Sunday, October 11, 2009

32,000 & Then Some

Some of my favorite crafty moments are when I get to use a technique in a way other than the way it's typically used. This one isn't really earth-shattering--it will, decidedly, not rock the knitting world--but it was enjoyable, shows the benefits of the techniques used, and it's probably not the way projects like these are typically executed.

Pattern: Gryffindor House Scarf by Lauren Kent (also published in Charmed Knits, edited by Alison Hansel)
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Red (color #2413) and Gold (color #7827)
Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars in size US7

It's true, I already have such a scarf--it was my first "real" knitting project, and it does its duty by being easily recognisable as a Gryffindor House Scarf, but I just needed a new one. See, when I knit that first scarf, I wasn't used to wearing scarves, so I didn't yet realise what makes a good, wearable, comfortable scarf. My first one is a cotton/angora blend, chosen mostly because it was the only yarn the shop had that came in both the colors I needed. After wearing the cotton scarf for a couple of seasons, I've come to realise that cotton is heavy (relatively speaking) & not very warm (yay wool!), ergo I obviously needed the same scarf, but in a wooly variety!

I like the wide-striped version because I think of it as the 'original' version. Truly, it is; even before the movies, etc, this is the style used in the art for the books and other fan paraphernalia. Nerdy, I know, but what can you do? Knit a new wool scarf, that's what! Conveniently enough, I needed a project to work on while I watched Lost (which I had never watched before and decided to view from the very beginning this summer), and few things are more perfect for something like this than stockinette in the round. I mean, really, isn't that the definition of "mindless knitting"?

a close-up view of the Magick Cast-On edge

The 'unconventional parts of this project are really only the beginning and end. I used Judy's Magick Cast-On for the beginning, and then grafted the end closed. It might seem superfluous to make such an effort for the beginning and end of a scarf that will have tassels on it (yet to be added), but sometimes 'can' most definitely means 'should'! Besides that, it really was good practice for these techniques, and gives me an opportunity to show how great they are at doing what they are meant to do, which is to make a seam all but disappear. You can see in the pictures that my grafting technique (at the time) could use a wee bit of practice, but this will likely resolve itself with a nice, gentle wash anyway.

a view of the Cast-On edge (r) and the grafted "finished" end (l)

I had every intention of making this according to pattern other than not using long-tail cast-on and the usual bind-off method (I'm sure you can appreciate how difficult that was for me), but decided to knit 21 stripes, rather than the recommended 19. The curious, and slightly bored, part of my brain that wonders about such things decided to calculate how many stitches this would represent, and the answer was 32,340 (=70 sts x 22 rounds of each color per stripe x 21 stripes). Ultimately, though, I decided I wanted an even longer scarf, and didn't stop knitting until I had completed 23 stripes. Oops.

Until next time, friends, remember: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

busted! my fancy fake light-box setup is really
a chair next to the kitchen window!


Yarndude said...

Wow, just tonight I was planning one of my next projects - a Ravenclaw scarf out of cascade 220 for my brother. Great minds think alike... and I love the way your ends look. I'll have to copy you. :)

Chuckleheads said...

It looks great, Homero. I've actually got a hankering to learn to knit! I know. weird. I've just seen so many cute scarves and hats and shawls and leg makes me want to be talented like you!

Emily said...

I am impressed and incredulous that you knit a SECOND Gryffindor scarf. God, I hate scarf knitting. But I love scarves! And Harry Potter! Very nice tubular ends there, as well.