Saturday, September 8, 2007

Multi-directional Diagonal Scarf

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf

pattern by Karen Baumer; find it here
yarn: Noro Kureyon, color #188
100% wool
amount: 3 skeins (108 yds., 50 gr. each)
finished measurements: apx. 6" x 72"
needles: size 5mm (US 8) *

This is hardly my first completed knit project but in some ways it sure feels like it, although I'm not sure why. It feels like a major accomplishment and a huge monkey off my back. The pattern involved a new technique (short rows) -- that part I enjoyed -- but I got sick to death of it before I got done and it's a gift so I felt like I had to finish it. I've decided I don't care for the pattern that much although maybe it's just the yarn choice; I think if worked in something that has texture/variegation but isn't self-striping it might appeal to me more. I also got tired of the colorway, which is odd because I like purples and greens. Maybe getting tired of something is normal for knitting. I did love doing short rows and I'm pleased with the overall result. It feels, to me, warm and snugly, and I like the drape. I sure hope my friend likes it because come the holidays, it's going to be hers!

A couple of notes: Although I've heard that short row knitting can leave holes where the rows join, I didn't have that problem. All I can figure is that I picked the right technique for joining (the pattern gives a choice of two; I chose to SKP). Also, I really like the way the selvages formed -- a nice flat edge with a neat look to it that goes well with the pattern and the yarn. I used the alternate ending mentioned at the bottom of the pattern so both ends would look alike.

This is also the first time I've blocked something
so I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I wouldn't normally bother with a scarf, and the baby blankets I've done didn't need it. On this scarf, my stitches at one end were slightly tighter than the other end so I wanted to see if I could even out the width. It's a gift, after all, and I want it to look really nice. I was afraid of somehow damaging the scarf so I barely dampened it, carefully and gently squeezed it, and took to my blocking pad (a camping pad with a beach towel on top). I started pinning and smoothing the fabric from the center out across the width (it didn't take me long to realize I didn't want to pull on the edges), then let it dry. The entire scarf is the same width. For now.

*for the same look, others might want to go up a needle size or two -- I knit loosely and always go down a couple of sizes from any pattern recommendation. Initially I did try this with a larger size needle and the more open look was nice but I decided I wanted the look of a tighter weave for this fabric/pattern/yarn/friend.


Laura said...

Beautiful scarf! Do not be afraid of blocking--it won't hurt! Blocking is a wonderful thing. I block everything that I knit, even baby blankets and scarves (not that I make very many scarves).

Carol Ann said...

Laura, I rely on more experienced knitters like you for help and advice, so thank you for visiting and for the compliment and encouragement! (And your kitten is adorable, but don't tell mine I said so :) )

Nora said...

I agree with Laura - blocking is a miracle!! :)

[Thank you for your kind words regarding Sheeba. We miss her very much and still can't believe she's gone.]

sgeddes said...

The scarf and the photos of it are lovely. It seems I've been knitting short rows alot recently too. It is a really neat technique. I just need to pick up my wraps a little better.

Thanks for the ID on the banana flowers on my blog too!

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Carol Ann said...

Thanks so much, Ruth! I'm glad to hear you enjoy what I've written. I'll be posting more soon -- I'm still catching up from Christmas gifts that I didn't want to post until after the gifts were received! Happy knitting...