February 02, 2006

Scarfing it up

Since I seem to be doing scarves this week, here's another one from a few years ago.

This one is a simple seed stitch, and it's about a mile long, so I couldn't get it all in the frame without just rumpling it all up in a ball.

The story of this scarf may be partially imaginary or possibly magical in nature.
Bear with me, if you can...

Once Upon A Time (a few years ago) I bought two largish skeins of variegated yarn. I think it's a cotton/wool mix, but these skeins didn't have a ball band or any identifying mark, just a little generic white tag on string with the price written on it in black pen.

(see, the details lend the story verisimilitude, don't they?)

The LYS did have information about the yarn... name, maker, etc... there on the bin, but I didn't write it down, which turned out to be a very bad thing for my extremely limited reputation as a Sane Person. ha. ha.

Anyway, I bought it in order to make a matching Mum & Baby set of hats for my friend's impending baby, and I wanted it to suit the style
of the baby's mum, who somehow manages to be a sort of hippy-style free spirit combined with a very quiet and gentle nature. I found a darling-yet-practical pattern that was just perfect, bought two skeins of this yarn, and took it all home, full of hope and cheer and a sense of being grounded in reality.

But my friend's baby arrived early, and my husband had a horrible accident that severely broke his arms in several places and put him in the hospital. Being a wife of good intent, I knit him some beautiful cabled Cashmerino bed socks to keep his feet warm while he was laid up. And having had a taste of Sock Knitting (the first one's free!) I got all sock-obsessed.

You know what follows. I didn't get to the hats in time for the baby's official Coming Out party, so I got them something else... and there was that yarn, sitting in my stash, accusing me of not loving it, pining for its baby, criticizing the little corners on the heels I was turning.

Clearly something must be done, but what?

I was inspired by yet another unfinished piece I had been lugging around for decades (it was best friends with the doomed pieces of Mom's Aran Vest). I tried to frog this piece, too, but it was very old and fragile alpaca, and my labors were resulting in a sort of sculptural pile that might be entitled 'The Dust Bunny That Ate Hell'. But the effort reminded me:

I have a weird love of seed stitch. I don't know why I love it, since I usually do everything I can to knit in the round because I dislike purling.

I never said I was consistent.

Well, actually, yes I have. But that's a different issue. Don't confuse me in the middle of a story, or we'll never get out of here.

Where was I? Oh, yes, seed stitch. It's really great for variegated yarn, I think. So I decided that it was time that I knitted a scarf, since I'd never knitted one.

(Yes, even though I'd been knitting on and off for two decades. Stop laughing... I'm *weird*. My very first knitting project was a pair of mittens. My second was an Aran cable sweater. I'll tell that story another day, then you'll REALLY laugh.)

I discovered, while knitting this scarf, that I loved it passionately. Not necessarily this particular colorway, although it turned out to work okay with my clothes in spite of itself. I loved the *yarn*, the way it was light like cotton but sproingy lik
e wool, the softness of it, the subtle sheen of it, everything. So back I went to the LYS to buy more in something a bit darker and more jewel-toned... and they didn't have any.

They not only didn't have any, they had no idea what I was talking about. No clue what the name or maker of the yarn might be. They knew the store backwards and forwards, and were sure that they had never had any such yarn.


And I've not seen anything like it since.

Apparently the Fairies made it, just for me.

If you happen across one of your neighborhood Fairies, could you please ask them to give *my* neighborhood Fae a hint that I'd be ever so grateful if they would leave another skein or two on my doorstep? Abject pleading would be perfectly acceptable...


Blogger Chris said...

My. What a tale! How mysterious...

I love seed stitch in the round because then I can happily knit Eastern Uncrossed - continental, but the purl stitches are twisted, so you knit into the back of the purl stitches to untwist them. It's blazing fast.

And if you haven't checked your email yet - I love the package!! I'm going to carefully tuck the truffles in the freezer for a few days until my stomach settles... but I'm anticipating them already!

8:30 AM  
Blogger mE said...

I have no clue about Eastern Uncrossed... but now I'm going to have to do some research, because anything that would make seed stitch easier is my kind of thing! :)

(((Chris))) Oh, your poor tummy!
Take care of yourself, and feel better soon...

9:55 AM  
Blogger mrspao said...

Wow! That is another really lovely scarf. The wool is gorgeous and I just love the story behind it. Forgive my ignorance but what is seed stitch? Is it where you knit and knit but not purl?

1:35 PM  

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