I know I've said it before, but there are some projects that I think I enjoy photographing even more than knitting (we're splitting hairs here, but there it is). This scarf is surely one of them - and this post is so photo heavy, I doubt the text will be able to hold its own.
Pattern: Generic 1x1 Ribbed Striped Scarf (See details below)Materials: Noro Silk Garden; 45 silk | 45 kid mohair | 10 lambswoolAmount: 4 balls in total in Shades 201 (2 balls), 234, and 86; Approx. 440yds/200gNeedles: US 7/4.5 mm KnitPicks OptionsDimensions: Approximately 5.5 inches in width and just over 6 feet in length, unblockedStart Date: 6 April 2007Finish Date: 25 April 2007
Manually striping Noro is a classic trick done by many a knitter before me - just check out all the beauties over on Flickr. I admit to spending a good amount of time appreciating all the interesting variations on the same theme for quite some time before taking the plunge myself. For full disclosure, this one sent me over the edge.
I've gotten a lot of e-mails about this scarf so I thought I'd throw out all the details - if it's too much for you, feel free to gloss over this section and rest your eyes on the hypnotic color changes. Noro is good like that.
The scarf is worked over an odd number of stitches in 1x1 ribbing which, in my opinion has two big benefits: the scarf is reversible and behaves very well (no curling) while also plumping up into a thick fabric that will look suspiciously like stockinette if you leave it unblocked. I cast on 39 stitches using US7/4.5mm needles to get a width of about 5.5 inches. On scarves of this nature I prefer to work a slipped stitch edging which adds a nice, polished touch and perfectly hides the working yarn as you carry it up the sides whilst striping to your heart's content. I worked two-row stripes using two different colorways of Silk Garden, slipping (purlwise) the first and last stitch on the second row of every stripe.
Colorways: I can appreciate all the amazing colors that Noro hits out of the ballpark, but in general wouldn't wear most of them. They're pretty bold. Lucky for me, Noro makes a few colorways that are toned down a bit but retain their luscious, tasteful, saturated quality that the knitter in me is drawn to. Not to mention the texture, which will slay me every time.
I used a total of 4 balls of Silk Garden (which will land this scarf in the $40-45 price range if you buy full price retail. A bit pricey for a scarf but ... so ... beautiful... ) in three different shades.
Two of the four balls of yarn I used were shade #201 which is a nice mix of deep blue-blacks, marine blues, silvery greys with a little purple shock thrown in to keep things interesting. See them pre-knitting here. I striped 201 throughout the entire length of the scarf with Silk Garden #234 and #86, two colorways that to me are rather similar. Main colors in both are understated and elegant crimsons, golds and blues, with lots of cool and warm grey tones in between. In their current configuration you can scarcely tell that they're from two different color families. Pre-knitted cakes of 234 here and 86 here.
I'm not sure there's much else to say about the knitting - it feels a little like cheating working such an easy, mindless process and ending up with such a stunning result. The benefits of a quality fiber (and dye job) have never been more apparent.
With spring upon us and summer approaching, I'll take what few opportunities I can to throw this thing on, but for the next couple of months I'm happy to call it wall-art in my apartment.
Happy Monday, one and all.