Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The I've Been Everywhere Scarf

Striped Scarf

I wrote about this scarf in my guest post at Clover & Violet in the Season by Hand Series here. I explained that I "always carry some knitting" and it is my handwork when I am not able to sew.

Striped Scarf

I am actually a fairly new quilter, having started only 3.5 years ago, about a year before I started blogging. But I have knit since I was 5 years old - my Grandmother patiently taught me. Since then, I have almost always had some knitting on the go, and for a number of years before I started quilting, I knit as much as I now quilt. But right now, while I quilt so much, my knitting is generally simple and colourful projects like this one.

Striped Scarf

I carry my knitting with me almost all the time. Thinking about this scarf brings to mind that song "I've Been Everywhere" (click here to listen to the Johnny Cash version - yes it is country but it is very fun, worth a listen). This is a good thing, as this scarf is for my guy, and he is very much a country music guy.

This scarf has been all over my city - to appointments, waiting in line, waiting in the car, waiting for kids, watching television, out to eat, visiting friends, and such. It has been on four long car trips and three air trips - to Lethbridge, Canmore, Banff, Kanaskis, Terrace, London, and Gabriola Island. It has travelled by car, boat, airplane and on foot. It has been stuffed in purses, bags, knapsacks, and luggage. It has not been forgotten or left behind once.

Striped Scarf

It is knit with Noro Silk Garden yarn. I used 50 stitches and knit a k1 p1 rib on every row. As long as you use an even number of stitches, this rib will draw in and the scarf will look the same on the back and the front, which is not always the case with knitting. I worked two rows with one ball of yarn, then dropped the yarn, picked up the other one and worked two rows. Then I dropped the working yarn again and picked up the other and repeated until I ran out of one ball (it was smaller as it had been used for something else first). I did two rows of garter stitch (knit every stitch) at the beginning after casting on and at the end before casting off.

Striped Scarf

You can see the difference between the drawn in shape and the pulled apart shape. The ribbed nature of the scarf also makes it warmer because it is fairly thick.

The stripes come from the different colours of the two balls of yarn. As Noro yarn changes colours, the stripes also change colours in an unpredictable manner which makes a beautiful effect. The internet knitters have been knitting striped Noro scarves for years but the idea is not new. My Grandmother also made scarves like this, but out of other yarn.

Striped Scarf

I finished this scarf yesterday and then mended in the ends - the yarn got broken a few times with all that travelling around - and I washed it in soapy water and blocked it before taking pictures. After all that travel the scarf was grimy, but also washing your knits the first time and blocking them is an essential part of the finishing process - it sorts out the stitch tension issues, clears away any remaining dyes and other residue on the yarn and shapes the piece properly.

I am linking up my finished hand made project (you can also link some partially finished projects if they are big, Jennie set out the rules at the link) to the Season by Hand link party - go here to link up. There are excellent prizes to be won so if you have not yet linked up your summer hand work, now is the time - it is open until midnight at Jennie's house on August 9. 

And if you have not yet entered my giveaway, go here and please do so. I am enjoying all the fabric suggestions, and am still undecided.

It is beautiful here at the coast, I am sitting in my gazebo listening to the birds as I write this.