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The Knitwit Papers, Preface: Scarves

A couple weeks ago, I realized I needed to start documenting my knitting. I've been kicking around the idea for ages, but never really did anything about it. You know how it is - life happens and then it keeps happening until you just have to excuse yourself for a few minutes and take care of things. Anyway, I realized I needed to document my knitting because, well, it's become a big part of my life, taking hours and hours of my time and way more of my money than I care to think about. :-) But mainly, I needed to do this because I get a lot of compliments on my work (awww, shucks) and I can't ever remember what yarns I used, what needles I used, or how long these things took to make.

So I started thinking about how to document this. First, I thought maybe I should get a journal and write things down. After all, I do keep at least one yarn label from every project, so I always know what colors, etc. I used, and that would be best kept in some sort of physical scrapbook or journal. And then I realized that was hardly a workable plan, since I'm terrible about keeping track of journals, let alone writing in them. Then I thought about how I have this blogging thing set up so I can support multiple blogs - maybe one for knitting and one for everything else. But the chances of me actually maintaining two blogs are slim.

And then I realized I already had the perfect place to document my knitting. I have an attentive audience (yay!) and this audience is exactly the people I want to see what I've been working on. There's also the added bonus that I can provide to other knitters the exact thing I've needed so many times as I develop my skills - an honest review of the patterns and yarns I use. I tend to use less expensive materials and I'm almost entirely self-taught, which is not true of the vast majority of knitting bloggers out there. They generally prefer exotic, expensive yarns that I also like, but generally can't justify the cost of.

So I present to you my newest time waster - The Knitwit Papers. I'll be putting up a bunch of these in the next few days (I hope) to cover all the projects I've long since completed, and I hope to file a new installment of The Knitwit Papers with each new project I finish. Let me know what you think - this has been in the works for well over a week and I'm interested in your reaction. Oh! And also - I'm trying something new with the pictures, so if you click on them, they'll show you a bigger version. Click on the picture again to make it go away.

Date Begun: Various
Date Completed: Various
Yarn: (L to R) Scarf 1: Lion Brand Lion Suede in Sage
Scarf 2: Lion Brand Homespun in Delft and White
Scarf 3: Moda Dea Curious in Ivory
Scarf 4: Lion Brand Homespun in Olive and White
Needles: Scarf 1: US8 Circular (metal)
Scarf 2: US10 Circular (metal)
Scarf 3: US15 (plastic)
Scarf 4: US10 Circular (metal)
Source: Scarf 1: My own design
Scarf 2: Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, Wavy Gravy
Scarf 3: Scarves: A Knitter's Dozen, Doin' The Twist
Scarf 4: Scarves: A Knitter's Dozen, Sliding Garter
The Story:
I'm not sure exactly when the knitting bug struck, but it started with a series of scarves. There were others that I don't have pictures of, and some that I've chosen to highlight separately, but this is a pretty good representation of what happened when this all began. So, a really quick rundown of the scarves here:

Scarf 1: I think this is the last knit of the scarves shown. It's actually the second I did in this same style, which is just a simple seed stitch done with an awesome suede yarn. I made one of these with really long fringe for a friend at work last Christmas and Schondy decided he liked it so much he wanted one just like it (without the fringe, of course). This was the scarf that forced me to learn Continental-style knitting as it would have otherwise taken me a hundred years to do this English-style. The result is very soft.

Scarf 2: Of all the scarves I've knit, this is probably my favorite for the way it looks, but my least favorite for the way it wears. I made this a couple years ago, I think, when I was just rediscovering knitting. It was just a simple garter stitch with an excellent introduction to increasing and decreasing (for obvious reasons), and I was so pleased with the way it came out. Unfortunately, it's a bit too bulky since I used two strands of yarn (one white, one blue) held together and it just sits a little too stiffly around the neck. The fringe is a combination of all kinds of things - yarn, ribbon, strings of fake pearls - and that's one of my other favorite things about this one. If I had it to do over again, I would have used either only one of the yarns or larger needles to make it less dense, and I would probably make it a bit longer.

Scarf 3: So if the previous scarf was too short, this is where all that extra length went. This one kind of got away from me because I had two balls of yarn and I wanted to use them both completely up. You can't tell it in the pictures because I looped the extra around the pergola, but trust me - this is the longest scarf ever. I have to loop it around my neck about 4 times just to keep it off the ground. This one was done on big fat needles with a drop stitch, which made it even more loopy, and it's the coolest thing to play with ever. By pulling on the sides, you can stretch it out to probably 2 feet wide. The yarn is what makes it look like it's coming apart - Schondy says it looks like we let Deliah shred it - but it's actually quite sturdy and I wear it often.

Scarf 4: The sliding garter was an experiment. There was a very interesting pattern in the book and it took me about a hundred readings of the pattern to finally understand what it was telling me, but once I understood, I realized this would be a great guy's scarf. That was when I decided Schondy needed a scarf, and since his favorite color was green, well, this is the result. The method for this one was fascinating, using two strands of yarn, but only one of them at a time, so you basically only turn your knitting once every two rows. It's just a simple garter, but up close, it looks very unusual and it's hard to tell why. :-)

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