Friday, August 3, 2012

objects on the needles may be bigger than they appear

loooong scarf by gradschoolknitter
loooong scarf, a photo by gradschoolknitter on Flickr.

Have you ever been knitting along on a project, say, a sweater for yourself, and someone else comes along and says something along the lines of: "that isn't for you, is it?" You know they mean well, but it plants that seed of self doubt. You try to answer confidently "Why yes, it's just my size!" and they say again "Are you sure? It just looks... a little small."

Here's the deceptive thing about circular knitting: usually the needles you're working with have a smaller circumference than the actual size of the finished garment. It makes sense, of course: if they were bigger, you wouldn't be able to stretch all your stitches around them, right? So you stuff all those stitches on to a slightly smaller circumference in order to be able to actually make everything work properly.

So, back to our doubting thomas, and that voice in your head. Eventually, maybe after doubting-thomas has left the building so as to not give them the satisfaction, you'll decide to string up all your stitches on some waste yarn so that you can try it on. And before you can even put it over your head (sometimes before you can even get all the stitches off the needle) you realize: it's freakin' huge.

Not just "oh, this will be ok on me" big. We're talking Dr. Frankenstein's monster's baby with a Sasquatch huge.

And so it was with my handspun scarf. I began to cast off and soon realized it was more than double then length I was expecting. BUT: unlike the sweater that you will inevitably stuff into a drawer, never to be seen again (finished or not), this is a scarf/cowl type of thing, and can be worn no matter what. And in a number of ways, I might add:

double wrapped
Double wrapped, round the neck;

Sort of like a shrug (although watch where the twist meets... it might make you look a little ridiculous...);


phone pic
Obligatory phone shot... since that's what we're working with here. Still haven't managed to pick up batteries to test the real camera...

I ran out of the multi-coloured handspun just past the half way point on the scarf. What's a girl to do? Perhaps remember that she knows how to spin yarn (and, if you scroll to the second pic, remember that she has handspun yarn of her own just lying around...). So I used up some of the stuff I spun at Christmas, and when that ran out, I used up the leftovers from this scarf, and when that ran out, I spun up a little bit more of my own! That finally did the trick and by the time I bound off, this is all I had left:

Sadly I forgot to take pictures before knitting it into the scarf...

Anyway, if you run all the way back up to the top of this post (which, I know, is about a mile away now...) you'll find the cast-on edge on the left side. That yarn lasts about 3/4 of the width of the scarf... the first bits of my original handspun can be seen in the bottom part of the picture, sort of a yellow-y green. That stuff is a little... uneven, but my newer handspun was actually fairly even and a lot more like the "commercial" (as in, "I purchased this") handspun.

Anyway, even if it is a lot bigger than expected, I love my new scarf and I expect that it will keep me extra warm this winter!


Susan said...

I love the title of this post. I'd never thought about it but you explained the concept well. Great to see your blog again!

gradschoolknitter said...

Thanks Susan! I'm very happy to be blogging again!