Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas FO: Wings and Cable Scarf

Ok, I'm finally blogging about the Christmas gifts I made. I made all but one of my gifts to give out this year, and I'm pretty happy with how they all turned out. I'll start at the beginning with the one I made first:

Months ago when I first started asking around for specific Christmas requests, my sister Shannon asked for a scarf. She moved to Oklahoma this year and the winter can get pretty chilly there. Knowing that I get bored easily with scarves and that they take longer than other projects for me to knit, I made sure this was the first project I worked on and I started at the beginning of November. Earlier this year I had picked up a lovely skein of Aarlan SwaLaine yarn at a thrift store for just $3.00. This is a really lovely yarn that is a chainette weave - so it's basically like knitting with a loosely woven icord. The chainette of fibers was made from burgundy as well as black, so you end up with the wonderful neutral burgundy with black flecks throughout when it's knitted. Shannon is a big fan of neutrals and deep colors, so I knew it would be perfect for her scarf, plus the wool would help keep her nice and cozy.
The hardest part of this project was deciding on a pattern. I only had one skein of 240 yards of this yarn (which is very much discontinued now) and I knew she'd still like it to be long enough to wrap up in. In the end I decided on the Wings and Cable Scarf by Gale Ulvang which is a free download on Love Knitting (you have to sign up for a free account, but then you can download the pattern for free). The pattern was a very simple lace repeat with a really neat way of doing the cable stitch that runs down the center - no cable needle required! I found myself making great progress on this scarf and finished it much quicker than I anticipated once I got the real swing of the pattern. The only issue I had was with the yarn - more specifically with the dye. The colors are really dark and this is a hand dyed yarn, so I wasn't too surprised when the colors started to rub off on my fingers if I'd knit for a long stretch. It got to where I'd have to stop and wash my hands after a few pattern repeats or else I'd get dye on everything else I touched. This made me paranoid about the dye running off on Shannon's clothes, so when I blocked this I risked felting with how much I rinsed and agitated the scarf. I had to rinse this project with Eucalan about 8 times before the water stopped having dye in it. That's crazy, right? I guess it's to be expected with that much dye in such a dark color. I just hope I got it all out!
The scarf ended up being 5" wide and 60" long which was enough for me to do my typical tie, so I think it should be a good size. I love how this turned out. It's a bit difficult to see the details in the pictures because of the dark color, but the lace pattern makes a leaf-like design and there's a 2 stitch wide cable twisting all the way down the center. Simple but pretty.

Shannon said she really liked her gift on Christmas :) I hope she stays warm in her snowy weather with this. Merry Christmas, Shannon!

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