Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Desperation is the mother of invention - my continuing love affair with garter stitch scarves

So what's a knitter do when she has 8 days to create three special gifts which should be the same but different?

Firstly she drops by the Boodle Boutique to see what's in stock. Ah, 4 x 100g balls of that gorgeous hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn from Boorowool, each in a different colourway. 3 of the colourways match the recipients' tastes. Score!

100g should be enough for a simple skinny scarf accessory that showcases the colours and texture of the yarn, but a garter stitch scarf looks far too amateurish to give to women who have watched (and disapproved) of my knitting in meetings for 4 years. Even they know how basic a garter stitch scarf is, even in gorgeous wool. But garter stitch on the bias? That looks impressive and is just as easy to knit and most importantly, looks as good on either side.

So off I went on 6.5mm needles to give the scarf good drape and open the fabric up to showcase the yarn, increasing until it looked wide enough to be elegant without being skimpy (21 stitches or about 9cm). Within minutes I was bored witless and started throwing in a rows of yarn overs just to keep myself awake interested. The first scarf, now relegated to the bottom of my scarf drawer, was OK as a test piece, but the yarn over rows were unevenly placed and the edges a bit wonky. I knitted until it was long enough to sit around the neck hanging to just above waist level (114cm) . Astonishingly the scarf took 47g - a little less than half my ball. Whacko!

This is the colourway I called "Blue Gum" - teals, olives and browns.

Immediately I cast on again in the same colourway and made a much more acceptable scarf with even edges and well spaced rows of yarn overs for interest.

The third scarf was even better. I was getting the hang of working with the uneven yarn and the colours were absorbing.

This colourway I call Gum Blossom. Those crimson pinks, bluey grey greens and olives are divine!

And finally the best knitted scarf in a colourway I call "Roosters" because it's red, blue and white. I liked this colourway least in the ball, but knitted it has an amazing chocolate which I'd never have thought to put with blue and red - it gives it great depth.

The toffee apple colourway I'm saving for something else but the remains of Roosters and Gum Blossom will probably become YO! scarves. My recipe for the scarf is here.


kms said...

very pretty, very clever. very quick too. i was at boorowool last month and she had no local wool supplies, only FOs. most disappointed. esp now i see these yummys.

Jorgo said...

I have a mate who knitted himself a jumper at 50! He loved the experience - I see why.
Very interesting read, Ta.

Olivia said...

What a lovely way to highlight gorgeous wool. I'm sure these will be appreciated.

TinkingBell said...

So pretty - thanks for the pattern Taph - speaking of patterns - I received a large parcel yeaterday full of patterns - thank you so much - even if it does add to this weeks 'Ins' list!!!

Marg B said...

The pattern really showcases the lovely wool. Your recipients are very lucky!

Michelle said...

These are just gorgeous - bet the recipients will love them!

Jejune said...

What a brilliant pattern - all 3 scarves look stunning!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Part of me is saying that these disaproving women don't deserve these scarves....but bridges must be built and an elegant scarf is a good way to start.