Time Machine Tuesday: Boyfriend-Now-Husband-Scarf

My husband taught me (or inspired me) to knit. One of the projects he completed when we first started dating was a beautiful wool, basket-weave-patterned scarf.  It was breathtaking.

He still wears it.

I made a scarf for my boyfriend. Such a stereotype. At least it wasn’t a sweater, right? (September 2008)

Then, he lost it while traveling in Europe. I was so sorry that it happened that I ran out and bought a bunch of identical yarn (which I then didn’t use for years), thinking that I would make him an identical one.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I would never be patient enough to replicate that tiny basket-weave pattern–and certainly not as well as hubby had. So, instead, I got Patons SWS yarn in a nice, off-white/tan shade, took advantage of my new confidence with cabling without a needle, and knitted a Shifting Sands scarf.

If my memory serves me (because I didn’t put an end-date on this project on Ravelry), I managed to knit this replacement scarf and gift it to hubby just before he left for a ten-week stint working in the UK. If memory doesn’t serve, I finished it while he was gone and had it ready to present to him when he arrived home for his first NYC winter.

Years later, this scarf remains one of my favorite projects. It was a happy marriage of pattern and yarn: the SWS solid, with it’s light color and slight variation in ply-width, shows the cable pattern ideally. The pattern itself is simple enough, but looks breathtaking.

I can’t take credit for the combination; if I recall, I looked through the yarns previously used with this very-popular pattern and duplicated a choice that I liked. Nevertheless, I am glad that I learned from my first-scarf mistake (boucle yarn + patterned scarf = invisible hours of labor).

This photograph was taken after hubby had already been wearing his Shifting Sands scarf daily for three winters. It has now been five years, and there is some pilling that could be corrected with a razor. Obviously, the SWS yarn held up incredibly well. I’m sorry that the line was discontinued: it had some gorgeous colorways.

Everyone has heard about the curse of the boyfriend-sweater. Perhaps there is a “blessing” of the boyfriend-scarf. With a little cleaning up and a good wash, I think this Shifting Sands scarf could easily last another half-decade. (Hubby had better stick around a lot longer than that, though!).

Time Machine Tuesday: First Cabled Project

For my last time machine post (a Friday, but Time Machine Tuesday sounds so much better, doesn’t it?), I showed off my lumpy disaster of a first scarf. Fortunately, I got better. Here is Exhibit B–My First Cabled Project.

First cabled scarf. It’s long finished, I swear (May 2008).

I started this scarf before going to visit my boyfriend in Edinburgh. I figured I’d want a nice, long, cozy scarf, so I picked the very popular Irish Hiking Scarf (free pattern!). Wary of spending a lot of money on a starter project, I bought Red Heart.

Now I know the anti-Red Heart folks are frowning, but really this buff fleck yarn is lovely. It looks nice, washes up soft, and I loved it so much that I bought a ton of it and made my first top down v-neck sweater out of it. I have never regretted buying this yarn, and have thought about getting it in other colorways.

Since I was going to be knitting on a trans-atlantic flight, I used Grumperina’s tutorial to teach myself how to cable without a cable needle. I have never regretted that choice, either; being able to cable without a needle has made knitting pretty cables much more portable.

It also meant that I’ve learned how to pick up and fix dropped cable stitches, which is not fun. In the balance, however, learning Grumperina’s method is well-worth-while.

What I learned with this project:

  • Picking the right yarn and pattern to match is essential.
  • Red Heart Buff Flecked yarn is pretty and washes well.
  • I can cable.
  • It is possible to make a scarf that is too long. This thing is massive. I must have zonked out on the plane.
  • It’s nice to be complimented on your crafty-work, especially when you are a beginner.

I still own and wear this scarf–and it looks just as good five years after finishing it as it did the day I wove in the last end.

I think that this scarf is so popular that there is no need to plug the pattern too strongly. It is a great standard and looks handsome in a variety of yarns. Honestly, I think the crispness of the acrylic yarn makes the cables stand out even better on this scarf than it would have with wool.

Time Machine Friday: First Scarf

Welcome to Time Machine Friday. This is where I will post images, descriptions, and reviews of things that I made–or tried to make–before beginning this blog. Here is Exhibit AMy First Scarf :

My First Scarf (February 2008). Ugly, but I still love the colors.

I knit this after my then-boyfriend-now-husband re-introduced me to the idea of knitting, which I’d first sort-of learned working backstage in the theatre during my teens. I picked up this boucle from a local craft store because I love turquoise and brown together.

Believe it or not, this is no plain garter-stitch scarf! Nor is it a regular ol’ ribbed scarf. Oh no. I wouldn’t do something so simple! So I very methodically did a diagonal rib. That, I figured, would look lovely and prevent the scarf from curling.

Well, it didn’t curl, but I was foolish to think that with the boucle the pattern would show up at all. Lesson learned!

Actually, because I loved the colors and this matched my coat, I wore this scarf quite a bit. I never was happy with it, though, because neither the yarn nor the “design” lived up to my expectations. The next time I knit a scarf, I made sure to pick appropriate yarn and a more interesting pattern.