Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Kristin's scarf

This morning I gave Kristin the scarf I knitted her for Christmas. I really wanted to get it done before the holidays, and with just one 7" repeat remaining to knit last night, I knew I could meet my goal. Sewing in the ends took an eternity, but I was bound and determined to weave all of them in before going to bed. I could add a fringe in the morning if I could remember how to do it.

Now I know that adding fringe isn't that difficult, but the instructions I found online seemed awfully complicated. Fortunately Kristin's parking lot tutorial the day prior stuck with me. (It's a sign of my progress that she's giving me brief lessons in parking lots and garages these days instead of fixing my mistakes.) It took me a few tries to get the fringe the way I wanted it to look, but I like that any errors in doing this can be fixed painlessly.

Conventional wisdom says that there's more pleasure in giving gifts than receiving. I think I've understood that, but this December it's been more apparent to me. I like getting gifts--who doesn't?--but what I've been anticipating all month is giving my knitted scarves to the people for whom they were made.

It's appropriate that Kristin was the first to get one. I couldn't have asked for a better teacher, and her scarf is the sum total of what I've learned so far. What I ended up knitting wasn't what I intended to make. Since she left the decision of what to knit to me, I was planning on wrapping two different shades of blue worsted weight yarn like I did with green for my third scarf. I even used the same yarn, Fantasy from Dark Horse Yarns. After knitting the striped scarf, I changed my mind. I wanted to do it in blocks and add another shade of blue.

For starters I altered the striped scarf's pattern. I did the math and made a rough drawing to determine how I could get the desired 78" length and make the scarf symmetrical. Here's my solution:

-Cast on 14 stitches to US 11s to achieve a width of approximately 4.25"
-Knit 7" in the light blue (color 16 for this yarn). I knit 42 rows per repeat.
-Knit 7" in the medium blue of the three (color 15).
-Knit 7" in the darkest blue of the three (color 14).
-Knit 7" in light blue.
-Knit 7" in medium blue.
-Knit 8" in dark blue.
-Knit 7" in medium blue.
-Knit 7" in light blue.
-Knit 7" in dark blue.
-Knit 7" in medium blue.
-Knit 7" in light blue.
-Bind off.
-Add fringe in the same order, with light blue on both ends. I trimmed it to approximately 4".

The idea is to make the stripes and colors line up even when the scarf is wrapped around the wearer's neck.

I'm very pleased with the final result, and going by her reaction, Kristin is too. That makes me happy. Yes, it is absolutely true that it is better to give than receive.

Next...the twelve FOs of Christmas.


At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my gosh, mark...that looks amazing! it brings out the blue in kristin's eyes so well (i'm assuming you had that in mind when picking out the color) and i love the three color combo. the fringe totally makes the scarf, too! great job - i'm sure kristin is thrilled!!

At 8:22 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Thanks. The color must work because you're right in assuming that I picked it to go with her eyes.

I had color guidelines for the other scarves I made. Here the challenge was not knowing what color she would like. Blue, especially the lightest shade, seemed like a good match and a safe bet, and it looks to have worked beautifully.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

Very, very pretty.

Congrats on the FO, hope your family is excited about their gifts! I'm always nervous when giving knitted stuff to people.


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