Recently in Scarves Category

Reversible, Alpaca, and Purple

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scarf

I finished this reversible cabled scarf over the weekend. It's Vintage Velvet by Lisa Daniels from Scarf Style. The pattern is written for (and shown in) Touch Me (5 skeins), and I'm sure it feels amazing worked up that way. There’s no denying Touch Me is luscious to the hand. But my experience with Touch Me, and the sort of messy appearance my Touch Me scarf has (especially with the numerous tight little loops/twists hanging all over it) would make me hesitate to make something cabled out of it.

When I picked up 3 skeins of Debbie Bliss's Alpaca Silk last year at ImagiKnit, I did so with the idea of a cabled scarf in mind. The shade of purple is so soft and peaceful that it just called out to be cabled. As I contemplated patterns, the one in Scarf Style kept popping up in my head. That the Vintage Velvet scarf is reversible made it really appealing, and I'm so glad I tried it.

It's a simply beautiful pattern, and so easy to work. I started it before Christmas but, reluctantly (for I'd hoped to take it home with me to wear), put it down in the pre-Christmas rush. Feeling like a little break, I rescued it from a pile in the floor. (It really hadn't even made its way into a bag in December!) After working on long rows on my Shoalwater shawl, it was wonderful to switch gears, pick the lavender scarf up, and do 40 or so rows during a tv show. It's a 22 row repeat, but it really only involves 4 different rows (two of which have a very simple cable), so it's easy to remember and just flies along.

The yarn is amazing. It feels so good. I fell in love with it as soon as I started using it. It's simply a joy to work with, and while I tend to gush over colors, I rarely gush over fiber itself. But this stuff is amazing. (I seem to have a real love affair with Alpaca going!) The overall effect of the scarf in this yarn is elegant yet classic. I have to admit, I’m pretty sick of garter stitch scarves, so this was a welcome change, and it's a pattern I can definitely see myself making again. The only thing to note is that it could have been longer. At the end of my third skein, I went ahead and cast off, but if it ends up feeling not quite right, I might pick up another skein or two and lengthen it.

Multi-D for Me

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multi-d scarf

I'm almost through the first (left) side of the holiday sweater for M. It's going great and proving to be a really speedy knit, which I didn't expect. I should finish the first piece tonight, but I may have to switch gears and work on a felted project I started a while back as I was working on a particular timeline for it and just got sidetracked with this new sweater and the re-focusing on my Must Have. I hate to lose momentum on the sweater though. I'll probably end up working on both and switching back and forth a lot.

Obviously, the photo above isn't relevant to anything I'm working on! Instead, it's a picture of the multi-directional scarf my mom made for me. She brought it with her this summer on a trip. I think it turned out great. It's a real "rainbow" scarf, and the nubby texture of the yarn is a real switch for this scarf (which you often see worked in Kureyon). I'm pretty sure it's knit from Elaine by Schaefer Yarn in a rainbow colorway. We've had a bit of a September cold-snap here in foggy San Fran, so I got to wear it the other day for the first time and thought I'd show it off.

Easter Eros

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Oh, and here's a snapshot of the Eros yarn that I referenced as "Easter Eros." The lighting at Mom's wasn't great, but I think you get the sense of it here.

Easter Eros

I started this thinking we might need it for the auction. But I think we've managed to raise (and make) plenty to meet our auction requirement. So this will probably end up staying in the house for one of us!

Happy I'm Here

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Well, I think they're happy I'm back...

I did bring out Matthew's scarf yesterday while unpacking and wrapped it around his neck. M. was oohing and aahing, but Matthew prompty burst into tears yelling "I not say I wanted a scarf!"

And that was that.

He's right. He didn't ask for it or agree to it when I was suggesting making it.

He's not even four.

Sigh.

But, again, he's not even four. So, I wasn't totally surprised.

I'd just hoped that he'd like it since he loves his hat so much.

Maybe he'll come around.

Halfway expecting his reaction, I had toyed with the idea of using up the remaining ball of rainbow yarn so that it'd be long enough for me or M. But I was afraid it might end up too long for him, and he wasn't there to measure it on.

There are ten rows of red at the bottom. I might just pull those out, finish up the ball, and then any of us could wear it.

After all, we all have hats to match now!

(Ummm, all except the baby, who was supposed to have the rainbow Angel hat.)

still here (or there)

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Well, I'm still hanging out here with my mom in KY. She's doing well, and we're even getting some knitting done. She's looking at 6 weeks off from work, so she's got lots of knitting time ahead, and the holiday is just around the corner, soit's not a bad time of year to be stuck with little more to do than knit. What do people without hobbies do?

Having got her broadband connection installed and then setting her up wirelessly with her laptop so that she can surf from the luxury of the couch, I logged in last night to catch up on some blog reading only to find my own page blank of entries. Oops! I didn't think to reset the number of days shown before I left. It's sort of scary to see your own page blank that way.

I didn't leave many comments, but I spent time on a number of your blogs getting my knit blog fix. It was great.

I brought an assortment of projects with me, and it's good that I brought a range because the first two didn't end up being overly successful. I'm not giving up on a mini Yarn Harlot poncho I started the first day in the hospital in a pretty purple/pink chenille I've had forever from an ebay purchase. But, I didn't like how it was looking in the needle size I started with, so I'm going to try it again on a smaller needle. It was looking really loopy.

The other less-than-thrilling project involves some pretty purple "Wendy" yarn M. gave me as a travel surprise before I left. It feels really soft on the skein, but worked up, the foundation fiber upon which the thick boa-esque eyelash is hung has a rough feel to it. I've finished one skein of the yarn, and I'll have to use the other to get a workable length for the scarf. But it ended up being a bit disappointing.

After three days and nights in the hospital with Mom and needing something I could count on to 'work,' I turned to another rainbow hat. Before I left, M. decided she really wanted one and dropped by Imagiknit to pick up another skein of the rainbow Lorna's Laces. I got started on it, and after finishing the first 5 1/2 inches, I gave her a call just to doublecheck that the length matched up to the way I made mine. (It was looking really long to me.) She starts giving me measurements with and without the "roll." I was holding the one I was working on in my hand and feeling very confused because there was no "roll."

Yep, I'd read the pattern wrong when starting this, the third, and didn't knit the first inch or so to create the rolled edge. So much for third time's a charm!

After confirming with M. that she didn't mind taking my finished hat and just letting me make the final one for myself, I decided to take a different approach. I had brought some Lamb's Pride bulky super-wash in red to use with the remaining yarn from the previous two hanks of the Lorna's Laces bulky to make Matthew a scarf (inspired by Mommio's scarves for her two sons).

Feeling drawn to the red, I worked the roll brim of my rainbow hat in red, then picked up with the rainbow, and then did the crown in the red again. I like how it turned out!

red hat

After wrapping that up, I got started on Matthew's scarf. I had some stops and starts trying to decide what I wanted to do in terms of stitch pattern. Finally, I settled for seed (which remains a tried-and-true favorite of mine). I'm loving how the rainbow is working up in seed (though this snapshot may not do it justice).

scarf

Having put the scarf aside last night because I need to measure it, I re-cast on my Fluted Bannister socks. I'd started them a few weeks ago in Regia Jubilee, but I wasn't liking how the stitch pattern worked up in the yarn, so I brought a skein of Opal with me. I tried another sock pattern in it once before, so I know it has wide sections of the base pinkcolor with small stripes of yellow and blue in it. I think it's a better choice for this sock.

fluted in opal

I'm gadually realizing that not every sock pattern works with every sock yarn - especially when it comes to the wonderful self-patterning and variegated yarns. Sometimes, a patterned sock just doesn't do the yarn justice - and vice versa.

Fringed Eros

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I posted last week about finishing up the second Eros scarf in the stained glass red yarn. I'm back again with a few pictures.

The scarf did turn out very pretty, and though I'm in he minority, like working with the Eros. I end up knitting a tad slower to be sure to catch both sides of the ladder, but it's a rhythmic process, jut as if I was working with some other sweater-weight fiber.

These pictures aren't great. I'm sure a red cabinet is not the best backdrop for a red scarf, but I was taking other photos the other day so had a chance to snap this.

eros scarf

It's the first time I've added fringe, and I like how it turned out.

Here's a closeup of it (doubled) while it was still on the needles. This image gives a better sense of the texture, but still the color is off here, too.

eros scarf

Needs fringe

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M. finished another scarf last night in a yarn called Blossom. It's very soft and snuggly and pretty with different colored bobble-like fibers running throughout the soft blue background. I keep telling her she needs her own knit blog. She has a blog, but she doesn't keep it very up-to-date, partly because I think she isn't talking about knitting in it! We'll see if I can convert her from thinking she needs a serious (read: business) blog to realizing that a knit blog would make her happy.

I almost finished an Eros scarf I'm working on in a wonderful almost stained glass colorway. It's primarily red with stained glass blocks in the ladders. I intended it as a holiday scarf for me. But M. is in love with it. So, maybe it will be for her. Let's see, she wants that and gauntlets and socks. Geez. And we don't usually make each other things.

I did finish the scarf, technically. But I'm adding fringe and didn't get done. The oldest boy (who started pre-school this week) woke up upset and mumbling about "not want[ing] to play games." I think it's been a week of a lot of change for him. So, my fringe pieces are scattered all over my rocker, but it's an easy-to-finish project.

I have read other bloggers who hate knitting with ladder yarns like Eros. I made my first one in the Spring and enjoyed it. I liked making this one even more. I used a smaller needle this time and cast on a few more (since my other one got really skinny and long once I put it on and wore it for a day). At any rate, it's easy knitting and a nice "switch-off" from the Making Waves socks that I keep sitting by my chair.

One Down....

One more to go... mom visits that is. My mom left last night. We had a super week. Tons of knitting, a couple of yarn store visits, a trip to the boardwalk in Santa Cruz where the boy got to ride his first kiddie rides and I, despite the clouds, walked away with an unexpectedly red nose and forehead, the obligatory-but-fun trip to Pier 39 here in SF, painting of car-laden coffee mugs at Terra Mia (a local paint-your-own ceramics store), general mall and bookstore shopping, plenty of LEGO building, and lots of knit discussion, gift-list making, and I'd-like-to-make this and that list making as we passed around the baby and the boy. We even racked up several finished objects... let's see, with the three of us combined, I think we finished 8 scarves, 3 hats, and 1 pair of socks, and all of us started several other things just to see how certain yarns were going to work up. No, we didn't finish huge projects, but it's pretty easy and relaxing to sit and knit on a mindless fun and fuzzy garter stitch scarf that you can pick up any time you sit down while company is around versus something you really want or need to pay more attention to as you knit.

making wavesAmong other things, I was working on my Making Waves socks (from 6 Sox), and they're turning out nicely. I don't think I want to continue the cabling down the foot, necessarily, but I don't mind working the cable pattern at all. Mom and M, however, kept laughing and rolling their eyes every time they saw my cable needle - which to them far too closely resembles a toothpick!

They both prefer working on big needles and projects that offer instant gratification. I like things a little more complicated. But, it's funny... I don't mind cabling my socks, but when it came to rolling my skein of Chili Pepper Fluff yarn from the Great Adirondack company and ran almost instantly into some major knotting (and three apparent ends, which yes, meant there were four), I was not happy. M, on the other hand, took over the rolling and unkotting. It took well over an hour, maybe even two, but she sat there until it was all neatly unravelled and loosely rolled (since our experience with Fluff shows that it crushes). (I remember one weekend when she must have spent 10 hours working on rolling a hank of chenille that had knotted badly. Me - it'd have been in the trash an hour in!)

fluff scarfMom and M both made Fluff scarves when Mom was here in February after the baby was born. The yarn really is wonderful and soft and comes in amazing colors. It's also fairly pricey at around $30. My hank of Chili Pepper was a surprise from M sometime after the baby, and I just hadn't ever started it. So, I pulled it out and, once rolled, several hours later had a new scarf - which I proudly sported the next day at the Pier. The fiesty red/pink colorway was super combined woth my soft red jean jacket (even if you could only see part of it peeking out above the Baby Bjorn).

During one of our yarn shopping trips this week, we were talking to a shop owner about Fluff, and she told us that Splash by Crystal Palace works up similarly (at a fraction of the price). We both bought some - with gift scarves in mind, and both of us made a Splash scarf last week. It did, indeed, work up very much like Fluff. Fluff has a slightly softer hand, more rayon shine, and a bit of a lighter feel, but they are very close when finished. So, it was a good yarn find. One of the colorways mom picked up was a super baby pink variegated. I'm hoping that one is for me for Christmas!

The other mom comes for a visit in another week...

Touch Me Rib

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The photo of the Touch Me scarf I posted yesterday shows the color but not the stitch pattern. It was the only photo I'd uploaded previously, however, so that's what you got. Here are two more images taken early on that show the nice little rib from the right side (first image) and wrong side (second image).

scarf scarf


As you can see, it's not a true reversible stitch. It does, however, have enough texture and interest to work on both sides - and was a nice change from a traditional rib or seed.

Ballet Pink

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Baby is asleep in my arms, but luckily, my little Fujitsu Lifebook is very small, so I can prop it on my knees and do some typing and surfing while still letting him snooze. (If you guessed he's one of those babies that only sleeps when being held, you're pretty much right. I'm sure there are readers out there shaking their heads and tsking that it's totally my/our fault. To some degree, that's probably true. Baby number one was the same way. They grow up so quickly, however, and the comfort babies clearly derive from attachment practices makes it worthwhile. Plus, they grow up well-adjusted, affectionate, loving, and just downright sweet. Or at least that has proven true with Baby #1!)

At any rate, I don't have access to all my photos in here, so I can't visually blog about some of the things I'm working on or have finished recently. But, I don't think I ever showed a picture of the Touch Me scarf that I finished a while back. touch me scarf pinkIt's shown here draped on my pink suede Birkenstocks. Now, did I buy this yarn because it matches my Birks? No. I actually think I bought the yarn first. Then, I stumbled across these limited issue pink Birks. As a long-time Birk wearer (with, yes, a closet full of them), these were a must have. However, when they arrived (yep, even though I live in SF where the flagship store is, it was still easier to order them and have them delivered to my door), I wasn't thrilled with the color. "Ballet pink," my partner kept telling me. I had been hoping for something a bit more baby pink. They've grown on me, however. And then, when I pulled the Touch Me out to start work on the scarf, I had to laugh as I realized it is the same color!

The scarf took two balls of Touch Me. It's fairly short, but long enough. I wore it last night for the first time (it's actually chilly here in SF a good bit of the time, especially in the summer) with a jean jacket (recent sale purchase from L.L Bean) when I ran out with Baby #2 in tow to pick up a dozen Krispy Kreme's to have this morning for my partner's birthday. (Forget Atkins for a day!)

The scarf was amazingly comfortable on, and just felt so "right." It's such an amazingly soft yarn. I just love the feel of it. I tried a number of stitch patterns before finding something I liked that showed up well in such a plush yarn and that was reversible "enough" to look great on both sides for a scarf. It's a simple rib to knit, but has enough variety to make it interesting visually. It was from Lesley Stanfield's The New Knitting Stitch Library, which I like (as an addition to my set of Harmony Guides).

I haven't washed it yet, but Sharon at KnitKnacks has suggested I do that. (And I know Sally M. has some directions for that in The Purl Stitch.) I don't know how the yarn could get any softer, but there are some rogue loopy threads that have appeared (instances of worming, I believe) that washing supposedly may help eliminate.

Small Things

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Well, we hit another local yarn store sale over the weekend. Not a huge sale (and you had to really look to find anything on sale), but it's still a great store, and we hadn't stopped in there in a while. The place was packed. We did tandem shopping one of us sat in the car with sleeping boys while the other shopped. So it worked out okay. I probably end up buying less that way!
(In other words, I talk myself out of a lot of things when alone; she talks me into a lot of things when we're together!)

I don't know when I turned into an "accessories" knitter, but it seems that's where I am right now. Probably it's a logical conclusion with two little boys in the house. Maybe the reality is that unlike when I was just a young childless knitter and could start a dozen sweaters at a time, the realities of life and motherhood have caught up with me, and having a few sweaters on the needles is fine - but beyond that, accessories seem like good, managable, and doable projects.

new purchasesSo, I (again) picked up a number of yarns (shown at right) that will end up being hats and scarves most likely. All in all, I just wasn't ready to commit to a full scale project purchase yet. It was more fun to buy one or two skeins of a bunch of things instead of 10-12 of a single yarn.

The red fuzzy yarn is MicroChic, and it feels great. I was contemplating buying Esprit in red because I like the feel of Esprit and thought it would make a wonderful holiday season scarf (thinking ahead!), but they had a sample scarf made from MicroChic, and it was adorable and felt luscious. Buying yarn to make two scarves in the same color didn't make sense at that moment, so I went with the MicroChic to try something new.

I did finally get to see Kersti in person, and it's wonderful. They didn't have a huge variety at the store though, so I didn't buy any. I like a few of the colors Rob blogged about recently better than anything I saw in person. But at least now I've gotten to see and feel the yarn. Of course, KPPM is still addictive to me. I picked up a skein of it in a medium-to-dark lime along with some Berroco Fizz that I'm hoping to use together. I couldn't resist a skein of the Fizz in a pink, too. (My obsession with pink has not disappeared post-pregnancy!)

So,we came home and got all our loot out. What did I start? Good question. Did I start anything with what I'd just bought. No. Instead, I got out the pink Touch Me yarn I bought a few weeks ago and cast on a few stitches and worked up some seed stitch to see how it looks. I love the yarn. (And the soft muted pink of it matches the pink suede Birks I recently picked up!) The Touch Me yarn has an amazingly beautiful hand to it. Not sure about the seed stitch in it. I think I want to try a few other things before I decide. I'm thinking it's so soft it would make a great pocket scarf because your hands would just feel wonderful in it. So, I want to pick something nice (read interesting) for the pocket stitch.

In the time I deliberated, my partner cast on and finished a great hat out of a super cool variegated skein of Tahki Baby. (We're designing a set of hats out of this and similar yarns. Her newest one turned out so cute. I tried to thank her for making it for me, but it didn't work.) Ah, well, I was also juggling the baby - who has decided that sleeping isn't really something he ever needs to do! (Having finally given in, he's now snoozing in my lap as I sit at my computer.)

drseuss scarfI was still debating about what to work on the next day, and I spied the long pink and purple scarf that I've dubbed the Dr. Seuss scarf (not sure why, but every time I look at it, that's what I think) peeking out of a basket under the table. I started this pre-pregnancy (the baby is now four months), so it's been sitting around forever! It had gotten yanked off the needles recently (by a little boy), so I'd ripped it out to a stripe end and picked the stitches back up. Seeing it in danger of getting yanked off again, I decided maybe it is time to finish it.

It's pretty long already, but not long enough when you wrap it around your neck. So, it needs more length. I'm at a point where I need to start new balls of yarn in each color, so what I decided to do is first make a hat to coordinate using the two colors, and then I can just go ahead and use what's left to finish the scarf.

plush hatSo, I cast on for the hat basing the sizing on a hat I made last year out of Plush (see the light purple hat at right). The Esprit hat ended up being a really quick project. Unfortunately, the Esprit has much less stretch in the cast on row than the Plush did, so it's really snug there. I realized this about half way through, but I went ahead and finished it. I think I learned an important lesson - maybe using the long-tail cast on for hats isn't the best approach since it has less give?

Today I'm hoping to do the finishing work on the little-boy project and get the pattern typed up - as well as work on plotting the additional sizes.

THEN, maybe I can get something new from the recent purchases cast on.

(Update: I decided I can't stand the fit of the Esprit hat. I'm going to have to rip it out and give it another try. Sigh! But, if I won't wear it as is, then it's silly to leave it as is. I'm a huge ripper. My mom and partner are always amazed that it doesn't really phase me at all to constantly rip things out and start over.)

Scarves and Galleries

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I am working on a little-boy design using Pronto, and I was out checking the Berroco site to make sure the colors I'm using are still in circulation. From the front page, I was accosted by enticements to check out "scarves" on their site in the Scarf Central section. If you're into scarves, like giving scarves, like working with fun and funky yarns, or just like to feast your eyes occasionally on some digitally rendered fiber color, it's well worth a visit.

Scarf Central has, not surprisingly, links to free scarf patterns that use Berroco yarns. But the main page is a smorgasbord of swatches showing different Berroco yarns used in combination. So, you get to see a closeup of how the two yarns knit up together. Clicking through on any swatch takes you to additional info on the swatch (e.g., needle size) and shows you alternate color combinations of the yarns. It's a visual treat and a good resource.

Maybe it's just me, but I like seeing this kind of repository. I know dye lots vary for Koigu, so that one skein of KPPM might look different than another, but still, I would love to see a repository of all the color combinations the guys at ThreadBear have offered for Charlotte's Web. Since the sets (which use wonderful and creative names) don't list individual colors by number, it wouldn't (really) take away from them in terms of business. But it would give someone considering starting (another) Charlotte a visual look at what kinds of combinations work. Then, someone could write them and say, "hey, I'd like to make something in purples and reds with a touch of lime similar to the way XXX!X looks."

Of course, I'd like to see a repository of "finished" Charolotte images, too. I love the gallery of finished Kureyon bags at BoogaJ.

Maybe it points to my intrinsic love of clutter that I respond so strongly to these galleries, who knows. I like to think, instead, it points to my love of color and variety!

The End of an Eros

So, I finally pulled my first Eros scarf out from under the coffee table and spent a few hours finishing it up. It's a bit too long. I thought I was supposed to just keep knitting until I was almost out of yarn, and it just kept gettting longer and longer and longer. It's okay, however. It gives me the option to wrap it around the neck an extra time, or be more coy and leave it longer.

eros scarf

I actually don't think I've ever worn a scarf that's not a typical winter scarf, so this was an unusual project for me. My partner bought the Eros (in bright pink) for me a week or so after the baby arrived when she and my mom when yarn store shopping. It was a nice treat - because I've heard so many people talk about Eros scarves. And I loved making the scarf. I used the pattern off of ChicKnits site. The ruffled edges are wonderful.

Too late, I realized I didn't do the glamour photo that I should have - like I see in other blogs. You know the type, where I don't look at the camera. Instead, you get a good profile, nonchalant, shot. What we have here is the typical send to Grandma shot of mom and son. Tomorrow when, hopefully, I get to photograph a completed Oriole vest, I'll try the more designer-esque kind of shot!

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