When writing about work doesn’t work

I’ve got a hefty writing deadline looming, so naturally I want to write anything but that. I’ve been rather uninspired on the knitting blog so far this year, and busy-ness at work has contributed to some extent. My knitting needles have been awfully busy since January, but I have very few FOs to show for all the hours.

Perhaps my most important accomplishment was the completion of a commissioned scarf for none other than my dad. I received the specs about 20 days before Christmas, and I set to work ordering the yarn the next day. I got it in my mind that 1,000 yards of Wollmeise was a good idea for a men’s scarf. Happily, the postal service staged an intervention, and my coveted charcoal pure (100% superwash merino) never made it past New York. (More happily for me, the company refunded my money, though it felt like a great struggle to get it back.) On a whim, I buzzed by the yarnery and picked up two skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Sport base in the “Upton” colorway. I chose the Cerus Scarf pattern by Hillary Smith Callis, and I cast on immediately. I went with 481 stitches, based on a gauge swatch I knit and a desired final length of about 6 feet. I know, contain your disbelief. I can join the gauge-knitting club now and then, but only if it’s a few rows over a few stitches. Cerus is knit lengthwise in a linen stitch. I wasn’t aware that linen stitch was a both-sides stitch. Moving yarn to front (or back) for slipping takes a long time, and my old Knitpicks Harmony 5s were too sticky for the job. It was excruciatingly slow: 30 min per row, 16 rows per in, 8in width final goal. (I may have fudged it at about 7.5″).

The end result was a very dense, soft, and manly scarf. In retrospect, I’d have done better to cast on a lot tighter (bacon ripple edge), and my yarn choice wasn’t ideal. Besides the color obscuring the stitch pattern I so painstakingly knit, the yarn is a pretty soft, low-twist superwash merino. I don’t think it’s going to hold up too well to normal wear – I expect it will get quite fuzzy, further obscuring that detail. I blocked pretty aggressively to even out the edges, which constricted the width a little, and it ended up being about 7′ long. Whew!

Yarn buying keeps oscillating between feast and famine. It’d be great if I could just stop looking – there’s always going to be more to buy and knit than I will ever have time for. I’m pretty excited for a wheel that I’ll be ordering in another week or so, and I am especially looking forward to reducing the fiber stash (by using it up). How did it get this big? Oh yeah, I bought fiber while spinning frog hair for months at a time. That needs to change, I think!

No photos, because it’s 1:15, and I have work yet to do. Knit the good yarn (like the wind, I hope)!


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