Posted by: jinniver | March 23, 2008

My 99 cent scarf

For such a simple project, I went through a ridiculous amount of angst to get it completed.

I also have a sense of satisfaction that’s all out of proportion to the complexity–or rather, lack thereof–of the project.

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Several weeks ago I’d wandered into the local Hobby Lobby.  They use a rather unfair practice of significantly lowering the atmospheric pressure of the corner where they keep their yarn–how else can they explain the fact that I get sucked back there no matter why I originally entered the store?  As always during these stops, I checked out the yarn for sale.  Since I wasn’t looking for a yarn for a specific project, I was open to single skeins and funky fabrics, mostly composite yarns.  During these stash building expeditions, I only look for skeins priced $1.99 or less.

On this particular trip, I hit the jackpot.  I’ve always been intrigued by ribbon yarn, and Hobby Lobby had the Yarn Bee Aurora brand on sale for 99 cents (normally over $8).  I fell in love with this yarn–the colors, the texture, the look of the sample swatch.  Inner magpie kept screaming, “Want! Want!” so I gave in, buying 2 skeins each of 6 different colors, even though I already had half a shopping cart full of yarn with no idea what I was going to do with any of it.

Then the yarn sat on the shelves for weeks…until I watched an episode of Knitty Gritty where the guest demonstrated a bias knit scarf, and I was inspired.  I decided to make that pattern, albeit in a skinnier version, for a long scarf to wear for a night out (since I don’t exactly need a scarf for warmth down here!).  So I cast on 10 stitches and started to work in pattern.  About 10 rows in, it was clear this scarf was turning out to be a lot wider than I wanted.  So I frogged the whole thing, cast on 8 stitches, and decided to knit in simple garter stitch.  Once again, the scarf was turning out just a bit too wide, but the big problem was that I saw yet another Knitty Gritty episode with a slightly different diagonal knitting technique.

Ribbit, ribbit.

I cast on 3 stitches this time, as per the pattern, and began knitting until I thought I had the width I wanted.  This time I was about 25 rows in to it when I realized that a) it was still too wide and b) I’d been getting my increase and decrease rows mixed up with the straight knit rows.

My craft room was beginning to sprout lily pads to make the frogs more at home.

So, I took stock of what I really wanted out of this project.  The yarn I was using had both shiny and matte sections, and was variegated with 3 different colors (Woodglow, in creamy yellow, olive green, and brown).  It simply didn’t need some intricate pattern to look good. 

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So I finally did the sensible thing–I cast on 7 stitches and just started knitting.  It was the perfect width I wanted, so the only trick was to get the right length.  I wanted it long enough to loop around my neck and hang past my waist (to avoid drawing attention to the fact that I’m short waisted).  But on size 15 needles, the scarf knit up very quickly–once I stopped moving 1 row forward and 10 rows back–and last night I finally got the length I wanted.  It took almost the entire skein, but at 99 cents, I didn’t mind.

Now I just have to buy an outfit to match…


Responses

  1. Congratulations, that turned out great! Sounds like you have a lot of patience, too!

  2. I love the scarf, jinniver. Great colors. I can relate to the feeling of toil, sweat, & tears for something that shouldn’t seem that hard. Unlike your scarf, though, I’ve spent way too much time on projects that really were just plain ol’ garter stitch.

    I’m not famliar with Knitty Gritty. Can’t wait to find out more about it.

    I’ve been asked to donate a knitted scarf for an auction in early June. The scarf they liked was one that will be too hot for June, so I came to this thread looking for a very lightweight yarn idea.

  3. Actually, Lara, my patience is pretty limited, but it’s gotten better thanks to kids. 🙂 I had enough patience to stick with it, but that doesn’t mean the needles and yarn didn’t take a few flights across the room!

    Nightowlknitter (love the name–that would be me too!), Knitty Gritty is on the DIY Network Mon-Fri and HGTV once a week. Unfortunately, the timing sucks–it’s on DIY at 5 am EST (so 4 am for me). I DVR the show to watch (and record to tape if I’m interested) later. It is a great show–I wish DIY and HGTV would show the crafters more love like they used to. Most of their crafting shows are being replaced with home improvement / decorating, and they’re all beginning to look alike.

    As for the scarf, I think this one would work well for a summer scarf. I was specifically trying for something that wouldn’t be warm so I could wear it year-round here in south Texas. Glad you liked it!


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