Monday, January 14, 2008

He Likes It!

Since I took up knitting less than a year ago, I've been asking my son if I could please, please knit him something. Wouldn't he like a nice, warm knitted alpaca hat for those frosty cold days at Washington State U? How about some toasty wool mittens? Socks? Slippers?

Nope. My son just wasn't interested in hand-knitted items. So imagine my surprise, when, a couple of weeks before he came home for Christmas, he asked me to knit him a scarf. My heart went pitty-pat with joy! He specified that he wanted something black with a little bit of green to go with his LLBean jacket. I knew it had to be long, as he is a very tall guy (6'3" at last measure), machine washable, reversible, and unlike all the other scarves I've knitted, I wanted it to lay perfectly flat instead of curling up. I wanted it to be stretchy width-wise so he could stretch it up to cover his nose and ears. A 1X1 ribbing was the perfect choice. So here's the color recipe I came up with:

Tall Guy Non-Rolling Scarf with Subtle Striping
MC: 2 skeins Caron Simply Soft in Black, CC: 1 skein Caron Simply Soft in Sage
Size: my scarf measures around 75" when all stretched out (but it shrinks up a little when actually worn). When wrapped around a 6'3" man, it gives them plenty of wrapping length. See step 12 to make an approx. 60" scarf.
Needles: Size 8
Stitch pattern: entire scarf is done in K1p1 ribbing with a slip stitch edge. Slip the first and last stitch purlwise of every odd row so that the colors don't go wonky on the color change row ends.
1. CO 49 stitches loosely; or however wide you want.
2. 30 rows MC
3. 2 rows CC
4. 2 rows MC
5. 2 rows CC
6. 2 rows MC
7. 2 rows CC
8. 15 rows MC
9. Repeat rows 3-8
10. Repeat rows 3-7
11. Knit 60 rows MC
12. Repeat rows 3-11 once or twice. (If you repeat once, your scarf will be shorter than mine--more like 60 inches instead of 80.)
13. Repeat rows 3-7
13. Knit 30 rows MC
13. Bind off
This is my first written pattern; please let me know if I made a mistake.

So how did I get my knitting injury (see post below)? On this project, I was determined to learn how to knit continental style. I was already comfortable knitting in continental, but purling was awkward and I tended to switch back to English style to purl. I figured that this scarf--six plus feet of ribs--was a good way to practice switching back and forth between knitting and purling, all in continental style. I only had two pre-Christmas weeks to finish it, so ignoring my hand cramps and slowly numbing thumb, I soldiered on.

Knitters everywhere, this is not the thing to do. Don't ignore your screaming thumb tendon. Having been without a functioning thumb for a couple of weeks now, I can now appreciate the usefulness of my miraculously magnificent opposable thumb in a whole new light. I am sorry, my thumb. I am sorry I abused you. Please come back. Don't make me sew another clown blouse because I can't finish my other Cable Rib Sock.

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