My first knitting project! Well, technically my second if you count the cowl that I made as part of my Intro to Knitting course a few weeks ago. But this is my first self-chosen, completely self-knitted piece – and I love it! Not being as deeply immersed in the world of knitting as some other crafts, I don’t exactly know if everyone in knitting has made one of these or not, but when I mentioned this pattern to the lady in my local knitting shop – the very lovely The Tea Cozy – she knew immediately that it was a Jared Flood blog post pattern.
I had no idea ( and still don’t really) who Jared Flood is, but I understand he is pretty well known for his Brooklyn Tweed designs and yarns (?), so there we are. I certainly didn’t know who he was when I fell in love with the pictures of this scarf and chose it from a list of projects suitable for absolute beginners. It was on this list in the first place by virtue of the fact that it’s a very simple pattern and the lovely yarn – Noro Silk Garden – really does all the hard work.
It’s comprised of rows of single rib stitch using two yarn strands and therefore has been the perfect pattern on which to practice my fledgling knits and purls. I actually knitted almost half the scarf on completely the wrong size needles, before realizing I actually needed a size 7, not a size 11. (!) I cast the other half onto the correct needles and it looked so much better I frogged the first part. The full pattern can be found on Ravelry, although Jared Flood says it’s not actually his pattern; he has merely noted it down for posterity (it is, therefore, free). As a complete newbie, the only part I wasn’t too sure about was the slipping stitches every second row. However, I found a YouTube video that very clearly showed how to do this and that was all I needed, so thanks to ToniaOR for the help!
All in all I used almost 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden and I suppose the “tricky” part was trying to find well-co-ordinating yarn. Noro Silk Garden has some pretty wild colours and I didn’t want to get too crazy, so I opted for two balls of No. 428 Train to Tokyo , which gave a light-neutral tone throughout the scarf, with a palette of pale greys/whites, light pinks and a little blue and orange thrown in. To contrast, I used two darker/more vivid mixes and these were one ball of No. 395, all dark purples, greys and fuchsia, and also a ball of No. 373, with lots of blue/green tones and a little more orange for contrast. (I am double-checking on the 373 as that’s the only one I lost the label for, so don’t quote on me that one. The others are solid).
My intention was to end up with a reasonably gender-neutral piece and I think that by-and-large I succeeded. At least I reckon it looks pretty good on my husband, although he needn’t get any funny ideas – it’s mine, alllll mine! It’s lovely and thick and cosy, doesn’t curl because of the rib stitch and is a pleasure to wear. I blocked it at the end of the process, although in actual fact it didn’t need too much work. It was such a pleasure to knit because of the ever-changing colour contrasts and I can thoroughly recommend it to just about anyone. There are plenty of images of other versions on the internet if you need or would like to further whet your appetite.
As I mentioned at the top, I learnt to knit just a few weeks ago in a beginner’s class at the aforementioned Tea Cozy with an extremely nice lady by the name of Patricia. We made a cowl and learnt casting on and off, garter, stockinette and seed stitches, and also how to bind off and sew together your piece. She favoured the continental style of knitting (although was happy to also show the other styles) and I must admit that, thanks to my crochet, holding the yarn in my left hand came very (surprisingly) naturally. I know this scarf isn’t perfect, but I was very relieved to find that getting some sort of consistent tension didn’t take too long at all. In fact, I think learning knitting has helped with my crocheting tension! A useful byproduct.
Next, I would like to have a go on circular needles and/or double-pointed needles, so I’m going to move on to fashioning a simple hat. I discovered the wonderful Simple Collection from Tin Can Knits, which is such a generous resource and plan to have a go at some of those patterns to build up my skills. The aim eventually is to attack a sweater or cardigan, but I have a bit of work to go until then! And of course, sewing is still my numero uno craft. I just finished taking some photos of a couple of makes, which will be up on the blog shortly. Bye for now!