b r o o k l y n t w e e d
12.05.2009
  The Story of The Honeycomb
One of the things I love about knitting is that each project has a story -- a history -- that sometimes only we as the Makers know, but regardless always serves as a secret source of pleasure each time we wear a handknit garment, or better, see a loved one wearing one. Mostly I'm reminded of the places I was at the time I was knitting, or the things that I was thinking about and exploring during that period. It's funny the things you remember based on the texture and fiber you had in your hands at the time.

So today I look at a small project that carries a random collection of memories from the last few years. Not such a long time in the grand scheme of things, but my life has changed so much during this period, that I feel particularly nostalgic and grateful looking back on it.

Honeycomb Scarf

I'll often remember where I was when I cast-on for a new project. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the whole genesis moment of something you hope will be a lifetime heirloom, or maybe it's just that heightened feeling of excitement when your hands, in anticipatory delight, finally get to test-drive a special new yarn. This memory usually serves as a channel marker for how long a project has been in-process. See, my knitting memory is very random -- it doesn't serve well for dates, durations or time periods but rather sensory and emotional outposts. In this case I know that this scarf has been hanging around for about three years, because I distinctly remember casting on in my old Brooklyn apartment on a Fall afternoon. Funny I thought then that I'd be done with it in time for winter, but projects tend to have their own plan.

Honeycomb Scarf

The pattern for this scarf is another story too -- which brings back other funny memories. It was a free pattern I found in a random knitter's flickr photostream during one of my many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about.

Well, as it turns out, the pattern was posted on flickr illegally and taken down shortly thereafter by the request of the original author who, despite lots of sleuthing, I have been unable to locate again. [ETA -- the pattern has been found! See the notes at the end of the post for details] At that point, however, I had the pattern in hand (your partially-knitted fabric is the best pattern you can get!) and did little to worry about the fact that it had up and disappeared.

Honeycomb Scarf

Fast forward to late summer 2009 when I stumbled across this half-knit gem at the bottom of one of my drawers, just in time for giddy Fall knitting -- an almost finished Yak scarf with cables in my favorite shade of grey? Perfection. And back into the light of day it came until its finish just weeks ago.

The yarn is a special one, too: a 50/50 Yak Merino blend with a smooth, 6-ply construction (perfect for popping cables) which I purchased at one of my favorite Manhattan locations, School Products. Because SP carries so many one-of-a-kind yarn imports from Italy, you never know what beautiful things you'll discover behind their doors, often finding yarns you'll never have the opportunity for again (which makes yardage planning more important than usual!)

Honeycomb Scarf

A good old fashioned cabled scarf is never out of fashion in my mind -- This one is great, super simple - but very elegant and, in the right yarn, a new scarf staple for the steadfast lover of Classics.

ETA: The pattern has been found! Thanks to those of you so speedily joined the hunt! The scarf was designed by Beth Walker O'Brien and is entitled the "Aran Cashmere Scarf" [Ravelry Link] The pattern can be found in the book Simple 1-2-3 Knitting

Honeycomb Scarf

It's my most favorite time of year for hunkering down at home surrounded by wool yarns and half-knit projects to quietly work and enjoy the start of Winter telling you to stay inside, enjoy what you have, and make beautiful things you feel proud of. Whether gift knitting or diligently keeping pace on long-term heirloom projects, I find the simple act of making stitches even more rewarding than usual this time of year. I hope you're enjoying yours as well.
 
Comments:

Such a stunning scarf! Beautiful work.

Gorgeous scarf -- and thanks for sharing its story. I find that it's one of the things that makes hand-knits so special.
...and I love the yarn.

Gorgeous - I love the honeycomb stitch pattern in the middle :)

I could weep, this is so beautiful. As I am one of those glazed-eye office workers, this scarf made my week.

I think this may be the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aran-cashmere-scarf. Great scarf!

What a mystery! I hope someone tracks down the pattern because I would like to make one.

Thank you for this wonderful post! You put into words what I have felt for some time about knitting projects as sort of personal time capsules. The scarf is gorgeous, too!

You always pick the perfect yarn for the perfect project. Beautiful! and I look forward to trying to make one myself! Thanks for sharing it.

Gorgeous! I loved meeting you in Santa Barbara, and have since cast on Girasole in Rowan denim. It'll be a baby blanket for my baby due in June. Or at least, that's the plan. Thanks so much for visiting our town, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having you here!

Sigh...beautiful...

I actually just saw this scarf on Rav the other day. I think poster Angela above may be right!

This is gorgeous! I think Angela has it right - Aran Cashmere Scarf by Beth Walker-O'Brien.

Simply gorgeous. I hope someone comes through with the origins.

thanks for the closeup pictures....I think I may have to make one of these (or something strikingly similar!) I don't have that exotic a yarn though....what a shame.

Cabled scarves are a favorite of mine. Yours is especially wonderful. Wear it well and enjoy!

This is such a beautiful scarf.

(And THANK YOU to the person who posted the ravelry pattern!!)

I think that Angela is correct, as well.

I recognized it before from Fabulous Scarves, which was one of the first knitting/pattern books I ever bought! :) I never finished the full scarf, but this was the pattern I used to learn how to cable a couple of years ago -- thanks for posting yours! :)

Perfection.

Yes, this is a beautiful scarf yet with a beatiful story as well! I'd definitely like to make one!

It's absolutely gorgeous! You are so talented!

It's beautiful, and does look like the aran cashmere scarf by Beth Walker O'Brien. Ravelry is a grand and wonderful resource. Thanks for the pictures and the inspiration!

Simply gorgeous! I love your work, you are truly gifted and talented!

Thank You Again!! I usually just browse the pix of many blogs. But have to take the time to read every word of your blog.I have enjoyed following you on your yarn journey. Always looking forward to the next entry.

I love this! I wish I could touch it. At first glance, I was sure it was going to be an EZ recipe - just a column of cables stolen from one of her sweaters.

Magnifique!

Ah Mr Flood
A seriously beautiful case of the Knit Philosopher today.

Noice knitting too.

Very, very lovely. Enjoyed meeting you at Yarn Garden in Portland, Ore. and your new nephew is simply adorable. Move here, please :)

Just beautiful..and I'm with you, this is the BEST time of year to be knitting...
(((hugs)))

The honeycomb! That scarf is stunning. Well done!

I, too, have many sensory-oriented memories related to projects I have worked on in the past, whether for others or myself -- some good, some necessary to get through -- but all part of the journey. Thank you for expressing this in such eloquent words. The photo of the scarf is so sumptuous I just want so much to touch it...

The scarf looks great, a perfect project for long winter evenings to me.

Absolutely gorgeous. I can almost FEEL the squishiness through the computer monitor :)

Love your writing as well as your knitting.

Beautiful scarf. The yarn sounds wonderful too. This time of year I am especially happy to curl up on the couch with a blanket and my knitting (it gets even better to colder it is outside).

Gorgeous, love it And the color is beautiful.

you are so right about knitting memories. One of my favorites is a vest I was knitting in Italy with a complicated cable up the front. On a train from Rome to Venice we got into a "discussion" with some Germans who were sure we had THEIR seats. We ended up moving all over the train, I had a mass of mistakes in my cable that required a lot of frogging and everytime I wear the vest, I laugh thinking of that occasion (and imagine I can still see exactly where the error occured)

Perfect scarf for the move back after yrs in the south. I was not prepared for our first snow last night. I'd better get knitting. ;)

oh boy, that's gorgeous!

Oh good, got through! Nice to hear you mentioning School Products, according to Lily Chin (during a "Tips and Tricks" class I attended) one of her favorite NYC yarn stores also. I sniffed it out (its on an upper floor in a poorly marked old bldg. on lower/midtown(?)Broadway and a little difficult to find), and I loved it. Has high ceilings, big windows and lots of character with beautiful yarns as you mentioned, and even some good bargains. Hope others get a chance to see it. The owner has been around a long time and can really talk yarn. Chloe

Beautiful. I'm always amazed at your choice of yarn. So beautiful!

Ever since seeing you speak in Seattle I imagine your posts in your speaking voice. Its nice to connect someone from the knitosphere with reality.

and the scarf is lovely.

I am finding that I love heirloom knitting, which is why I am currently knitting away at a Hemlock Ring Blanket for my MIL for christmas!

love the stitch definition with this yarn, it looks crisp while at the same time being soft and warm. Definitely a cozy scarf for the coolness of winter!

If I knew you in person, I would probably give you a hug right now. Thank you for your ability to convey beauty, integrity, and dignity in your post (and knitting).

That is a lovely shade of grey. And stunning finished piece. As always your photography is brilliant as well! Kudos!

I love the nostalgia of knitting! I too cast this on almost 4 years ago and much has changed in those 4 years of life! It is a beautiful scarf. Mine is actually the one featured on the pattern page on Ravelry. You have inspired me to finish mine.

Question: I've also bought the 50/50 yak-merino blend from School Products and it is a four-ply. I'm a bit naive - but how do you knit with this, as the plies are not wound together? Do I knit the four-ply as if I were working with one strand? Or do you somehow wind it into one strand? (I concur that this is beautiful yarn.)

I love how richly textured this scarf is. Beautiful.

I love this scarf. The story made me so happy, too! I love the way a handknit might have a memory in every stitch. I usually remember where I was or what I was doing when I swatched for a project, and those memories carry through into the knitting and the final object. I also often remember a knit's first outing, which is always fun. Enjoy your scarf! As my granny would say, I wish you well to wear it.

I have this booklet and pattern!! It was in a stack of stuff to bring to knit group and give away...not any more!! You've inspired me to keep it and knit it...someday. Happy Knitting...and thanks!

I love the stories that accompany my knitting projects too - and always think it is funny when I give a handknit as a gift and the recipient views it as "new," while to me it has been through so much! Lovely scarf!

"many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about. "

Exactly the same status I'm in right now.....

Yum, I just love your work and the elegant choices you make! Enjoy the holidays!
Marcia at Knittingbag.com

Thank you for the lovely post. I can't wait to get home from my 9-5 job and pick up my needles!

Great post, Jared. I can relate! I'm getting toward the end of a sweater I started in Asheville in 2008. Took my mom there for her 80th birthday, and we had a great time. Little did I know that before her next birthday she'd be ravaged by a bad stroke. The sweater reminds me to be grateful we had that vacation together.

I love this story. And I am so happy for you that you were able to turn your passion into a living, moving on from the dreaded 9-to-5. You and your work are an inspiration.

Absolutely gorgeous scarf and great story!

So many things that I have made have those wonderful histories behind them. I love that you brought that up! It really is a knitter's thing. Also, just had to tell you how beautiful I think that scarf is. You did a wonderful job.

Just beautiful! That pattern is a must

Gorgeous scarf and I love that the story and the memories make it even more special.

This is such a beautiful scarf! Thank you for sharing it with us. I am just starting with cables and it looks like this would be a great second project for practice. You mention that you "reworked" the cables so that they would pop and there is a striking difference between your first version and the finished product. So, how did you do that?!? Any suggestions on where to look for techniques to get my cables to pop too?

This is one of the most beautiful scarfs I've seen. I love it. You are so right about the memories associated with all our projects. Thanks for the wonderful post!

knitting as sense-memory. yep. i think that's why i'm not a super-perfectionist. "every project tells a story." and not all stories have to be happy; i know i don't fully appreciate the sweet without some bitterness. the black coffee to go with the chocolate-cream pie.

and -- thank you so much for talking about yarn. you remind me that i still have so much to learn about it, and what's best for what. just getting the hang of fiber; it is time to start with unspun vs. single vs. plied -- and then, 'how plied'.

perhaps one day i shall be able to do more than just copy the ideas of others.

sincerely,
one who is often snarky -- but not today.

Earlier this year I sent out this video to illustrate how the current administration is masquerading as a leadership team different from the previous one. The video documents how the choice between Democrat and Republican is really no choice at all. Recent history has confirmed the message of this video. Here we are almost a year after Bush left office and we see that really only the rhetoric has changed. The same program of economic, military, and civil rights disintegration remains in full effect. The sequel to this video is now available to shed more light on this false choice of governance. This sequel exposes: 1) how mega banks like Goldman Sachs created this financial crisis to then introduce their solution: a government hand-out of trillions of dollars to them; 2) how this same scheme is being set up again on a global scale through the development of a cap-and-trade derivatives market; 3) how Obama is simply managing this economic disintegration program that was furthered by Bush (and his predecessors) going back as far as Carter; 4) how Obama's actions have been just as unconstitutional as Bush's and how our country is being pushed deeper into an oppressive surveillance society. The sooner we acknowledge this false choice of governance we are given, the better the chances are that we can produce a real choice that represents us, not the institutionalized power structure pillaging us. If you would like to learn more about the timely issues raised in these videos please visit this alternative news website, where these videos were produced.

Absolutely stunning. You do such incredible work. From the simplest garter stitch to the most complicated cables and everything in between, any project your fingers touch is complete magic. You, Jared, are a constant inspiration.

I love the colour, the pattern ~ great scarf. I have some alpaca that I picked up this summer and without actually looking for a pattern for it, this might just be it. Beautiful.

Yeah for me; I just received an early Christmas present from my granddaughter....."Made in Brooklyn."

Fine scarf! At us behind a window it is very cold today. I dream to have such scarf!:)))

Your blog is very nice :) .I really like it !
Merry X'mas !


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so gorgeous that I found and purchased the book..and cast on today! thanks!

It is a lovely scarf, and the story behind it...very nice.

My god, that scarf is breathtaking. Happy New Year to you!

I just don't have words. It's astonishing! It's a very incredibe scarf. Really beautiful. Congratulations!

That pattern (by Beth Walker-O'Brien can also be found in "Quick to Knit Fabulous Scarves."

My goodness. I'm delurking to say thank you for the hope.

I say this as I stare glassy eyed at my own work computer, hopping around from blog to blog, with this vague idea that knitting (and designing) has "a future".

Three years seems a small bargain.

Thank you. I'll be back.

It's so beautiful and entises one to lovingly run the fingers over and then snuggle near your face and neck. Oh my, got carried away, again. It's that dang WOOL. lol

I just saw a very similar scarf in the Lion Brand catalog. They call it the "Harbor Scarf". The honeycomb section is wider and the cables on each side are different but it also has a seed stitch border and reminded me of the one you knit right away. It's a free pattern.
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90490AD.html

This lovely pattern can also be found in "Simple 1-2-3: Knitting Scarves" on page 85.

Excellent pattern and beautifully done to.I love the simplicity of the scarf...knitting may not be as simple a job though.

We have an old belief in Estonia that you must start a new work in the morning or at least before noon. So it will be ready soon. The later you start the longer it takes. :)
Nice scarf. Very nice!
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