Monday, August 17, 2009


Ok, I think I am juuuuuust about caught up on everyone's blogs and officially ready to get back into the knit-swing of things again.

I am rested, back to work, and more importantly: back to knitting baby! My wrist pains appear to have subsided. (knock wood)

And in honour of that small miracle I hunkered down and finally finished off the BEHEMOTH that is Laura Irwin's Alpaca Silk Bow scarf.

not sure what this expression is saying...

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50% silk/50% Alpaca). About 5.5 balls of the "Chestnut" brown, and less than one of the "Mandarin".
needles: 3.75 mm

This is even the yarn that the pattern calls for so it was a real splurge for me. It is seriously beautiful and gorgeously soft and silky.

Scarf-y here also marks the fourth item that I've knit from this book --the others being the Raglan Wrap sweater; and both the sideways grande and side slip cloches. ALL fabulous, well-written and "sure-are-purty" patterns from Laura Irwin.

So, even though this is the yarn the pattern called for, I'm not sure if it was necessarily the best choice. It is just SO drapey that it really makes weaving in the ends a pain in the butt (though possibly I am seriously bad at this task and it's just me...), the silkyness equals ends-that-pop-out-just-when-you-think-they're-woven-in-perfectly.

For a normal scarf the prospect of a couple of yarn ends sticking out here and there might be all well and good, but this was intarsia. My FIRST attempt at intarsia. Sure-- intarsia, as it turns out, is easy. But it is also totally maddening. Every six inches look like this:

My one consolation here is that I was smart enough to weave the ends in as I went. Had I left them all until the end, this scarf would still be incomplete. Permanently.

And indeed so floppy that any hopes of a bow like this...

...are immediately dashed.

See!? It's a BOW.

Oh, who am I kidding, I am literally never going to wear it that way anyway. I will likely just wear it in the usual "drape-it-around-my-neck-way" that most of us just wear our scarves anyway.

Though, knowing this NOW does not really help me.

(And might I add I kind of feel like this particular project was what was really keeping me from knitting anything else --I didn't really want to be working on it, but at the same time didn't really want to stray too far from it either--which essentially amounts to: hardly ever knitting it OR anything else). Had I known months ago when I started this scarf that I wouldn't wear it in "bow-format" I would have made the following changes:

a) ALL ribbing. There are two sections of it that are knit in stockinette, you can kind of see those changes in this photo:

The stockinette is the flat part that allows the bow to be more, uh "bow-tastic". Again, it's also so drapey that I don't think it matters that much. Plus if you did it all in ribbing it wouldn't look quite so odd when you did just decide to wear it a more "normal" way.

b) Sweet Jesus I would have made it shorter. A LOT shorter. Not sure if the photos really divulge how many times this thing is wrapped around my neck (while still having ends that hang below my hips). I think even about three feet shorter would still mean substantial length and a decent bow. But again, perhaps this is just down to my own gauge (which I know is loose, even though I repeatedly check it). Plus there are just so many ends that tearing it out to salvage the yarn for other things is just pointless.

Perhaps you need some empirical evidence of it's length...some perspective maybe?


(N.B---this was before I blocked it even...I tried to block it out a bit wider/shorter, but it's still groooooowwwwiiiing)

It's meant to be 9 feet, it's definitely longer than that and by the time I get home it may have eaten my cat and anyone I ever cared about.

But all ribbing aside (yeah, pun intended), it really is a beautiful thing to behold. It felt like a major undertaking for me, and the fact that only one other person on ravelry appears to have knit it should have been my first clue. People often say to me "how can you knit so many scarves?" --I know they are virtually like knitting a sweater sometimes, but this is really the first time I was feeling like "yeah this scarf is taking forever, I may need to take a take a break from these".

Now that it's done I can laguish in its gorgeous-ness, as the memory of all it's hard work floats away.

And you know, cuz I can never have enough crap around my neck it seems, I've started another cowl.

Perhaps someone would like to buy me this $1300 Nylon "knitting bag" from Dolce & Gabbana to carry it around in?


littlebirdbigcity said...

Whoa! whoa! That's much longer than I expected. You like to knit long scarves, do you not?
It's beautiful. I love the blue of the cowl. That is going to be gorgeous!

kgirl said...

great colour combo, and bravo you, all those ends to weave?! would have probably stopped me in my tracks, best intentions or not!!

the little cowl is looking lovely too, so glad your wrist pain has subsided :)

Team Knit ! said...

I've been looking at that scar fin boutique knits and considering knitting it! Thanks for your tips. Yours is gorgeous! I love the colours you chose, it looks sooo soft.

That blue cowl is looking lovely so far!!

- Julie

KGLO said...

zoinks. I hereby give you some kind of medal for finishing that thing - you absolutely deserve it, considering you had to 1) weave in all the ends, 2)knit forEVER and 3) put aside all other knitting in order to complete it. And for something that isn't entirely what you wanted? you are a true knitting warrior, madam.

Ella said...

That's some serious scarfage. I actually like it longer... unless you were planning on wearing it on your head a-la-Gaga?


e said...

oh i have 3 of those bags, they're to die for.

(jesus christ 1300 for a knitting bag)

Reckless Glue said...

yeah and I don't think it's even a knitting bag really...