02 January 2012

Irish Hiking Scarf, the New Year and Beethoven and stuff.

Ok so... Happy 2012 and happy late Christmas. I apologise for the lack of updates. Having had my first (and very overwhelming!) semester of Grad School at UCONN, I hardly had time to get done what I needed too, much less do something for myself.

I haven't neglected needlework, but I find that time just slips away from me. I had to tear out my afghan that will be offered as a free pattern (aka my "undisclosed" knitting project), yet AGAIN. So, instead of working with acrylics, I decided to spend the extra money for Patons classic wool, which will make for a nice warm, snuggly afghan. :) So during the newly found free time in Grad school, I decided to make a scarf for my boyfriend's mom for Christmas.

Easier said than done. Finding the right pattern was difficult. I used a cabled scarf pattern by my most trusted Lion Brand, but I swear, there was a mistake, and the pattern was way off. I know I never have done cables before, but I re-knit it 3 times, and still no luck. My good friend Mitch told me about reversible cables. The pattern was easy, but ate yarn like no other. So, I finally decided on the Irish Hiking Scarf. I had a hell of a time finding the right yarn. I'm a picky knitter as it is (or maybe I am a (k)nitpicker?) -- I like to use the best quality yarn in combination with the best quality needles because it makes the project itself go more smoothly and you have a nicer finished product. Since this wasn't for me, I was extra picky. I ended up going to Michael's with my friend Stacey in the middle of an early snowstorm to get Alpaca blend yarn from Michael's. It was nice, but I just felt it wasn't good enough and having settled for cheap knitting needles from Wal-Mart, I hated how it was turning out.

Boye needles get the job done, but having only knit previously with Addi needles, it was like... going from being chauffeured in a super stretch limo to having having to drive yourself in a shoddy car rebuilt from parts from a junkyard (I'd like to see the Car Fax for that one...).... Okay, so maybe it's a bit of an overstatement, but I think you get my point. So Stacey and I took another excursion to Glastonbury to buy some yarn and go Christmas shopping for our boyfriends. So, I ended up getting this fabulous yarn called "Taboggan" but unfortunately, the lady at the shop was less than helpful and I ended up buying way too little yarn, but I did get my Addi needles!!

By the time I got home for break, my mom and I went to Knitter's Nest to try to find my Taboggan yarn. No luck. I ended up buying an acrylic/wool blend called "Play time" which, I didn't like once I started knitting. I didn't like the way it felt in my hands, and it was a bit too thin in my opinion, to get through a Norwegian winter. But, I did get the Addi Click interchangable needle set!!!

Being rather annoyed with yarn by this point, I remembered Nancy telling me about yarn.com. I read through all of the yarn descriptions before finally setting on a blended yarn by Cascade called "Dolce". This yarn was amazing, other than when it tangled like mad when I tried to wind it into a ball. I can deal with that. It was the right amount of thickness and the right amount of soft: A worsted weight, 55% Alpaca, 23% Merino and 22% Silk blend.

I had been working on this scarf daily from the time I got the yarn, so, from 23. December, through today. I planned to actually give the gift to Åse herself, but I couldn't go to Norway for New Year's. I guess though, I was able to buy myself more time before actually sending the scarf off to Norway never to be seen again.

And without further adeiu (and rambling...) I introduce... The Irish Hiking Scarf!!

Here's a close up of the cables! 

Jealous of his Model/Composer competitor, Mozart, Beethoven models the scarf. My doesn't he look rather fetching in red!

As said before, the pattern was fairly easy. It called for a worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles. I used size 7 and close to 200 g of yarn because Dolce got pretty good yardage. I made the scarf in red because Alex said it's his mom's favourite colour. The picture is a bit dark, but the red is actually a very vibrant one. :) Now I just hope that Åse likes it! She's been knitting way longer than I have, and it was my first attempt at cables, so I hope it is well received! I know I am proud of it (and even more so that I can start a new project!)

The Irish Hiking Scarf pattern can be found here.

** This pattern is copyright of Hello Yarn. All right's reserved. The photos are my own.**

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