Sunday, 8 July 2007
Welsh Hiking Scarf
Pattern: Hello Yarn Irish Hiking Scarf
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK, colourway 521 'Opulence', 8 balls knit double, from Liberty
Needles: 4mm, 60 cm Addi circ
Dimensions: 216 cm x 11.5 cm washed (I didn't block it as such, and forgot to measure it before washing, but from the swatch and memory I don't think it grew much). I could probably have got at least another 10 cm from the last two balls, but was modelling it on a favourite scarf and I'm happy with it this length.
Modifications: I cast on 36 stitches and replaced all the k2 except the first and last with kfb; for the last row I knit the kfb stitches together. I take no credit for these mods whatsoever. I emailed Adrian to ask which cast-off she had used as I wasn't very happy with the way the top and bottom of my swatches had splayed out, and she suggested these increase and decrease rows. I also cast off in pattern after the sixth row of the repeat to make the ends of the scarf symmetrical.
Thoughts: this is a great pattern. It's really simple but effective, and as you all probably already know, cables rule. Plus, I really like the two stich garter stich edging, which frames the cables hansomely and gives a nice flat edge without being too obtrusive. The yarn is beatifully, beautifully soft and was a real treat to knit with, although I'm a bit worried about how it will hold up. It was already starting to pill after only a few days accompanying me on public transport, and I had to stop D from patting it in order to avoid having a felted scarf before it was even off the needles! Apparently it's machine washable but I'm not sure I'd take the risk. It's a bit too splitty to be perfect cabling material, particularly knitting with two strands held double, but I like the stitch definition so I'd happily do it again! I also found three knots in the eight balls I used, which isn't the end of the world - and at least both sides of the knot were from the same dyelot! - but for something that expensive it seems a bit cheeky. Knitting a scarf from eight balls of the stuff was truly extravagant (opulent, in fact!), but D and I spent ages searching for the right colour and as it was the first thing I've knit him I wanted it to be perfect. And I can't think of any other way I'd rather spend my money.
So far the scarf has spent most of its existence in a drawer waiting for winter, but luckily I thought of taking it to the seaside and it turned out to be the perfect addition to a (Cardiff Blues) rugby shirt at the end of a brisk, breezy, beautiful day at Aldeburgh. A cherished scarf for a very happy day.