Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A crafting history in scarves - part 1

One boring January Sunday morning in 2003, I got bored, and started crocheting a scarf. I was living in Auburn, in my own little hole of an apartment two-and-a-half blocks from campus, and I had some orange Big Lots acrylic and leftover Red Heart navy from my first afghan, and at the end of the day, I had a scarf.

It's a double crochet mesh, there's an unintentional decrease on one end that was caught and so there's an intentional increase on the other so that the ends match. I got all kinds of comments on this scarf wearing it around town and eventually made a couple dozen for fundraisers the College Dems had in my last couple years in town. I could wear this scarf and a hooded sweatshirt through most of the winter and not freeze. It's a good scarf.

Then I started dating my husband, and spending more time in Indianapolis, and the Colts usually made the playoffs. This scarf happened sometime in December 2003/January 2004, and I think I finished it not long after the Colts washed out of the playoffs that year. It's still my Believe in Blue scarf.

Stranded blue Fun Fur with white Red Heart, it's crocheted seed stitch. This one didn't get near the same reaction in Auburn, but it's soft and fuzzy.

And a few years later, we get to my first knit scarf. Besides a garter stitch dishcloth, this is really the first knitting I'd done, and this is the first knitting I enjoyed - which is a real distinction to me. Honestly, it was a Christmas present from a dear friend, a Cup of Yarn scarf kit.

Garter stitch. Acrylic. Knit knit knit forever. It turned out real pretty, though. But at the end, I still didn't know how to purl. I went to my Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, picked out k2p2 ribbing, cast on, and started another scarf. This was the project I took to my first Mad Knitters meeting just this past February. No pictures, as I gave it to my mom the second it was done. It predates the blog.

The current scarf on the needles, however, is this guy:

It's from the Mindful Knitting book, and it's easy lace. I have two more scarves in my Ravelry queue, and meanwhile the Red Scarf project is starting up again. While apparently I don't blink at having three socks on the needles at once, having more than one scarf isn't something I really want to deal with, so I need to finish it soon.

Eric's post about knitters v. Knitters got me thinking and looking around the internet for a definition of the difference. I didn't find anything conclusive, but along with the plethora of "I think I must be a Knitter" blog posts, there was one about sorting new knitters into those with and without the potential to be a Knitter. When she approached a girl in a bowling alley knitting and wasn't given the warmest response, she snarked the girl's uneven stitches and acrylic yarn to her face, and then posts about the encounter on her blog with the assertion that the girl "would never be a knitter." The comments are mostly people amused by her wit and also contain dispersions cast at garter stitch and fun fur.

Now here's the thing. It wasn't that long ago that I knit my garter stitch scarf. That scarf started just this past December. And should I have had the courage to KIP while working on that, I would have been deer-in-the-headlights freaked if someone had asked me about it. I KNEW I didn't know a thing, and when I got to the end of the thing, I would still need to learn how to purl.

Knitting is a learning curve, and the amazing thing to me is that from where I sit on it, it never levels out. We're all in different places, and we don't usually stay there, unless we stop. And that'd just be sad.

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