Love Potion No. IX

IXLate last summer I saw a picture of a stunning geometric handknit scarf on Facebook. A few weeks later I realized I had to resign from the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus because of work conflicts. I wanted a special gift for our assistant director, a beautiful and very talented young woman named Lisa Wong. Lisa’s wardrobe is filled with black, which she accents deftly with grays and occasional pops of color. She is chic to the Nth degree. When I had first seen the scarf picture, I instantly thought of Lisa and how wonderful this scarf would look on her. On my last night at rehearsal, I showed her the picture and asked if she thought she’d prefer red or purple for the accent color. We agreed on purple and I ordered the yarn—Malabrigo Sock yarn, soft and cuddley.

Throughout a busy fall and winter (new job at the Bernina store; musical directing Sondheim’s “Company”; vacation in Florida; moving Mother into a nursing home and emptying her assisted living apartment; helping my son clean out his house after his ex moved out; and taking on a new opera gig), I did my best to make time to knit. The Jazzman likes to watch news shows when he gets home each evening after a long day on the railroad, so I used that time to sit with him and work on the scarf.

The pattern was complex and moderately difficult. Some of the techniques were new to me. The instructions were—to this technical writer—imperfect. As I worked through the pattern, I found little boo-boos that were too far back for me to be willing to fix. I have my limits!

purpleWhen I was about three-quarters of the way through the scarf, I realized I had made a major error: two adjacent striped squares were parallel rather than perpendicular. And then on one of the purple squares I realized I had slipped a stitch, creating a hole. Argh! I left a note to Lisa on Facebook telling her the scarf was going to come to her next fall—just as the cold weather is beginning again—rather than at the supposed end of this long and bitter winter. This one would be for me to wear with a purple Eileen Fisher sweater that was a gift from my DIL-Equivalent.

So here’s today’s premier wearing, just an hour after finishing. Tonight the Jazzman and I went to a fundraiser for my neighbor’s non-profit, and several people noticed and admired the scarf. Isn’t that always the best way to end a project?!

Knitting geekery. If you’re not a knitter, you can skip this paragraph!
For anyone working on this pattern, here are my clarifications to the less-than-perfect instructions:

  1. Section 6, striped square – this is not really an error, but just a lack of clarification. If you don’t count carefully but rather just read, you might think, as I did, that the final row of this section is CC2. But because the block contains an odd number of rows, the final row is CC1 (black), not CC2 (natural). Big Oops #1. And nothing is said about binding off.
  2. Section 7, solid square – Okay, if you don’t bind off, where does the next row begin? My notes say to stop the previous block at the intersection of blocks 2, 3 and 8. “Leaving the existing stitchs on the right needle, use MC to work 37 garter ridges, K2T at the end of every ridge.” That means this block is perpendicular to the previous striped block and to the solid color block in the first block row. If this is correct, then there needed to be a bind off row, which doesn’t exist. Maybe this block needed to be parallel to the solid color row in the first block row. But it would have to be attached to the first block row by K2T at the end of each row. Another Argh!
  3. Section 8, striped square. Again note the odd number of rows, necessitating CC1 as the final row.
  4. Everything was fine until the top edging. The way the author sometimes tells you what to do before telling you to do it is confusing. This is one of those instances. The top edging says, “Using CC1 pu and k 234 sts. Then, Row 1-3: K to end. 2 garter ridges. What she should has specified is that R1 is WS. That pick-up row and #2 are RS, then 1 and 3 are WS, making 4, the BO row, RS.

Honestly, I’m happy this first version is finished. I will keep both the instructions and version #1 next to me while working on version #2.

And the bottom line? I love it! The yarn is just lovely. This will be worn each time I wear the purple EF sweater.

About Jan

Musician and geek and Juris Doctor; lover of fine art and fine craft; mother and grandmother and significant other and friend. Passionate about sewing.

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5 Responses to Love Potion No. IX

  1. Gayle ortiz says:

    Super beautiful, Jan.

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks, Gayle. You’d love the Malabrigo Sock yarn. It’s a joy to knit with.

  3. Abigail says:

    Looks great on you!! Don’t you love it when even your personal failures are fabulous enough for compliments from those who only see your successes! Love that talent, girl! ox

  4. Jan says:

    Thanks, Abigail. The Jazzman just left for Florida – now to start the next version. 🙂

  5. Trish says:

    What a gorgeous scarf. Thank you for showing it to us.

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