The 2nd scarf of this pair was worked from the same pattern, using a very different yarn. Here’s the story. (First scarf, the pink/violet/red one, is here.)
I wanted to knit something for my friend Dirk, and after some thought he decided on a scarf. Colours? “How about orange and blue, the colors of the House of Orange, the royal house of the Netherlands. Just for good measure they are also the U of I colors so I would fit right in here in town on football weekends.”
Note: U of I = University of Illinois. Dirk lives in a city in south-central Illinois, USA, with a campus of the U of I.
Second note: My mum, who spent a lot of time watching me knit this thing over Christmas, asked who it was for. “Somebody who wants to fit in with the football crowd.” Not exactly true, but close enough. Her reply? “You know somebody who watches football !?” At the time it was very funny; maybe you had to be there.
Now there’s “blue” and there’s “blue”, and there’s “orange” and there’s “orange”. I wondered how I would match the colours of the House of Orange, as web searches were showing me various blues and various oranges. Maybe that’s not surprising, given monitor resolutions and so on. I know that dyeing has been important to the Netherlands historically: there’s cities in Holland that are named after parts of the dyeing and fabric making processes. I briefly considered buying some white yarn and dyeing it with indigo and madder (likely), but ruled that out as I have no experience with natural dyeing.
Dirk wanted a large scarf, and he’s a big man – physically, heart, and personality – so I knew he could wear a bold design. I liked the idea of doing the Multi-directional Scarf in 2 colours. I needed to find the yarn, and good colours. An email friend had told me that her LYS, Needleworks, Inc in Champaign-Urbana in Illinois --excellent yarn shop, by the way: worth a visit if you are passing through the city-- sells so much blue and orange yarn for the U of I colours that the owner has researched the Pantone inks used in the official school publications, and matched it to DMC embroidery floss. Skeins of said floss were put in the mail to me.
The blue is at the violet end of blue, and the orange is…um…bright. (Colours blue 791 and orange 947, for those who like to know those things.) I knew I could never match these with my rudimentary dyeing skills (and to be honest, I didn’t want to be immersion dyeing yarn in my galley-style kitchen), so the hunt was on for yarn. I decided on a 25% / 75% silk / wool blend from Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill in Copper and Dark Blue in sport weight. After an incident with Canada Customs that delayed the yarns’ arrival, a reorder, the arrival of 2 lots of yarn*, I cast on for swatches. The silk gives the yarn a wonderfully warm sheen, and in real life the colour of the fabric has some subtle variations in it. It’s very appealing.
I cast on and started working away, and then it came time to change the colours. Can you see in the picture, the tip of the blue triangle on the right? Compare with the same point on the left blue triangle. See how the tip kinda leans to the right? (Yes I know you’re wondering why the left blue point looks better than the right blue point. I would have worked it before the one on the right so it should be “wrong” too, correct? Correct. After I figured it out, I decided I should get a photo, so I worked the next point without the improvement.)
The point’s not perfect by any means, but it’s as close as I could get without more fiddling. (Dirk had already asked me if I have obsessive tendencies while I was thinking about the yarn colours.)
And that’s it. I knitted away during Christmas and got it finished. It was washed and left to dry on my kitchen floor. The gauge ended up at 4.5 sts/inch, perhaps a bit looser than I would have wanted for garter stitch. (Time will show how it holds up as a scarf.) Coming in at about 6 feet by 8 inches, the scarf took 1 skein of both colours --with about 3 yards remaining of each-- so there were 4 ends to finish off. Most satisfying. Very different from the other scarf; both successful projects.
Next up: Lace. I’m swatching for a Shetland stole, with ideas taken from some pieces in the Shetland Museum.
*I will note that because of this wonderful screw up and the reordering of the yarn, I have 3 skeins of both the blue and orange yarns that I would be happy to sell at a reasonable price. Email me if interested.