5 August 2008

A 17 Month Knitting Project Comes to an End

One of my very first posts on this blog was about a quick, learn to knit class that I took while I still lived in Toronto. At the end of the course I purchased a skein of beautiful deep blue yarn and a set of bamboo knitting needles. My plan was to knit a simple scarf. It seemed like an easy enough project. I finished the skein of wool within a couple weeks and decided that the scarf was too short and I would need to add an additional skein of wool to get to the desired length. So back to the wool shop I went and bought my second skein. And that is where all progress halted.

I needed to figure out how to add the second ball in to the current project. This one had me stumped and I carried the project around in my car for months, meaning to ask my sister to show me how to continue. I kept forgetting. And then one day I discovered the abandoned project in my backseat, but there was a new mystery... What had happened to my second needle? It was lost. Nowhere to be found. So before I could continue I needed to go get a new pair of needles. Naturally, this added many more months to the project. And then I discovered that we were going to be moving, and this project got packed into the box labelled unfinished projects and abandoned dreams.

Finally, inspired by all the talk on etsy of knitting and spinning, and wool fibres in spun and unspun forms I decided it was time for me to finish this project. I found the box that it was packed in and pulled it out. As I walked toward my studio table I looked at the scarf and I thought "I don't remember this scarf being quite so short". Well, I was right. Turns out that the loose end of the yarn had gotten tangled up with some bits and bobs in the bottom of the box and as I walked away the stitched unraveled. Gah... well at least it gave me an opportunity to practice my stitches before I needed to mull over the headscratcher of adding that darned second skein.

I went out that day and bought a new pair of needles and asked for basic guidance on how to re-attach the scarf to the needles. Away I went. I pulled out a book at home that showed basic technique, and reminded myself how to do the knit stitch. Looking good. Then came the point where I had to attach the new one. I tried following the directions in the book. It didn't work. I tried a different way, it didn't work. So in the end I tied a knot, pretended it wasn't there and carried on. Luckily, this is a very knobbly wool and the knot blended in fairly well. The true test will be how it holds up once worn.

Long story short, (hmmm, well that was still a long story) I finished the scarf. I rocked the binding off test. I was so impressed with myself! And here is the end result.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that this first effort did not necessarily yield the prettiest result. Apart from the giant knot that I stuffed in to hide, there is also a bit of a wave through the scarf. It seems that I learned how to tighten up my stitch when I re-started the scarf and you can see where the scarf narrows. It may not be very evident in the photo, but it is definitely there.

With this project behind me, I wasted no time starting a new one. The yarn is pretty much the same as that used for the first project, but the colour is a softer, watery blue.

I was determined to not have this project drag on for 17 months, and I am pleased to say that I blew through my first skein during a few stolen moments over a rainy long weekend. The stitches seem much tighter and more even so far. But, hhhmmmm, now I am at that awkward moment where I need to attach the second skein. Someday I may post the results. In the meantime, here is the progress to date.


Miss 376 said...

congratulations on your first finish. You'll be hooked for life now

Carol said...

LOL.... well that is a danger. I already have a serious addiction to wool shops.

UxCritter said...

Yes, congrats on the finishing of the scarf! It's a smashingly delightful vibrant color of blue. That takes away from any minor idiocincrasies that may be present in it's creation. That plus how wonderful it looks on and it's soft fuzzy warmth. I'm sure you'll be starting another in no time.