Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Completed: Pseudo Shibori Scarf... Sort Of

It's been so long since I finished a knitting project that I actually had to refresh my memory of how to cast off. How embarrassing is that?

I started this project just before school started... last year. Yep, I've been working on the same project for over a year. I had just picked up knitting again over the summer, and had been going through projects like crazy. In less than two months, I knitted a pair of fingerless gloves, three scarves, a hat, and a purse, so I figured I was ready for a more ambitious project. 

I bought the book Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin (before I knew about Ravely) for its hats. But, I had just finished the Sideways Grande Hat and wanted to try something different. I decided on the Pseudo Shibori Scarf in purple kidsilk (70% super-kid mohair, 30% silk). This stuff feels amazing - if it didn't take forever, I would use it for everything I knit. It looks so delicate but feels so cozy.

Oops, I just realised that I got carried away adjusting the white balance in this one and the colour is a little wonky. The other ones are closer to its actual colour.
It was going well enough, and then... well, school started. I don't think I knit again until Christmas break, and even then I didn't knit very much. It wasn't until I had the flu that I really picked it up again, once I was feeling slightly better but not well enough to go to school. For the entire year, I pretty much only knit when I was at home sick (which was quite a bit, mind you. My immune system hates me). Other than that, I knit pretty sporadically, and spent a lot more time sewing than knitting. Once summer school started, I would bring my knitting with me and knit after I finished tests (I'm pretty sure everyone in my class thought I was a bit odd...). More recently, I've started trying to fit it in whenever I can because I just wanted to finish.

But ta-dah! I'm finally done! I'm pretty happy about it, but I'm also looking forward to a project that's not done with laceweight yarn and 3.5 mm needles. Seriously, it's like knitting with thread. I kept track of my rows, and I did 446 of them. That's 24,084 stitches. Yikes.

The construction is pretty straightforward as long as you keep track of your rows. It's a horizontal rib pattern, which gives it a subtle texture, and knit diagonally (increasing on one side, decreasing on the other).

Now, you may notice that mine's a little different from the picture, hence the "sort of" in the title. By the time I finished it, I really couldn't have been bothered with the ruching. I had made it a length that I liked, and I would have had to make it longer if I wanted to ruche it. I figured that it had enough texture already. It's subtler than with the ruching, but it's still there. I also skipped the tabs, which I wasn't crazy about in the first place.

Overall, I'm really happy with it, and very relieved to be able to start something new. It's very cozy, yet very elegant, and I think it'll get a lot of wear. I definitely made some mistakes, but the nice thing about thin yarn and tiny needs is that the stitches are so small that mistakes (which I made many of) aren't very noticeable (the exception being the strange lump on the left side of this picture, which I will eventually try to block. I don't even know what happened there).

Can you spot the mistakes? There's four of them!
There's no pictures of me wearing it because it takes a serious chunk of time for a full photoshoot, and I've been pretty busy lately. And besides, the scarf looks the same whether I'm wearing it or not. I mean, I'm not going to show off my amazing job of fitting it to myself because, um, it's a scarf. Just take my word for it that fits.

My failed attempt at an artistic photo...
So what's next? Well, I have this gorgeous hand dyed, hand spun wool that was a birthday present last fall. It's BFL (bluefaced leicester) wool, which I had never heard of before, but it's amazingly soft. 

I haven't decided what to make with it yet, any ideas? I estimated that I have around 90 metres. I might make a matching hat and cowl set, because although I can mix-and-match most of my knitted accessories because they're similar colours, I don't have any that truly match. I just need to find a pattern, so suggestions would be really appreciated! They don't have to be matching patterns, I just want to make them in the same wool. I think I'll make the hat first, because the cowl I can finish whenever I run out of wool... that's a little harder to do with a hat! 

Ideally I need a pattern that uses 8 mm needles (that's what the woman who spun it said would look best), but I tend to knit pretty tightly so 9 or 10 mm would probably be fine. I would describe the wool as bulky or super bulky, not sure which. The tag in the photo above is a standard size business card, and it's attached with a piece of worsted weight yarn, for comparison purposes.

Thanks for reading! And if you have any pattern suggestions that would be great!


  1. Your scarf looks fantastic! So warm and stylish and I just love the color. Who cares if you have a few mistakes and you didn't do the ruching? How do you like that book? I've never heard of it, but I'm attracted to it just based on your project and the cover. Also, sorry, I have no clue about patterns. I would just do a search on ravelry with all that selected!

    1. Thanks! I personally really like the book, although it has mixed reviews so I guess it depends a lot on your style! I bought it because of the hat I already made and the one on the cover, but there are definitely other patterns that I really like and will eventually make, like these: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/teak-bittersweet-gauntlets or http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/argyle-lace-hat and some of the felted bags.

      I will admit there are definitely some that I'm not so fond of, like this one: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fawn-earflap-hat (although I can picture it looking better in a different colour), and some that I like but will probably never make because there's patterns out there that I like better. So if you're interested in it I would say just look through the patterns on Ravelry and see if there's enough that you like to make it worth buying.

      And as for my own search on Ravelry, I'm working on it, but I find it quite overwhelming so I often end up going for patterns that other people have recommended to save myself the trouble. Wow, that was a really long answer but I hope I answered your question!

  2. What a beautiful scarf, I admire your perseverance! I'm afraid I like things a but less challenging, I,e, not too much rib. I like knitting on 5 mm needles the best, though I'm doing 2.5 dons at the moment and loving the pattern for mitts, will be on my blog soon. The bfl wool is gorgeous and will knit much quicker!

    1. Thank you! Yes, the chunkier wool should be a lot faster... it'll be quite a relief to knit with it!

  3. I have similar yarn that I bought ages ago for a shawl but I found it too difficult to work with a lace pattern and the almost 300 stitches I had to cast on. This project looks very nice, your scarf is awesome and looks so cozy. It's just a pity that the pattern is not available as a Ravelry download :(

    1. Woah, and here I was complaining about the 50 that I had to cast on! It is too bad that you can't get the pattern online, but If you're looking for patterns from knitting books, you could always try a local library - I've had some luck with finding interesting knitting books to borrow.