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03/10/2012 / thriftomancer

Next next on the docket

Good news everyone! I’m pleased to announce that the black scarf is now completed, making the change from sweater to repurposed yarn to a great swath of lovely new fabric in approximately a reasonable amount of time.

Lichbane scarf

I’m well aware that I’ve given next to no documentation of this particular project, mostly because I worked on it at the same time as I was making The Doctor’s scarf and focusing on that. That’s going to change right now as I have quite a bit to say about it. Allow me to break it down:

Running true to form, this scarf turned out very long but also rather wider than is normal for the things I make. The more exact dimensions are 9′ 10.25″ long and between 12.5 and 10″ wide. Changes in tension/gauge, the accidental decreasing and/or increasing of stitches, and other foibles made it so the width varies. It’s a gradual variation, but certainly noticeable and I find I like the irregularity. The average width, though, is about an even 11″.

It got that big due to a mixture of my lack of concrete planning and the fact that I still had yarn available to work with after the point when convention and sanity would have said I was done. What happened was I started out making a fairly skinny scarf since I didn’t have an accurate idea of how much yarn I really managed to salvage from the sweater and didn’t want to risk running out. That original scarf was the width of the green blocks.

Once I was ‘done’ there were still four very large balls of yarn left. Since they wouldn’t do me much good in other projects, I decided to use them up and started adding panels of black to the side and end of the original scarf.

That’s how a moderately-sized scarf of 8′ by 7″ can spiral madly out of control into a 9′ 10.25″ by approx. 11″ behemoth. That said, I actually prefer the larger finished product to the original version.

Under normal conditions, I would reject an 11″ wide scarf as being too bulky, but the character of the fabric makes it quite nice.

My original plan was to work the scarf in a combination of double crochet and chain stitches that would hopefully produce a mesh-like fabric. A simple idea, but I scrapped it after I realized just how much of a pain working double crochet would be with this yarn. (A massive pain, if you were wondering.) Following that revelation I decided to just do the whole thing in single crochet.

What I found, however, was that the single crochet produced when this particular this yarn (It’s practically embroidery floss.) is worked on a size G hook looks like mesh. In fact, the whole thing turned out looking almost exactly like the type of mesh I had originally wanted to make, the only difference is that this was way, way easier to do.

Lichbane - detail

See? Meshtacular. That’s sheer luck and I take no credit for it at all.

That yielding, collapsible structure is what lets me tolerate it being (on average) 11″ wide. It’s quite nice, actually. Substantial enough to feel present and keep you warm, but light enough that it doesn’t drag at your neck.

I finished it Thursday night and wore it for the first time yesterday evening when I went to Pathfinder. During that game we ruined a zombie dinner party and slew a lich, so, in commemoration of how we almost died a lot, I’m re-dubbing this scarf from the ‘black crochet scarf’ to the ‘lichbane scarf.’ (The fact that the new name is infinitely cooler is but a side benefit, I swear.)

Now, you may be wondering ‘what’s next?’ If the lichbane was the ‘next on the docket’ then what is the next next thing named in the post title? Well, it’s this:

Purling practice

My discipline failed and, instead of completing an ongoing project like a good maker, I started something new. It’s going really fast though, that’s to my credit at least, as I began knitting this yesterday afternoon around 4:00.

The purpose of this project, in addition to making something warm and fuzzy of course, is to get me practicing the purl stitch.

There’s a long, sad story behind why I didn’t knit for years despite knowing how that’s actually not all that long and isn’t really sad so much as vaguely embarrassing. You see, lacking any elder womenfolk who knew how to knit, I had to teach myself from books. I learned the knit stitch just fine. I did not, however, realize that the purl stitch existed. It wasn’t a thing to me so, without it, I could only really do garter stitch and quickly got fed up. (Give me a break, I was 12.)

Anyway, it was just recently that I realized what I’d gotten wrong and, with a spot of quick research (thank you, Youtube), got back to knitting proper. I still need practicing purling though.

This pattern (fittingly) from the Purl Bee is free, delightfully easy, and creates a nicely textured ribbing that’s wonderfully squishy. I’m making it with worsted weight wool and 35 cast-on stitches on size 9 needles. At this moment it’s about 28″ long and 5″ wide (8″ when stretched out).

I’m considering adding some stripes of different grays and maybe black to it since it seems I may run out of orange before achieving a suitable length.

Possible color combos

What say ye, do you like any of those?

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