WIP-Safety Scarf

safetyscarf3The Jazzman is on his annual golf outing to Florida with four of his best golfing buddies. I both look forward to and dread this week every year. “Look forward to” because it’s a time I answer to no one but the cats. I can stay in my jammies all day. I can eat breakfast for all three meals. I can spend the entire time in my sewing room. Or in bed, for that matter. “Dread” because—wait for it—I’m afraid of the dark. Yep. Me. Sixty-something woman who has covered a lot of ground in her life. Afraid of the dark.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always thought some badguy was standing outside the window watching me, wanting to harm me. I don’t know where this came from. I pride myself on being a logical-thinking, rational human being. But I’m not. I’m afraid of things that go bump in the night.

I live in an 87-year-old house. Lots of things go bump every night.

When the Jazzman is here with me, I’m not afraid. But when I’m alone, I’m prone to stay upstairs in one room with all the shades drawn.

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Short story time: Twelve-or-so years ago, I lived with a fiancé and his 14yo daughter in a very lovely but very large house in Tucson. He and I went out one night to a party, leaving the daughter at home alone. When we arrived back home two hours later, every light in the house was on. Every single light! When we walked into her bedroom, she had the largest skillet from the kitchen on the bed with her. Yep, afraid of the dark. It didn’t matter that we lived in a gated community and the house had a security system that was armed while we were away. She was pumped and primed to bash any badguy over the head with the skillet.
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This week however, I’ve been sick. I picked up a sore throat on Thursday morning. By Friday night it had developed into an upper respiratory whatever, and yesterday the doctor pronounced Upper Respiratory Infection and gave me a Z-Pak. All I’ve wanted to do all week is to sit on the couch with knitting needles in hand.

A couple of weeks ago I had visited The Flaming Ice Cube in Boardman. They were offering a class on brioche knitting. My schedule wouldn’t allow me to take the class, but I like exploring, so I bought some suitable yarn and the pattern. (With the help of my friend Melinda, I chose HiKoo SimpliWorsted in a gray sparkle and a light and dark gray variegated. This yarn is washable and soft—a great combination.) That night I sat down to start the cowl.

Twelve rows into it, I realized I wasn’t having fun. There was nothing about this cowl that was bringing me any joy. Without a backward glance, I pulled the whole twelve rows apart and rolled the yarn balls back up. Then I turned to Ravelry where, after a lot of searching and flipping through pages, I found Stephen West’s “Safety Scarf.” It looked like much more fun, and only required two more skeins of this reasonably priced yarn.

Now, after three days alone and about 30 episodes of “Breaking Bad,” I’m finished with the fourth section and midway through the fifth. And I love this scarf.

My Canadian cyberfriend Jeannie asked for more photos, so I wanted to give you a WIP post. (Work in Progress, if you’re unfamiliar with that acronym.)

safetyscarfsafetyscarf2I greatly enjoyed Section 3 of this scarf, which is shown in the photos on this post. But it’s not for the distractible. Four rows form the pattern. Rows 1&2 are in the main color; rows 3&4 are in the contrast color. The odd-numbered rows are the right side (photo on left) and a modified cable pattern gives that stitch that spans a couple of rows. The even-numbered rows are the wrong side (photo on right) and are basically knit 3, purl/slip 1. That purl/slip is what gets the distracted knitter, though. Attention must be paid! Row 2 is K3/P1. Row 4 is K3/Sl1. And if you reverse those, your pattern is blown.

SafetyScarfBadThe first time through, I was 29 rows into the 60-row section when I realized something was very wrong. I looked at the directions again and realized that when I slip a stitch on the wrong side of the “fabric”, I was to hold the yarn in front. I was holding it in back, which gave these little lockstitches. (See the horizontal cream-colored bars in the photo? Those don’t belong there!) Now those lockstitches could be kinda cool in the right environment, but this wasn’t that environment! So I pulled out 29 rows and started again.

The next time I was only about 15 rows in when I discovered a problem.

After my third restart and unknit, I went to the computer and created a spreadsheet. I can always follow a spreadsheet.

So after four starts (which, coincidentally, is the same number of Kleenex boxes I’ve emptied in the past two days&jdash;from nose-blowing, not from crying), I have now finished Section 3 and all the remaining episodes of “Breaking Bad.”

Finished Section 4 (only 4 rows) and now on Section 5, I’m searching for something to watch that will get me through the rest of this scarf.

The only problem: I can’t remember what happened in the last scene of BB. This is the way I am with all books and movies. I can remember everything that leads up to the end, but I can’t remember the exact end. Now I need to fast forward through Season 5, Episode 16, so I can remember how it ended with Jesse and Walt.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go swig some DayQuil and find that last episode of “Breaking Bad.”

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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6 Responses to WIP-Safety Scarf

  1. Melinda says:

    This is beautiful! So glad you did a WIP post – one of my favorite things about Ravelry is being able to see people’s photos, when they take several through the course of the project.

    I understand this cast-on, knit howevermany rows, rip back, cast-on again, lather, rinse, repeat too, too well. But I think every knitter does.

    Thanks so much for the positive shout-out to the shoppe and to me. I am so glad that we met and became friends!

    • Jan says:

      Melinda – I agree totally on the friendship. Ever since I moved here, I’ve felt like I was borrowing other people’s friends. But not with you.
      Thanks for that!

  2. Abigail Dallas says:

    Love your writing, Jan. So sorry you’re ill, and hope each day finds you a bit better. Now for my secret….something else we have in common… I am also apprehensive in the dark. Spent so many nights “protecting” my boys when I was raising them and me–the biggest chicken of all–not that they knew. I agree there is no logic, but I too have to psych myself up for those night hours when alone.
    Your creation is beautiful….oh girl of multi-talents. Love you!!

    • Jan says:

      Abigail, of all the secrets we’ve shared over our 50+ year friendship, I can’t believe we never shared this little tidbit! It feels good to know I’m not alone.
      Love you!
      j

  3. KathieB says:

    the scarf is beautiful… looking forward to seeing the finished product. I, too, cannot bear to enter a dark house nor live in one that is completely dark at night… lots of small lamps on timers so that hallways are always lit! I keep outside lights on at night and have always had a dog… who at least will let me know if something untoward is going on outside or inside… unfortunately, the current terrier has ears like radar and even alerts me to the bunnies on the lawn at 3 am! oh well, it’s the price I pay.

    • Jan says:

      Kathie, I have pondered getting a dog, especially after we had the vandalism attacks several years ago. (If you’re curious, here’s one of the posts – http://jaycie622.blogspot.com/2011/12/under-attack.html) I just don’t want to have to be home at a certain time or risk a puddle on the floor. I don’t want to have to pay hundreds of dollars to have the dog cared for while we’re vacationing. When my previous home in D.C. was broken into, the cops told us to get a dog. So I know the soundness of the theory, but I’m just not there yet. We’ll see how I feel in 10 years when I’m not traveling so much. (Assumptions of aging …)

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