23 March 2008

The yarn for my scarf

I've just found the yarn for my knittee's scarf, but I now don't know what pattern to knit. Any suggestions, anyone?

08 March 2008

Mistake rib scarf

Not sure that this needs a pattern, but just for the record. Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches + 3 Work each row in k2, p2 rib to the end (you will finish with an odd purl, which is fine). Bind off in rib I worked in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky on 8mm needles (slightly larger than recommended for the yarn to give a looser rib), cast on 31 stitches and worked till the scarf was around 230cm long. It required 3 skeins.

Reversible plait scarf

Here's the pattern for the reversible plait scarf. I made two versions, one in Rowan Plaid and another in Rowan Polar, both now sadly discontinued. You can use any chunky weight yarn. I used 8mm needles and the scarf took just under 3 skeins = 300 metres. It's long and narrow and is designed to be worn "both ends fed through the loop", if you know what I mean. Finished length: 230cm Finished width: 15cm at ends, around 12cm through plaited section PATTERN NOTES 2x2 rib [k2,p2] to end of row C16F Slip 8 stitches onto cable needle and hold to front of work [k2, p2] twice [k2, p2] twice from cable needle C16B Slip 8 stitches onto cable needle and hold to back of work [k2, p2] twice [k2, p2] twice from cable needle Cable plait Row 1: C16F, [k2,p2] twice Rows 2-8: 2x2 rib Row 9: [k2,p2] twice, C16B Rows 10-16: 2x2 rib PATTERN CO 24st First 16 rows: 2x2 rib Repeat Cable plait 14 times Last 8 rows: 2x2 rib BO in rib Weave in loose ends That's it.

02 March 2008

Jumper retrospective

To complete the picture, here are the jumper and the cardigan that I've knitted to date. I found the wool first, in the closing-down sale of Oxford's only Rowan outlet in 2004. The pattern came from a friend and needed recalculating for both size, sleeve length and gauge. I was really pleased when it worked. This was my first large-scale project and obsessed me until it was finished. I was particularly pleased with the zip - and yes, I did sew it in myself. The cardigan followed on shortly after the red jumper: I found a 1kg pack of Rowan Magpie in the John Lewis sale. Even when I found out the shade was called "toad" I couldn't resist. The pattern is from Men in Knits. I was attracted by the alternate slip-stitch texture which they describe as waffle stitch and which produces an extremely dense, warm fabric. It's slightly on the small side so tends to be borrrowed by my partner, but the colour suits me better.

Scarf retrospective

I thought it might be useful for my secret pal (and maybe interesting for other people) to see some of the things that I've knitted for myself already, including the scarves, to get a sense of what might be appreciated, and what might be duplication. So here goes: The first scarf is a bit of an oddity. I'd decided that I needed to have some practice in fair isle techniques and had also seen a Paul Smith scarf which had a "wrong side" fair isle pattern but a wild colour combination. But looking back, knitting a 240cm scarf in four-ply was an ambitious way to start practising. It took ages to finish, it's not the most even scarf I've ever knitted and I never got round to blocking it, but it's extremely warm, wins what I hope are admiring glances from passers-by, and I'm very proud of it. The next scarf was my own design. I liked the plaited scarves that were popular at the time but disappointed that they seemed either to have a right and a wrong side or to be formed of separately- knitted tubes that were plaited together. This didn't appeal to my sense of knitted elegance. Then I found out about Lily Chin's reversible rib whilst iding through a back issue of Knitty and three balls of Rowan Plaid later, I had the scarf I was looking for. It knit up very quickly - I made a subsequent one for my brother over two evenings. Scarf the third was inspired by seeing lots of people with vertically striped scarves but not wanting to get into a pickle with intarsia. I also found some Debbie Bliss alpaca which demanded to be worked with. It's garter-stitch worked lengthways, changing colour every three rows between teal, sea green, sage green, ochre and brown. It's slightly odd to wear because the cast-on and cast-off edges have less give than the rest of the scarf, and the alpaca also very quickly becomes fuzzy (especially when it gets caught on stubble), but I still wear it often. The fourth scarf is a little different to the others. I wanted something less conspicuous but with a bit of interest to it, hence the cashmere/ marino mix in a mistake rib. The fifth scarf wasn't knitted by me but I've included it as it completes the picture. I received it through ISE3. My secret pal got seriously ill during the exchange so the scarf arrived some months later, but the scarf was still welcome. The colours are great, as is the yarn - I think it's some kind of Noro - and the curve on the stocking-stitch means that I'm only bending, rather than breaking, my "scarves have to be reversible" rule when I'm wearing it.