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Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Couple of Scarves

I've been making a couple of scarves from free patterns on the web. The first one is the Cherry Leaf Scarf from here. This is a gift scarf knitted in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk aran weight, shade 12 (Berry), and on 5mm needles. I almost frogged it at one stage because I wasn't sure that the lace pattern would work in this yarn. I put a photo of it in progress into my Flickr gallery and asked UKHK members to comment. Everyone who replied to the UKHK board and a couple who commented on my Flickr gallery said to carry on and not to frog it so I kept on. I'm glad I did because I'm really pleased with the result. It has also turned out surprisingly light whilst at the same time soft and warm - a scarf one can really cuddle into.

As I was knitting this scarf, its name kept reminding me just how much I like cherries and how I hadn't had any for such a long time. It was really nice, therefore, to find some available in the shops. Two packs were bought - one for me and one for my giftee!

Below is a shot of the Cherry Leaf Scarf on my new dress form which was bought for me for Xmas by DH. I've included this photo because it gives a better idea of the lacy pattern. Apologies for the colour variation between the two photos but I've had real problems in trying to use the camera without the flash as it's so dark and wintry outside! In reality, the colour is nearer to the photo above. If you wish to see the actual colour, look at shade 12 here.

The Cherry Leaf lace is formed by 16 pattern rows repeated throughout and, because I wanted the two ends of the scarf to match, I knitted it in two halves finishing on the eighth row of the pattern and then grafted the two halves together. As I was using a thicker yarn than that used in the pattern, I also adjusted the width by omitting one pattern repeat across. When it came off the needles, the edges were a bit curled as the background is stocking stitch and it definitely needed a wet blocking. Blocking was a great success as, not only did it uncurl the edges, but it opened up the lace pattern nicely. It took 5 balls of the Alpaca Silk and post blocking measurements are 65" long and 9" wide.

Here are the ingredients I used to present the scarf and the bag of cherries together in one package.

Tissue paper in which scarf was wrapped, gift shreds to separate tissue wrapped scarf from cherries, the bag of cherries and a gift bag to put the whole lot in. The bag and gift shreds are recycled in that they've been used before more than once. We always ask friends to do this because it's good to receive a nicely wrapped present but not very friendly to the environment if the wrappings go straight into the bin afterwards.

The other scarf I've completed is the Frilly Scarf also from a free pattern and, this time, which Christina of UKHK came across. This is a good one for Curly Whirlies so I'll also be posting it there. The scarf fastening shown in the photo came from Get Knitted.

The Frilly Scarf is composed of a lacy central rectangle with a frill at either side and is worked along similar lines to the Lasagne Scarf except the Lasagne Scarf has a plain central rectangle and this one's knitted in the twin leaf lace pattern. Stitches are picked up all around the central rectangle on the Lasagne Scarf but in the Frilly Scarf they are picked up on the long sides only. I worked the frill differently to the pattern because, when I followed the pattern, I ended up with a frill that wasn't very frilly at all (despite the fact that it looks frilly in the pattern's photo). My version is not for the faint hearted though as I increased to 1200 stitches on each side so had 2400 stitches to cast off in total! I also made my scarf longer than the one in the pattern which is only 35". Mine is 55" long and 6" wide including frills. Additionally, I made it in two halves and grafted them together to make sure the ends matched unlike the one in the pattern which was knitted in one piece.

I would have loved to use the yarn in the pattern but unfortunately the Manos del Uruguay and the Elsebet Lavold Silky Wool called for aren't that easy to come by in the UK! The yarn I used was, alas, some Wendy Velvet Touch in the lavender shade from my stash. I'd bought this to be woven together with some Wendy Cosmic as practice material for my butterfly loom. I'm not at all keen on the Velvet Touch, not only because it's synthetic, but because the texture of it makes the stitch detail fuzzy. However, I was impatient to try out the pattern and the Velvet Touch was the only yarn I had that was suitable and wasn't irreversibly assigned to something else.

I have another Frilly Scarf on the needles which I started before the one above but ran out of yarn. The yarn was three balls of Debbie Bliss Chunky Merino in the apple shade which was my share of the Laughing Hens Welcome Pack. Jan, however, very kindly agreed to let me have two balls from her share, as a swap, so that I can finish it. I did buy some lovely Rowan Yorkshire Tweed from Jannette's Rare Yarns in the frog shade for the frill but I've now decided that the chunky merino is not really suitable for a frilly scarf.

So, the plan now is to keep the central panel and carry on with the additional yarn to get the length I want but then either leave it as it is or add a kind of braided edging in the Yorkshire Tweed if I can work out how to do it.

My scarves seem to be ending up all over the place these days. Recently one was given to my brother's friend, Trish, who lives in New York but was staying with DB to celebrate the New Year. I gave her a choice of the scarves I had left and she chose one of the Edgars (the long colourful one). I quite like the idea of my scarves being dotted around the globe. After all, giving a scarf which is warm and comforting can be a bit like giving a hug so it can't be a bad thing, can it?!


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