Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Boyfriend Scarf

When I first started knitting, I thought I would make my boyfriend a nice scarf. Not only are beginning knitters attracted to making scarves, but they also seem to think that everyone wants one of their scarves, which are often made incorrectly (a few funny stitches, strange finishing that leaves strands hanging out here and there, odd choice of yarn, apparent new-ball joins, and in my case, a incorrect knit stitch accomplished by throwing the yarn over my working needle from right to left instead of left to right) and entirely in knit stitch, not that there's anything wrong with knit stitch. I made my boyfriend a scarf using some gorgeous bulky merino (I thought it was gorgeous) that was spotted with lots of color on size 17 needles.

What I didn't know then is that boyfriends are very particular about scarves, which is why they don't really want to wear them. They want something that is all one color and hardly noticeable. They don't like bulky yarns because bulky yarns mean large and apparent stitches that call attention to themselves.

Here is my new and improved "boyfriend scarf":

I saw a skein of Cascade Eco Wool in a nice charcoal color. The yarn appealed to me not only for the look and feel, but also the price: about 480 yards for about $15, depending on where you buy it. The skein was more than enough for the scarf, and I have a nice-sized ball left over.

I knew my boyfriend liked the look of stockinette stitch, but that's not a good stitch for scarves, which is something I didn't know when I first began knitting. Things that I had to find out on my own: stockinette stitch scarves not only curl, they also have strange bumps all along the edges.

My solution was to make the scarf in 2X2 ribbing (looks like stockinette to boyfriend) and slip the first stitch of each row purlwise. I've discovered that ribbed scarves fit and feel better when the yarn is worked with larger needles than you would normally use for a particular yarn. I used size 10 needles for this scarf. My one regret is that I didn't bind off in pattern. The last time I tried that, I failed and caused the scarf to fan out at one end. Next time I'll find better instructions and follow them to a T.

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