Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And I would walk five hundred more

Earlier this year, plans developed with three dear friends who I don't see very often. We were going to get together for a girly/ladies weekend away. The emails were flying four ways and suddenly there was mention of how it was going to be such a cold winter weekend, full of bracing winter walks, rugged up in beanies and scarves. This image was just too tempting (even though we ended up at the coast and the weather was mild) and I knew I had to make something. Three somethings, actually.
There wasn't time for full scarves. At this point I was just getting started preparing for the first market day and I knew time was going to be short.

I settled on the idea of making short scarves to be fastened with buttons. It's a pity I don't have modelled shots. They are worn a bit like Quiltingmick's neckwarmers but maybe with a little bit more 'dangle'. The idea is for it to be just enough scarf to fill the gap in a v-neck jumper or the neckline of a jacket. After struggling with my lovely, warm, enormous, long Clapotis - it's hard to avoid draping it on the floor when I suddenly become too hot on a packed bus and have to strip off - the idea of an efficient neckwarmer is very appealing. So I have one planned for me. Modelled photo to come.

Although the actual knitting didn't take too long, it took a bit of time, thinking, pattern searching, and fear to get this project done! I found picking yarn and colours for three different friends quite tricky.

I was sure I wanted them all to be different, but, would one turn out to be nicer than the others? Would I get them done in time? Could I find the right feature buttons? (And I owe thanks to DJZ and Mum for the help with that, down to the last minute.)
This is Knit Cafe's reversible cable scarf in Naturally Merino et Soie 8ply held double, modified to work for 28 stitches as described (in Ravelry) by KelK.

I didn't want to knit exactly the same pattern twice, but I liked the effect of the reversible cable scarf so much that I went looking for a similar pattern. The Bryher cable scarf fit the bill. I used Lincraft's Lima Alpaca held double with 6.5mm needles.
Once again I modified this one from 20 to 28 stitches cast on. In fact I messed up the modification and ended up with the cables not being centred. But a further mistake made it all ok. I miscounted rows and accidentally started the second set of cables at the wrong edge. This balanced things out - a pair of cables to one side, a pair to the other side, and back again to finish it off. I'm pretty sure it's Taph who suggests making a mistake into a feature by repeating it, and I've taken it to heart!

Edited to add: Obviously I was in a hurry when I picked out and knit this pattern - now that I reread it, I see that the cable is meant to be off-centre. Actually I think my mod to make the whole thing wider caused it to be more subtly off-centre. None of this really matters and I am very happy with how it turned out. I just didn't want to be misrepresenting Katie's cool pattern.


Finally, Wavy from Knitty, in Cleckheaton Country Silk, with 4mm needles. Really nice wool, especially after a bath in some hair conditioner (smelled pretty too!)

Each short scarf took less than two balls of 8ply wool, and could be easily finished in two or three evenings.


Bells said...

Fantastic. I'm so glad to see you made your deadline and with such style!

Rose Red said...

Fabulous - what great gifts - these are all lovely.

Djaughan Zelmonde said...

Thanks for the mention - I'm always happy to help! What are you planning for yourself!?

Michelle said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! And isn't the Country Silk divine to wear?

Georgie said...

I am so having a neckwarmer thing right now too, so I love these! All gorgeous. In fact, Im off to find the patterns right now....

KRGP said...

Oooh! So pretty! What wonderful gifts. -Katie at fiber smarts

chocolatetrudi said...

Wonderful! And the buttons are perfect.

Donna Lee said...

What nice gifts. I often get too warm on public transportation in the morning and am undressing as the train rambles on. I like the idea of a small scarf that is easily loosened to cool off.

Rhonda said...

Thanks for playing the 'Pay it Forward' thingy with me. In a few months I will send you something handmade. And since you are the only person to respond I might even send you two somethings!
Your neck warmers are really lovely and inventive. I'm jealous of your girl friends. Cheers Rhonda

Jejune said...

Really stunning! I must give that reversible cable pattern a try sometime soon. I'm sure your friends will be thrilled :)

J said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to your blog and do a more public *thank you* for your beautiful beautiful gift. As always it was wonderful to see you - not enough time! The only good thing about this year going so quickly is that my Christmas visit is coming up soon!