You are currently browsing the Scarves category
It is a good feeling when after a lousy week of not feeling well and feeling like you’re never going to get anything done, you have two finished objects. The first is a paper on the 1857 Indian Mutiny/Rebellion that I’ve been working on for over a year now; I finally have it in some shape to send to a writing workshop I’m part of. Next week my fellow workshoppers will
gleefully tear it apart give me some precious feedback, and then I can hopefully send it off to a journal.
I have something else to exult over, my fresh-off-the-dpns Spiral Scarf from Knitting Nature. A much prettier sight than my paper, something I didn’t have to agonize over at all, and which has way more instant gratification! Too bad I can’t include it in my tenure file.
The multicoloured yarn is Koigu, and the darker blue is Claudia Handpainted; I’m still amazed at how beautifully these two blended together in this pattern. I decided to pair them on a whim, and I’m glad I did. This pattern is great for handpainted and variegated yarns, which mimic it, spiralling towards the centre. I can’t stop looking at it!
Yarn used: About 160-65 yards each of Koigu and Claudia, just under a skein.
Gauge: 7 spi over 1×1 ribbing for the Koigu, and 7.5 spi for the Claudia.
Needles: size 5 circulars and dpns. I deliberately chose larger needles for the fingering yarns to make a drapier scarf, because some samples I saw of the scarf in my LYS and the first hexagon I made with both yarns held together made the hexagon rather like a discus waiting to be flung, than a soft scarf.
Modifications: Obviously, the two alternating colours. I also made the third hexagon in the pattern my first. Then I made 5 smaller hexagons on each side of this central hexagon, rather than just in one direction. Tecnically, this goes against the spiral logic of the scarf, but I didn’t want too tiny hexagons, and this made for a much more wearable overall size.
Here it is, all stacked up, like blueberry pancackes, just in time for spring. It’s the perfect weight for this weather we’ve been having where it’s too warm for a real jacket, but still quite chilly in the shade and in the evenings. I tried taking a decent picture of me wearing it, but this is the best I could do. Sorry it’s so blurry, but it gives you a sense of how the scarf looks actually worn.
Btw, thanks to all of you who sympathized with my Jaywalker and Odessa misery! I’ll have you all know I didn’t twist a single one of these hexagon cast-ons!
This is going to be the first of a lot of projects from this book…
I knit the two blues singly
On size 5s, really loosely
As I knit round and round
To my amazement I found
I was in a whirlpool, sinking slowly..
I’m sure anybody who’s knitted or crocheted on the subway or bus or plane has had all kinds of reactions from indulgent, smiling grannies and puzzled and wary businessmen. No doubt people have gently suggested that nowadays store-bought socks are cheaper. Surely someone has, as if they were the only ones to have thought of such a hilarious idea, asked you to knit something for them, gallantly offering to actually wear it. I usually smile and nod and move on. I don’t feel the need to assert some kind of "knitter" identity or give much thought to the "hipness" or historic heritage or spirituality of knitting (and this whole "represent" thing in NYC for the Harlot’s new book has left me a bit puzzled, honestly); it’s just something I like to do (okay I admit that’s an understatement) along with music and reading and travelling. But yesterday a bizarre bus encounter made me wonder about the wisdom of knitting in confined spaced with strangers. The conversation went like this:
She (a young woman in a business suit with a booming voice, sitting about five seats away, facing me): Excuse me. Excuse ME. EXCUSE ME!!!.
I (looking up after the third time, realizing it’s me she’s talking to): Yes?
She: Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s very PRETTY! (Sorry, the capitals are the only way I can give any sense of how piercing her voice was) What is it?
I: Thank you. I’m knitting a sock.
She: Well, isn’t that nice. I wish I could do that.
I: (folks will recognize the standard response): Oh it’s much easier than it looks, you should try it.
She: Well, it might be easy, but you aren’t going to make any MONEY from it, now are you?
I: (a little surprised, also embarrassed at the attention all this is getting in the bus): No, no, just for fun.
She: I suppose I could take a class. I had circular needles once, but I couldn’t cast on. I couldn’t CAST ON! You hear me?
I: Sure. Sure. Lots of yarn stores have classes.
She: Why can’t I do something fashionable? So many women from my class in school made so much money with fashionable stuff, and here I am, I can’t even cast on. Tell me, what should I do? Should I knit some socks?
I: Er, I’m getting off, it’s my stop.
She: But you won’t make any money, let me tell you….
I didn’t hear the rest. I wish I could say that her companion sitting next to her had dared her to put up this strange act in the bus: "Hey, ten bucks if you can startle that weirdo sitting there with all those needles," that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was the case. My Jaywalkers seemed to set off something in her.
Spring break has brought with it a serious case of startitis. I recently bought a copy of Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, and I think I’m going to start at least five projects from this wonderful book this week. (only partly kidding). I started the Spiral Scarf:
One skein Koigu in blues-greens-purples, another Claudia Handpainted in deep blues that I recently bought. The pattern calls for approx 400 yards, and I have about 350, which means a smaller scarf, but that’s okay. The pattern is somewhat oddly worded. It asks you to cast on using a "tail method" so that the tail can be used for casting on and picking up stitches for later hexagons. I’m not sure if this means you have to do a long-tail cast on for the first one, or how long the tail really needs to be, but I went ahead and started the first hexagon with a knitted cast on and left a long tail. Could anyone with a copy of the book please take a look and clarify that bit for me?
The problem is, the fabric is rather stiff. I might knit smaller hexagons of equal size on a looser gauge than spiralling down. Perhaps that will make it drapier and solve the length issue too? Let’s see. But what do you think of the way the colours are showing up? I’m still undecided, will knit some more and see.
Incidentally, I didn’t care much for the Namesake. The novel’s beauty lies in its spare and yet minute descriptions of everyday life and emotion, and I felt Mira Nair could have taken more liberties with it to better develop the characters on screen. It becomes
another occasion to showcase various rituals (in Monsoon Wedding it
was, well, wedding), here it is two weddings, an annaprashan (first
feeding ceremony) and a funeral. More colour and ceremony than characters, although I really liked the way she developed
Irrfan Khan and Tabu’s relationship; the bits in the Victoria Memorial
park and at the airport where they say goodbye were very well done. I like and admire both actors very much (Both of them were in Maqbool, a very interesting Hindi/Urdu adaptation of Macbeth, a film I recommend highly; Tabu also did a brilliant job in Chandni Bar.) and I
was curious to see them play very different roles from their earlier
collaboration. They both do a competent job, and I would see it again
just to see Irrfan Khan, who gets hotter and hotter with each screen
appearance, even though he looks scruffier and scruffier. He does so
much with just his eyes and body language; he’s wonderful. Kal Penn as the son is okay; he’s much better as a stoned guy than as an anguished and confused son.
I have the perfect solution: make the first one so problematic, and yet so lovely when done, that the second one seems like a total breeze in comparison and you cannot wait to have the pair done to wear. I am aware, that like with many other solutions, your mileage may vary with this one. But look:
I started the second Koigu sock yesterday, and hopefully this one will be much less painful to execute than the first one.
(The tibetan Buddha statue on which it rests is presumably not too happy, but it was handy. )
In the interests of my own sanity, however, I decided to add some colour to the grey knitting and start a new project. Voila mon clapotis (or should it be ma clapotis?):
The subtle shades in this handpainted yarn are gorgeous. Thanks to Laura, colour expert extraordinaire, for coming up with this gorgeous yarn.
So my Clapotis is in laceweight, on size 5s, following Alianneknits. Also, I am doing the stitches to be dropped in purl. Easier to spot, easier to keep to a rhythm. I like the soft drape, and am still trying to figure out how many increases to do, to give it a good width.