Desert Dawn Scarf

Pat’s anniversary scarf is finished, but he’s too shy to model for you. I love the combination of colors! They’re meant to evoke the colors of dawn in the desert, where we spent our anniversary. It’s just a simple side-to-side garter-stitch scarf, and I wish I’d been able to make it a little wider, but I was using up leftovers here and was limited by the amount of yarn on hand. Someday I’ll make him a bigger and more fully-featured scarf, but maybe not until we move somewhere with more of a proper winter than southern California.

I’ve also gotten halfway through the merino fiber from Seattle that I’ve spinning. My schedule this semester hasn’t left a lot of time for spinning, so it’s been going slowly, but I LOVE the way the yarn is coming out. It’s a soft, bouncy heavy fingering / light sport weight, and I’m going to end up with a little less than 500 yards of it. I’m open to suggestions, if anybody has a thought about what I should knit with it! I don’t think I’d ever spun pure merino before — I always gravitate toward fancy blends, even though they’re more of a pain to spin because the various fibers in a blend always behave differently. But, surprise! Spinning with pure merino is lovely and smooth and quick. Yay!

Last time I alluded to a possible sweater tragedy, because I was deeply worried that my Acer cardigan was going to be too big. But now that I’ve finished the back and fronts and joined them at the shoulders, I’ve tried on this in “vest” form and determined that it’ll be fine. It’ll have a little bit of ease, but I won’t be swimming in it or anything. I contemplated knitting the sleeves from the top down instead of from the bottom up like the pattern says, but I ultimately decided to take the lazy route and just do what the pattern told me. Since the sleeves are knit in the round, I can still try them on as I go, just not with quite as much accuracy and convenience as I could if they were being knit from the top down while attached to the body of the sweater. My one act of rebellion is to knit the sleeves using the magic loop method, because it’s less fiddly than using doublepointed needles. I guess given the title of this blog, I should maybe think twice before pitching my doublepointed needles out the window now that I’ve learned magic loop… but… no.

I also have some new projects to show you:

This is Veera Välimäki’s Stripe Study shawl, knit in Tosh Merino Light in colorways “Amber Trinket” (yellow) and “Saffron” (reddish). Among the things that are awesome about this shawl is that once you get your mind around the basic construction principles, you don’t need the pattern anymore — so it feels like it’s coming directly out of your brain, which is super cool. Pat is unconvinced about the asymmetry, though; he keeps saying things like, “wait, is it just going to be like that? you’re just going to have a lopsided shawl?”

And what you are looking at here is a minor knitting emergency. I woke up on Friday morning and realized that I was meeting a baby in 8 days that I had not knit anything for yet, so I’m banging out this tiny cardigan as fast as I can. I needed something (a) in worsted-weight yarn, so I could finish it quickly, and (b) tried and true, so I decided to try the Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss, which I’ve never personally made before but which has over 3000 projects on Ravelry. The yarn is Tosh Vintage, which is superwash — important for babies! The colorway is “Crumble” and I loooove it. Wish me luck!

Eek, a Steek!

Here I am, bravely taking scissors to my knitting, cutting my first real steek. But even this is not really a “real” steek, since there was no colorwork involved and the point was actually to unravel the stitches on either side of the cut to make fringe rather than to prevent the stitches from unraveling in order to make, for example, a pullover into a cardigan. Kate Davies has actually just published a fantastic series of blog posts on steeks that should help demystify them and give you some practical tips if you are considering taking the plunge. One thing Kate emphasizes over and over again is that stitches really don’t want to unravel horizontally, and I definitely experienced that here, even with my slippery superwash yarn. I sort of expected that the knitting would just fall apart into fringe, but I had to very actively rip out the stitches row by row after cutting the steek.

And the scarf came out great! This is Alex Tinsley’s Bad Oyster scarf — the whole thing is knit in the round in a cone-shape, and then the steek is cut to open it up and make the fringe. It came out much better than I thought it would — which is to say, it fits my original vision, but while I was actually knitting this I had serious doubts about it. All I could see was the color pooling, which turns out to not be very noticeable from the distance that most people will ever be from my chest, and the awkward conical shape, which was hard to visualize as a functional scarf. It definitely has serious stockinette-rolling issues, but that seems to be an intentional part of the design.

This used nearly all of a skein of Malabrigo Sock in the Persia colorway. I blocked it just by soaking it & lying it flat — the only place I used a pin was on the very tip, to try to discourage it from rolling up. The blocking did unkink the fringe, as promised.

Next time on Doublepointed: newly-spun yarn! Asymmetrical stripes! Possible sweater tragedy! Stay tuned.