Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fast and fabulous

Does it ever happen to you that a project just gets stuck in your head? Last year I made a scarf for a well-deserving friend of mine. It was a beautiful lace scarf in an oh-so-soft light green yarn. I was happy to hear that she was thrilled with it. But, she lives in Wisconsin. It is cold there. Very cold. The scarf I made was pretty and it was probably warmish, but it wasn't a wrap- around-your-face-to-keep-out-the-north-wind sort of warm. And thus I had one of those projects that lives in your head nagging to be completed. It took almost a full year. My plan for the original scarf was to have it done for Valentine's Day of last year. That proved impossible since I picked a way-complicated pattern. Somehow, it seemed appropriate then to shoot for this Valentine's Day. I found a gorgeous well endowed Laines du Nord yarn - big yarn makes for quick knitting on 10.5 needles. I made it in mistake rib on 31 stitches. After it was finished, at both ends, I picked up the stitches using some stashed navy blue yarn and knit a modified ruffle - instead of knitting f&B of every stitch, I knit f&b of ever fourth stitch.

Once the scarf was done, I realized I still had a whole lot of yarn - there was 350 yards on the skein. So, a matching hat was in order. Inspired by one recently made by the Yarn Harlot for her daughter. She was inspired by this hat - which now that I look at is what I had in my head when I knit mine. I knit a band in garter stitch, slipping the first stitch of every row, until it wrapped around my head. I tapered off the end and sewed it together with the ends overlapping. Next, I picked up stitches along one row through the back loop (to leave a ridge). On the first row I added a few stitches since the gauge of the two yarns didn't match perfectly. I wasn't sure at first that I would get it done on time to send with the scarf for Vday. But again, big yarn = wicked fast knit. I had the band done during one Scrubs episode and half of the top during the news. I finished all but the decreases during a phone meeting (really, I concentrate better when I knit!) The best part is that I'm confident it will fit. This is a great way to knit a hat if you don't want to bother with swatching.

It's interesting to note (at least to me) that I knit the scarf on 10.5s and it made for a great, light, fluffy fabric. I knit the hat on 9s, however. The fabric was a little more dense, but just right for a more structured object.

I mailed them off today even though I have enough yarn for half mitts. :) I need to move onto my other Valentine's Day project - socks for dh who is heading off to the Congo on Friday. He's going to write about some Harvard research there.


Holly Jo said...

Ooh! I love that hat. The striping with the solid band is just lovely.

Allison said...

I absolutely love that scarf - now I have to make one! Too funny on the hat - I just finished a robin egg hat! I'll be posting it soon.

Bonnie D. said...

Love the hat and scarf! I made a robin egg hat last year and loved it. It is, alas, still sitting in my sewing / knitting room as I couldn't figure out who to give it to.

Anonymous said...

Pretty colors!