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M saw me working on this (she asked for yellow and red, and this is as close to that garishness as I could bring myself to sit with for 10 plus hours) and said: That looks very Harry Potter.
You should know, I missed the whole Harry Potter thing. I didn't read the books. I didn't watch the movies. Sorry, I just don't care about Harry Potter. But a quick Google search does corroborate her perspective.
I nonchalantly tested the waters on this. So, said I, Is Harry Potter not cool? I swear, you can never tell with this child what's old and crappy. I held my breath cuz I'd spent 70 bucks on this yarn and a few hours, at this point.
I am pleased to report that Harry Potter is awesome, and whomever thinks otherwise sucks. Apparently.
A Bit About the Construction:
- I used this tutorial (with hand out) to figure out how to carry the non-working yarn because I have no appetite to weave in 70 plus ends. It's worked very well. You can see the yarn on the wrong side of this scarf, but because I have slipped the first stitch on every row (to neaten the edge), the last stitch curls to the back slightly and totally hides it.
- "Slipping the first stitch" has never seemed particularly impactful to me (yeah, I hate that manufactured word also, but I'm too lazy to search for another) but I'm really seeing it in this plain, stockinette pattern. The tutorial, linked above, explains how to align colour-work with "neat" edge stitching technique when you're knitting FLAT, not in the round, but it doesn't articulately distinguish between the two basic scenarios you'll encounter when knitting a stripey scarf, in stockinette, having clean edges. Those are:
- Scenario A: Rows when you switch from one colour to another
- Scenario B: Rows when you're continuing, from the previous row, in the same working colour
- Very briefly:
- Scenario A: You actually knit the last stitch of the row prior to your "new colour" row in the new colour, to get things set up. Then, turn the work, slip the first stitch of the next row (for neatness). Only then, between first and second stitches, do you wrap the non-working yarn over the working yarn to "carry it up" from the previous row, so when you need it again, it will be there. Then, natch, start knitting with your working colour.
- Scenario B: On rows when you're not switching colours, on the side that has the loose, non-working strand (generally the right-hand side of the knit row, but not necessarily), you'll still need to wrap the non-working yarn over the working yarn after the first (slipped) stitch. Otherwise, you're not "carrying it up".
- When I started to knit, I vowed I'd never make a boring, plain scarf - that seemed like the worst way to learn given my nature - but as I know more (and as I can apply the techniques more confidently), I realize that a plain scarf can have a lot of appeal. Particularly when knit with the right yarn.
- And speaking of yarn, I used the Madeline Tosh vintage yet again. You know I like this yarn, since it's over 20 bucks a skein and I've bought 4 skeins in the last 2 weeks. I don't know how to explain its appeal. It's not super soft. It's not the most beautifully dyed yarn I've ever seen (though the dye is expertly applied). It's not "good value" yarn. But it knits up beautifully. I can tell, already, that it isn't going to pill. It's got excellent spring which produces that beautiful stitch definition and awesome recovery. There's no halo (I hate hair halos). It doesn't lose its shape in blocking. It's durable, but refined. It's a joy to knit with.
- The yarn has much more spring than Cascade 220 - and I'm not dissing on Cascade (which is affordable for most and very adequate, if cheap and cheerful). It's spun more tightly. (Note: I have NO idea about how things are spun, so feel free to tell me I'm high on drugs. I'm going by how it feels...)
- It's MUCH less scratchy than Brooklyn Tweed - but then, just about everything is. It's also less delicate and softer. It doesn't have that hipster-meets-granny appeal, however.
- It's a lot like Quince in some ways - it's got that same kind of springy thing happening and very nice, if not "high-end" hand. But Quince's colours, while saturated and delightful, do not come close to the saturation and complexity of Tosh yarns. Of course, Quince isn't hand-dying tiny batches. It's affordable yarn for the masses.
- When first I started knitting, I was extremely drawn to Debbie Bliss. It was so soft, affordable, pretty - and I still think the fingering is quite nice to work with, especially for baby things. However, I knit many things with Bliss yarn - every one of which grew stupidly the minute I blocked it - and never reverted to normal size or previous shape (well, everything except the gauge swatch). On reflection, Bliss yarn, with its whacky plying, is a bitch to knit (I'm using the last of my aran stash now, which is how I know). It splits ridiculously. The Tosh yarn would not understand splitting if you showed it a video of someone knitting with Debbie Bliss yarn. It's like "fit" yarn. It's beautifully symmetrical and toned.