf Progress

Instead of using stitch markers I am purling the dropped stitch columns and that tricked my brain into thinking I was knitting a rib instead of stockinette. Somehow I completely forgot one of my scarf requirements was that it wouldn’t roll/curl badly and somehow my brain forgot to notice the severity until I was 3/4 the way through the first skein. 

I was sorely tempted to rip it out and try a new pattern (or try the original pattern with two repeats instead of three – it is a scarf, I’m not overly concerned about gauge – actually I don’t even know what gauge I’m knitting at).  But I didn’t.  I stayed strong and continued satisficing because it will be a lovely color and it will be done fairly close to her birthday and I will block it the best I can.  (Hah, and now I think blocking will cure all that ails my knitting).

January 27, 2009. Tags: , , . Knitting. Leave a comment.

Finished Object: Scarf

I haven't been finishing many projects lately.  Either they are awaiting that one final embellishment or I just stop working on them to pick up another project.  I did finish my scarf for this fall about a week after I started knitting it, I just forgot to take pictures and post about it.  Then it went missing in my own home; TheHusband found it for me hiding between the couch and the wall.

Last Sunday I took it out for a photoshoot (actually we were just heading to the park, I was wearing the scarf and grabbed the camera).

I'm really happy with the scarf, it is about 2 1/2 inches wide when the ribbing is relaxed, and I made the length long enough that it will wrap around my neck nicely but not so long that I can't let it hang open.  And I keep getting compliments on it, which is really cool.  Unfortunately this yarn has gotten a couple snags from the snag-free velcro on my favorite bag.  In the end, I did use more than one skein of the yarn, but I had bought two skeins anyway, I just don't have enough leftover for a hat.  (Reminder stats: Yarn-Lana Grossa Cool Wool Big, Pattern- Single Cable scarf from One Skein by Leigh Radford, don't remember the needles but that is personal preference anyway.)

I didn't like any of the pictures of myself wearing the scarf so I decided to try my luck with making Dog wear the scarf.  The hardest part of this was finding a decent background, but luckily he is a pretty agreeable dog and while he was sitting on this park bench something caught his eye:

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November 12, 2007. Tags: , , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

One Skein Scarf

On Saturday we went for apple hunting (you call it driving to apple orchards, I call it apple hunting).  Instead of bringing a current work in progress (the socks, the baby blanket, but not the bolero–that has "must work at home" status) I cast on for a scarf with some yummy green yarn I bought this past spring.  I had jotted down the pattern on a 4 x 6 index card and decided, this is a scarf that is supposed to be 3 inches wide, there is no reason to swatch.

So I cast-on and at row 6 (the first cabled row) I realize that I forgot to write down which direction the cable twists, I decide to wing it and knit away.  About 4 inches in (woot for worsted weight yarn again) I loose count of rows and because I am incapable of partially frogging when slipped stitches and cables are involved I rip the entire thing and cast-on again (trying the cable in the other direction) and knit about 4 more inches.  Once we get home I discover that I was cabling in the wrong direction.  While it would have been fine, I decided to rip out those 4 or so inches and cast-on again.  I'm sort of grateful I didn't get more done during the drive.

This time I pull out the safety pins to help me count my rows to keep my cable twist nice and even.  So after 3 cast-ons and 8 inches of knitting wasted I sit down for TV watching (3 discs of Grey's Anatomy season 3) and now have 17 1/2 inches of scarf.   I've used about half my skein of yarn (Lanna Grossa Cool Wool Big) but I think I want my scarf to be more than three feet so I won't get to use that second skein of yarn for a hat.  Boo.  I didn't bother swatching, right now my scarf is about 2 1/2" wide instead of the 3 inches the pattern says it will be.

And it is taking lots of will power to not cast on for about 4 more projects that I want to do right now. But I need to finish something first.

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September 27, 2007. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.