Sunday, 23 January 2011

FO's and a Grand Day Out

Over the past week I seem to have hit a bit of a hiatus where making things is concerned. This wasn't helped by my contracting a really revolting head cold, which doesn't show any signs of going away and has turned my brain to mush. So I decided to make something straightforward and mindless, that I could knit without thinking too much.

I finished knitting a green version of Woolly Wormhead's Limpetiole beret a couple of weeks ago and wanted to make a scarf to go with it. I looked through Ravelry and my own books and magazines and could not find anything that I liked so I decided to improvise my own pattern. The scarf incorporates half a skein of Manos del Uruguay, left over from knitting the hat, with some scraps of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and some Mirasol Tupa. I am not going to pretend that this scarf is a completely original idea. There are lots of ready made scarves in the shops, and a few patterns where the scarf is made lengthwise but most of them use linen or herringbone stitch. I decided to make mine entirely in garter stitch.

If you are interested in making your own version this is what I did -

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend - 80 grams (Shade 7325)
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino - 60 grams (Shade 340016)
Mirasol Tupa - 50 grams (Shade 817)
5mm circular needle (at least 120 cm long - 47 inches long)

Finished dimensions - 6 inches (15 cm) wide and 65 inches (165 cms) long, excluding the fringe

Making the scarf
Cast on 260 stitches using a long tailed or similar stretchy cast-on. Working in garter stitch knit the following sequence -

Cashmerino - 4 rows
Manos del Uruguay - 4 rows
Tupa - 4 rows

I repeated the above sequence 5 times and then ended with 4 rows of Cashmerino. I deliberately left 8 inch tails, rather than darning them in, when joining in and breaking off yarn which were later incorporated into the fringe. I cast off with the 5mm needles but very loosely.

To make the fringe I cut 16 inch lengths of yarn in all three colours. I put one strand of each colour together and folded them in half. Then, using a crochet hook, I pulled the loop through the edge of the scarf where two colours join and pulled the strands through the loop to make a half-hitch knot. I repeated this on both ends of the scarf. I then trimmed the ends level and it was ready to wear. I did not need to block it.

You can experiment with different colour combinations and numbers of rows, using whatever scraps of yarn you have to hand. One side of my scarf is striped and the other has a more blended effect. I really love the effect of the two next to each other when the scarf is wrapped around my neck. Of course you can also make it shorter or longer, and vary the width. Whatever yarn you choose I would recommend using a needles one or two sizes larger than normally recommended for the yarn to give it a nice drape. My finished scarf is soft and squishy and very warm. I love it!

I wore it on Saturday when we went to Salisbury. It was bitterly cold and I was glad of my new scarf and the Limpetiole hat too. We had a really good day, despite my cold and the fact that my leg was rather painful by the time we got on the bus to come home. We went to one of our favourite places in Salisbury, Fisherton Mill. They sell beautiful items created by local craftspeople and the upper level includes workshops occupied by a jeweller, a milliner and a weaver plus an art gallery. They also have a great cafe which sells wonderful home cooked food. We both had a bowl of their lovely carrot, coriander and lentil soup served with freshly baked bread. Just what we needed on such a raw day. Afterwards we paid a visit to Franklins in Fisherton Street where I bought some King Cole Baby Alpaca DK in a lovely shade of green, called Lichen, to make some gloves.

My final port of call was Bijoux Beads on the edge of the Market Square where I bought some beautiful beads and some thread - more of that in my next post.

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