02 March 2008

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.


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