Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sampling a Sampler Scarf

My mom bought me some vintage knitting books and in one of them was this fabulous sweater made out of a patchwork of various stitches. I love the look, but I haven't found time recently to make a sweater. The concept danced in the back of my ahead until I saw at Macy's a scarf made the same way. It was beautiful and retailed at $45. The concept danced its way into the front of my brain.
I had this gorgeous alpaca silk blend that had been calling to me for some time. I was contemplating making gloves from it, but after reading The Knitter's Book of Yarn, I learned that neither alpaca nor silk has much elasticity so together they are not the best choice choice for gloves. For that, you'ld need to add a little Merino or other fiber with more give.
Suddenly, I had this idea and the perfect yarn for it. Isn't it great when things work out like that?
I started with a moss stitch, switched to garter and then moved on to a heart shaped lace. Next up were some cabling stitches and then moss stitch...I'm still working on the rest. Some of the stitches go more quickly than others.
Here is what I've learned, if you're interested in trying this.
The hardest part is matching the repeats to the number of stitches I have on the needles. I chose 42 - three stitches for the borders on either side, which leaves 36 to play with. Depending on the pattern, I make the border wider or set up a few lines of stockingnet in the middle between repeats.
The article points out that cables tend to pull the yarn in, so it's a good idea to add a few stitches for that part of the scarf. I didn't and wish I had. It may all work out in the blocking. The author suggests adding a stitch or two right before the cable so it's sort of hidden. You have to remember to decrease by the same amount at the end of the cable section.
You could go all out with the planning and pick stitches that reflect one another or blend together. This is a great project for trying out different stitches. You can deliniate between one area and another by tossing in a row of garter stitch, or not, as you feel like it.
At the end of the day, or weeks as it is turning into, I will have a one-of-a-kind scarf that will be worth much, much more than $45.
This is the project I had started when I wrote about the call to cast on for other projects. I decided to try that discipline thing Loribird mentioned. It helped that the weather changed. The project I wanted to cast on for was a hat and since it got warmer I felt less urgency about it. I dug down deep to rediscover the excitement I felt about the scarf when I first cast on for it.


Allison said...

I can't wait to see the whole thing. You'll have to tell me how that discipline thing works out - I just cast on for another shawl AND another hat . . .

Lisa L said...

Don't you just love it when an experiment works out beautifully??!

ninou77 said...

What a beautiful scarf! Well done!