Friday, August 29, 2008

Halfway there and still traveling

The scarves, that is.

Back in June I talked about signing up for a Traveling Scarf Project. Very simple concept - a round robin where a group of knitters each starts a scarf and sends it on to the next person who adds a few inches and sends it on again. The scarves continue around the circle, getting knitted on by each member of the group, each eventually returning to it's original owner. The scarf is usually accompanied by a note from the owner, giving some sort of suggested guideline for stitchers to follow, even if it's just a mention of least-liked colors.

In the final count, with the addition of one last minute member, our group came to 16 people. So at this point, having just sent the 8th & 9th scarves downstream to the next person, I'm halfway done. I've seen scarves requesting neutral colors, fall colors, and some that just said bright colors. Some scarves travel with their own yarn but allow any stitch pattern, other scarves specify stitch pattern but not the yarn. It's been an interesting ride so far!

This process of evaluating each scarf - reading the owner's requests and looking at what those before me in the group have done, and then selecting the best possible combination of yarn & stitch pattern to complete my portion reminds me of the design classes I took in college many years ago. Way way way back in time - before I decided to be "practical" and change my major from Art to Psychology. I hope I've done a decent job of creating a section that fits in well with the owner's wishes and the look of the scarf overall, but so far - this is what I've done:

This is a terrible photo, I was so excited on the first scarf that I almost forgot to take a picture and had to grab a quick shot on the bench outside the post office. The stitch pattern is called Swag Stitch and since the owner requested neutral colors I used the same yarn I had used for my starter scarf, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in Deep Charcoal.

When the next scarf arrived I saw that the owner wanted "fall" colors so I switched to a dark forest green Lamb's Pride and knitted my section in Window Stitch, also from the Vogue Stitch Dictionary.

On the third scarf I got a bit more daring and tried an Eyelet & Chevron stitch pattern from that same Vogue Stitch Dictionary. I used Patons Classic Wool in Cream and I think it'd be really nice make a really pretty scarf.

The owner of the fourth scarf said she loved color and liked fuschia and turquoise so I put them together, using Lamb's Pride of both colors in a Mock Houndstooth pattern from Mon Tricot's 1800 Patterns. It was really fun and much easier than I'd expected.

For the fifth scarf I went back to the forest green Lamb's Pride and knitted my section in a simple five by five basketweave pattern with a very narrow garter stitch edge.  It's got to be the simplest of all knit/purl stitch combinations and it's a winner every time.

The sixth scarf arrived with it's own yarn, a lovely teal blue Patons Classic Wool, but left it up to each knitter to select their own stitch pattern.  I used the Triangular Rib from the Mon Tricot book.  I didn't love it at first but it definitely grew on me and I'm happy with the finished product.

Lucky number seven scarf arrived when I was in the mood to try more colorwork.  I used Lamb's Pride in both Fuschia and Deep Charcoal for the Mosaic T-Pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks.  Again, using two colors was easy, and I just converted the stitch patttern to be knit flat instead of in the round, which was just as easy.

The owner of scarf number eight left it to each knitter to select their own yarn, but requested that each section be done in either seed stitch or garter stitch.  I have an allergy to seed stitch so garter stitch was the only option.  Fortunately, I was also planning to attend a local community theatre comedy and this was the perfect knitting for that event!

Scarf number nine said the magic words, "anything goes", and given the opportunity to really let loose I think the end  result was the best section yet.  I used the same neutral cream colored Patons Classic Wool with scraps of Plymouth Boku leftover from other projects to knit a Cage Stitch Pattern from one of Barbara Walker's books.

Phew!  Does that seem like a lot?  It certainly does to me!  But it's going much faster than I'd expected.  Since this started in June and it's now the end of August, I expect in another 2-3 months I'll be posting another update with (fingers-crossed) a picture of my very own traveling scarf, back from its long journey!


Carolyn (sea mystery) said...

Wow! You have been busy! I love them all, but my fav has to be the turquoise and fuschia. What a standout! Can't wait to see your scarf when it returns to you. xxoo

Mia said...

Hey that looks like fun! I love the chevron pattern!

Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! You've done an excellent job. This is such a cool project. It really gives you a chance to experiment with different stitches and yarns!!! I can't wait to see what your final scarf looks like!

Sheepish Annie said...

What fun! And you've got a lot of knitting to show for the summer. Certainly more than I...

Love those patterns and the stories behind them.