Changing of the Guard

Nine months ago, in preparation for our trip to Alaska, I cast on Jared’s Noro Striped Scarf. My primary purpose at that point was to have a good piece of knitting for airplane time – dimly lit cabin, etc – and it was perfect. In the months since I came home, this scarf visited Chicago and Pennsylvania with me, kept me company during a 12 hour visit to the emergency room, visited hospital patients, kept me sane during the early months of settling my father-in-law into a retirement village apartment, attended meetings, and more. In short, it’s been the perfect travel companion. However, even a 7′ long scarf eventually comes to an end, and this afternoon while coaching my Knitogether gals, who were blocking their Concertos, I finally ran out of yarn and bound off. Of course, this would have happened a long time ago if I’d not so frequently found myself frogging a few rows here and there. 😉I’m really going to miss this piece of knitting. It was such a pleasure to work, and if I had a dollar for every person who commented that it was absolutely gorgeous, I’d have enough Noro to knit at least 3 more. I don’t think I’ve ever knit anything else in public that has garnered so much feedback! The camera didn’t do the colors justice on that first picture, but I like the way it showcases the color play. This close up gives an accurate sample of the warm, earthy tones of this colorway. It’s wonderfully mellow in person.I used all but 1 gram of four balls of Noro Silk Garden making this scarf, all four being the same colorway. I carefully chose two pairs of twin balls to be relatively sure that there were no color change knots hidden within the balls. If the color order stays the same from the outside of the skeins into the inside, then there is likely not a knot joining two colors abruptly – a frequent problem in long repeat yarns. Next, in preparation for this being a travel project, I wound the Noro balls into two cakes on my ballwinder, with each set of twins wound together into one cake. One skein of the twins I wound center out and the other skein from the outside in, creating a felted join between the two as I wound them. This resulted in two finished cakes that had echo coloring from the outside of the cake into the middle, and each of the two cakes started at a different point in the color repeat, so the stripes were constantly shifting, but still within the same colorway. I like the look, and I felt more confident in using just a single colorway instead of mixing two. By using the twin method as I did, I also avoided the potential problems of finding myself with the same colors knitting at once, and there are NO jarring, abrupt color changes messing up the finished project. It was a little extra effort, but it paid off in both the knitting and the final project, so I think well worth it.Completed measurements – 83″ long and 5.5″ wide. It would be equally suitable for guys and gals. Start one now for social/travel knitting, and you’ll have a Christmas gift finished in free time! 😉

Just realized as I was proofreading this post that this scarf was started before July 1, 2010, making it eligible as a completed UFO for my Goals 2011 list. How cool is that? Painless checkmark on the list, and only one more UFO required to have that goal accomplished. 😉

So, with this scarf off my needles, I need another item I can pick  up and put down without a thought, so… Yep! I cast on another project. I’ll be really honest, though. I’m not at all sure this is going to work as well as the Noro scarf did.

Yes, once the lace edge is worked, the entire center of the scarf is garter stitch, so that part of it is definitely perfect. The only thing that has me concerned is that the yarn is laceweight as compared to the Noro aran, so it’s definitely not as touch sensitive. That could become a problem in situations where a lot of eye contact is needed or the area is underlit. I like Motley well enough to try it though, and if I end up having to start yet another project and kit Motley at home, then so be it. 😉

I’m using Knit Picks’ new yarn, Aloft, which is an obvious copy of Kidsilk Haze. It doesn’t feel quite as wonderful as the Kidsilk Haze I’m knitting into Horai, but it isn’t too bad. The camera is again abusing the colors, making it look like I’m knitting purple and neon raspberry, or even red. That’s not the case at all. The two colors are a dark, blue purple, very appropriately named eggplant, and a red purple, with the color depth being nearly identical. It’s resulting in a subtle, deliciously rich fabric, and I hope I can eventually find a way to accurately portray what a great combination these two shades are. For now, I can tell you that in the photo, they are laying on a very rich turquoise background. Agree that the camera is a wee bit colorblind? 😉


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