Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Which TricotChico Knits a Noro Striped Scarf

This blog has been a long time coming, and I'm really excited to finally be able to post it! The knitting has been finished for quite some time, but since this project is all about color, I wanted to be sure that I was able to get photos that effectively conveyed what it is that I got so excited about. Many thanks to Lee for offering to shoot this scarf for me when my basic digicam wasn't equal to the task at hand. Thankfully, we were both at Sarah's "stuporbowl" party (it was more about the beer and commercials than the game!) and took the opportunity to get some yarnography in. I'm really fortunate to have such awesome people in my life! [BTW-Sarah makes some AWESOME vegetarian chili! If you ever receive an invite to share it, I say you clear your schedule and get there early!]

The subject matter is a project that it seems like everyone and their mom has knit (the Noro Striped Scarf), but my resistance to Noro's self-striping colorways precluded me from engaging in this sort of thing for quite a while. Many of the more vibrant colorways (of Kureyon, especially) tend to come across to me as clown barf; too many bright colors all at the same time! However, though many of the color combinations were unappealing to me, some of the colors individually are/were quite lovely and they chanted my name oh-so-seductively whenever I was near a display of Kureyon at one of PDX's many LYS's. Ultimately, I found several colorways that were rich, subdued, enticing, and maddeningly desirable. You know how it goes: you see yarn and you must. have. it. You can't stop thinking about it until you take it home or find that project that will show it off most wonderfully--or both. And so it was with me and this scarf. Truly, I found four or five colorways that spoke to me, but these two (Noro Kureyon 185 [purples, greens, oranges, yellows] and 195 [blues, greys, olive, ochre, black]) really complimented each-other well.

I was really charmed by each colorway for similar reasons: the colors individually were amazing and together they were breathtaking. I was excited to see how they'd play together, and play they did!!! I knit this during the Snowpocalypse of 2008 and the color changes and combinations really kept me from going mad when PDX was, effectively, shut down by more than a foot of snow. It was amazing to see the rich cobalt blue of the darker colorway knit up next to the ripe papaya of the more vibrant one, and then there were combinations like lilac vs. olive drab, purple iris vs. mahogany, saffron vs. navy, mandarin orange vs. candied date, and goldenrod vs. dryer lint--even the most unlikely 'color' hit its stride when partnered with the right hue! I now understand what Jared Flood (a.k.a. BrooklynTweed) meant when he said this project seems almost like cheating, but then I remember the sage advice of my friend Karin: "Sometimes a B+ effort is good enough!"

Again, pretty much everyone and their mom has knit this scarf, but here is how I made mine: I used a tubular cast-on to cast on 36 stitches, then slipped the first stitch of every row knitwise, *k1, p1* to the last stitch, purl the last stitch. The resulting slipped-stitch edge is lovely, hides the yarn that you carry up the side for easy color-changes, and doesn't have any of the problems of created a bowed scarf that I've heard others mention when they slip the first and last stitch of every other row. I knit like mad until I had used all four balls of yarn (and a couple of yards of green from Kureyon colorway 172 left over from another project), then finished it up with a tubular bind-off.

After a couple of gentle washes (to encourage softening of the yarn) and a good soak in Kookaburra wool wash (to encourage huffing of the yarn), this scarf is hands-down putting all my grey scarves out of business!

Thanks again to Lee and Sarah for lending the skills and space (respectively) that made this post happen.


Yarndude said...

This is definitely my favorite Noro Striped Scarf I've seen. Great job!

Chuckleheads said...

LOVE this scarf. Not being well versed in the knitting lingo I'll just leave it at that other than to say it looks smashing around your neck, H.

elif said...

i'm very fond of this scarf and the man wearing it. nice unlabeled-beer-drinking shot - very classy.

cashmere_scarf_and_gloves said...

I am loving the knitted scarf but I am more inclined to wear cashmere scarf and gloves. They're more fashionable and elegant looking. But hey, both can be fabulous!