17 June 2008


A while back I decided that I would like to make my dad a scarf for Fathers Day. I thought about the colours my dad wears and decided that blues and greys would be good colours for him, so that gave me the perfect excuse to scour Etsy for fibre. I chose superwash merino fibre, as I know my mum is unlikely to want to handwash anything (actually Im with her all the way here!). I found two lovely fibres, a blended grey. from

and a space dyed mix of bluey colours from

I spun them on my millefiori drop spindle from butterfly girl designs (also on Etsy) and then Navajo plied them on my Ashford Joy spinning wheel to keep the colours separate.

I particularly enjoyed spinning the blue yarn as it was so lovely to handle and it spun into a beautifully soft yarn. The finished yarn was 12 wraps per inch. The Grey yarn was silkier than the blue and was lovely enough that it almost won me over even though it was grey.

To make the scarf I chose to use a modular knitting technique which shows the colour variations very well and is easy for a dodgy knitter to handle - I learned this technique at a guild meeting earlier this year - it was taught by Rosie Sykes who inspired me so much that I picked up my knitting needles for the first time in years for this project. It uses only knit stitches and no purl which I liked a lot. I knitted 19 squares in the first row using size 5 mm needles then picked up all along one edge and created a grey stripe down the middle, then knitted the next row of blue squares. I finished by adding a grey stripe at either end and then did a single row of crochet as a border.
I washed and pressed it and marvelled at how much softer it was after washing - and breathed a sigh of relief when it didn't shrink or felt and in fact stretched slightly back to the length I'd hoped it would be when I started knitting (scarves always seem to shrink as they're worked I find).

The finished scarf weighed 4.5 oz or 135g and it took 16 hours to spin, ply and wind the balls and 22 hours for me to knit - probably very slow compared to all you super knitters - but hey I did it and got it posted in time for Fathers Day!


woolladyfelter said...

Wow! It is beautiful and such a lovely spun yarn. I am a beginner when it comes to knitting - will you share the "square" pattern how did you get the colors to go in an "L" shape. I get the gray boarder and crochet up the middle. Very nice - I hope your Dad appreciated it!
I'm new to your site and I am looking forward to reading more.

Spinnerlady said...

How fabulous - my first comment. The square is pretty simple - it comes from Rosie Sykes pattern so I can't copy it to you 'as is' due to copyright, however in essence it goes as follows - you cast on 25 stitches, then the 1st row and subsequent odd rows are plain knit. In the alternate (even rows) you decrease in the middle - ie 2nd row - knit 12 then slip one stitch knitwise, knit 2 tog, pass slip st over, then knit remaining 12 stitches - obviously each altenate row you have less stitches to knit once you get to 3 stitches remainging knit them together leaving one stitch on the needle then pick up 12 stitches along one edge (13 st on needle) and then cast on another 12 and do it all again. Hope this all makes sense. I shall try and see if any other modular knitting websites have a pattern for it - if I find one will add it to the page