Wednesday, December 12, 2007

scarf love

Lace Leaf Scarf

pattern: Lace leaf scarf #35, Vogue Knitting magazine, Spring/Summer 2005
yarn: Noro Cash Iroha
color: natural
amount: most of 4 skeins, somewhat less than 396 yds.
needles: US 4/3.5 mm*
finished measurements: 7x76"

I made this scarf for a friend. I wanted something that complemented her personality and life; this earthy, textured yarn and leaf pattern are good reflections of both. I couldn't be happier with it -- the pattern was fun and easy to knit. The yarn is perfect, nubby and thick and thin and very natural looking. The fabric is soft and supple with a wonderful drape. And I love the pattern, down to the leaf design and wavy edges.

I made a few small modifications to the pattern. First, I slipped the first stitch of each row (knitwise on the WS row and purlwise on the RS row) to make a smoother edge. Second, because I used a heavier yarn than was called for, I made the scarf narrower than written -- I used two columns of leaves instead of three. And I did twelve pattern repeats for each half, instead of the suggest ten. Ten probably would have been enough but until I blocked it I wasn't sure, and I wasn't going back at that point.

I had test-blocked it (see post here) so I knew the yarn would respond well. After a good dunk in cool water and gentle squeezing and blocking, it's very soft, and the pattern shows up well.

I used a Kitchener stitch (the tutorial I used is here) to join the two halves of the scarf. It was my first time putting two pieces together and I was nervous about it but I couldn't be happier. It made a smooth, seamless join that's almost invisible. It did require concentration while I was doing it but the stitch was quick and easy to learn and I loved doing it -- I was having so much fun I could have gone on for hours! The stitch is pure genius and pulled the two halves together perfectly.

The join, above, and below. Trying to trace the exact line almost makes me dizzy.

I'm in love. Scarf love.

*I knit loosely so my needle size is usually down one or two sizes from what others might use.