I mean that literally. The long, green manly scarf was all boxed up today, ready to be unwrapped on Christmas morning. I did manage to snap its picture first:
In fact it was so soft and comfy that I forgot to take it off after taking the picture, and I wore it for the rest of the afternoon. It's a good thing that I am in the spirit of giving. And that my shelves are overflowing with scarves already. And that green is, sadly, not a good color for me.
Here is how I knitted this one: I chose the mistake rib -- reversible, nicely textured, and since it doesn't pull in as much as a regular 2/2 rib, it eats up a bit less yarn. You need to cast on a multiple of 4 stitches minus one. I went with 51 stitches but in retrospect, I feel the scarf could be a tad narrower.
A quick mistake-rib refresher:
Row 1: *K2, P2, repeat from * to the last 3 stitches, K2, P1.
All subsequent rows: Repeat Row 1.
I scattered about 8 decreases on the bind-off row to keep the edge from fanning out.
The scarf is over 7' long and I used close to 6 skeins of Classic Elite Kumara, because -- well, just because. I wanted it to be a buttery soft, luxurious scarf, and it is. 85% extra fine Merino, 15% baby camel and allover lovely to wear next to one's skin. One could make an equally special pair of mittens or a cowl with just a couple of skeins. Just a thought.
My own holiday-knitting tradition goes as follows:
1. Decide not to knit anything as a gift this holiday season
2. Change my mind on or around December 15th.
This year, I was lucky; I changed my mind on the 10th instead. I decided to knit one really fine scarf for one fine young man I know. I investigated and found out that he would indeed need and appreciate a hand-knit scarf. A visit to the yarn shop followed. When I asked the owner for fine yarns for manly scarves, she pointed me towards Classic Elite Kumara, a lofty worsted-weight merino with 15% of baby camel wool added in for good measure, not to mention extra warmth and softness.
Here is a quick snapshot of the scarf in progress yesterday. By now the knitting is finished and the scarf is ready to be blocked:
In other color news, I finished another pair of worsted-weight socks for afghans For Afghans. I was curious to see what Cascade 220 would feel like when turned into socks. The answer is, warm and cushy. I have about 1/5 of the skein left over -- and more important, an answer to the age-old question of what to do with an orphan skein of Cascade 220.
All done! The ribbed yoke sweater is ready for a ride to the AFSC basement in San Francisco, followed by a long journey to Afghanistan. Although I had a hard time getting started, once I got to the yoke, which is the interesting part of this design, I was on a roll, enjoying the way the ribbing meandered all the way to the reverse stockinette collar.
To recap, the pattern is a great oldie, "Ribbing Is No Yoke", a design by Charlotte Quiggle that was published in one of the last excellent issues of "Knitter's", #60, Fall, 2000. I made a few modifications: I switched from a shirt-tail bottom to simple 2/2 ribbing which matches the ribbed yoke. I adjusted the stitch number to a smaller size with the help of Sweater Wizard. Studying the ribbing, I figured out that a multiple of 20 stitches was necessary for the patterning of the yoke, so I simply executed a few decreases on the last round before the ribbing started.
The pattern is nicely detailed; there are a bunch of short rows across the shoulders and back in order to raise the back neck for a better fit. I also like the collar which is created by more increases at the top of the yoke, followed by several rounds in reverse stockinette. I'll have to remember this one for future yoke pullovers.
The yarn is Cascade Greenland. At first I was a bit put off by its tight, almost springy feel. It is cool to the touch and I tend to prefer more fuzzy wools, but it softened nicely when I gave the sweater a good soak. I have three skeins left over, which I just may turn into mittens once my holiday knitting is all done.