Saturday, January 3, 2009

Knitting Gets Harcore.

Way back in August 2008 I started a Lace Ribbon Scarf designed by Veronik Avery. (Here's a link to my Ravely Project Page, for those Rav Members amongst us, though most of the project info is in this blog post.) I was using some effing DELICIOUS yarn--Dream In Color Smooshy in the Cocoa Kiss colorway. I was also delighted to use Brittany needles in size US3. Not only are these needles sustainably harvested and packaged in the most environmentally-friendly way possible, they're just plain pretty.

When I started this pattern I was committed to using only one skein of yarn. I originally cast-on 44 stitches for a scarf with four "ribbons" (the pattern calls for 53 sts to create a scarf w/five "ribbons"). While knitting, I noticed that the yarn tended to stain the lovely birch needles.

It was more of an observation than anything, I mean, knit happens, right? =oP The picture above shows a stained needle next to a brand-new one, to illustrate the extent of the color transfer from the yarn. This was after knitting about 4' of scarf, at which point I realised that the remaining yarn from this skein would only allow a scarf of approximately 5.5' in length. I really wanted a longer, narrower scarf, though, so I frogged the entire creation and started over, this time casting on 35 sts for a scarf with 3 "ribbons".

Sometime during the knitting of the newer, narrower scarf, one of my pretty Brittany needles snapped. :o(

Now, this pic shows a needle that is snapped in two places, and I'll tell you about the 2nd snap in just a moment. The first break happened near the end with the lovely finial, and was actually the result of the needle snagging on a friend's couch as I picked up my knitting bag. A broken needle didn't stop me, though; I called the good folks at Brittany and told of my mishap and they sent a replacement needle post-haste, tout-de-suite, and free gratis [sic].

(As a quasi-aside: the pic above also shows a brass safety pin in my knitting. I used this to keep track of which row I was on in the lace ribbon pattern. As the pattern repeats over 23 sts, I'd place the safety pin in the stitches on the first row and count from there when I needed to check my progress in the pattern.)

In the meantime, I wrapped a rubber band around the broken end in order to stop my work from sliding off the broken end, and I kept on knitting! This was my first lace work and the pattern was so easy to memorize, quick to knit, and yeilded such lovely results, that it was all I worked on from the time I cast on those original 44 stitches.

Unfortunately, while waiting for the replacement needle that Brittany had been so good to send, I sat on my knitting (there may or may not have been beer involved on the night in question. My Log may or may not have seen something that night)! Ergo, two breaks in one needle. Fortunately, however, the replacement arrived the very next day, so I was able to transfer my work to it and keep on knitting.

The scarf is now finished and has been for quite some time. Its unblocked measurements are approx. 5.5"x82". It needs to be blocked to square it out, though, and I've had a hard time locating a spot in this house with wood flooring which would be suitable for pinning down such a scarf. Also, Dream in Color has a tendency to bloom a fair bit, so I expect it to gain some size once it's been washed and soaked (mmmmmm, kookaburra!!!).

More photos of this to come, but in the meantime, I think this last photo give a fair representation of the pattern and general look of the scarf.

No comments: