Monday, October 24, 2005

The Rainbow Scarf - she be finished

After much agonizing back and forth as to gauge, I stuck with my original needle size (11) for the Sari Rainbow ribbon yarn, and finished up the scarf for my sister this past Saturday.

(This is what replaced the ROYGBV scarf I originally intended to knit her but chickened out after trying to cast-on 300 stitches on too-short circular needles. Never fear - I will still use the other yarn originally intended for ROYGBV -- I'm thinking it could make a cool rainbow-striped felted purse one of these days. Or, I could actually go back and knit the ROYGBV scarf. Either of those projects will have to occur after the holidays. But I digress.)

My sister received the Sari Rainbow scarf Saturday evening while on her Emmaus weekend. Her email today indicates that she likes it, although she referred to it as a "stole", (not sure how one wears a 3-inch-wide scarf as a stole, but whatevah). I think it came out okay, and am happy that for the first time, a FO of mine has reached its intended recipient. I'm a real knitter now! (Sorta.)

<-- This is a gauge swatch of that yarn on some size 19 needles, which I decided was just too loose and flimsy-feeling and unstructured for my preference. I ripped that out and tried it on size 15's, which was still too loose, so I kept with the original tight gauge made using the size 11's.

<-- This is a side-by-side comparison of the two gauges (size 11 vs size 19).

Two things happen with this yarn when it is knitted:

1) if on smaller needles (the 11's), it folds in half lengthwise on itself, so that what is really a 1-centimeter-wide ribbon becomes about half that width when knitted. That bothered me originally, but after testing the larger, looser gauges which I didn't like, I got over it.

2) Knitting puts a slight twist in whatever yarn you use, and when using a ribbon yarn, that can be a problem (at least it was for me). The twists back up between the right-hand needle and the ball of yarn, and if you don't untwist it on occasion, it will become so twisted as to be unrecognizable as a ribbon, once you knit it. So, it requires that you stop every few rows and hold up your knitting to let it "spin" and untwist, before proceeding. Later I figured out that as long as you pull a long enough length of yarn from the ball, the twists can get spaced out so that they don't "back up" and become a problem. Live and learn.

<-- My niece, modeling the scarf before it was wrapped and delivered to my sister's pillow up at the retreat center. This young lady has learned how to knit, by the way, and has the most unusual technique I've ever seen. I should have taken pictures of that!

Now, on to my next project, which is a chemo cap. I started it week-before-last, but messed up the ribbing so will mostly frog and re-knit sometime this week. More on that in a later post.

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