Monday, April 4, 2011

Advent Calendar Scarf

Now without further ado, let's start the recap with a BIG personal favorite, in more ways than one... :-)

I basically kept up with the daily clues for unikatissima's Advent Calendar scarf all the way along. In fact, I even finished the main part of the knitting a day or two early (i.e. on Dec. 23rd), because the designer published the last several clues all at once for the benefit of those who might be traveling over the holidays, and so I went ahead and blitzed through them. But then I decided to embellish the piece with an applied edging all the way around, and that took a while. I had to order more yarn first, for one thing. Fortunately I did not have to worry about matching dye lots, though, since I was using natural (undyed) Peruvian Highland wool. The package arrived in about a week, and I managed to be back underway by New Year's Eve. I set a goal of completing the edging and blocking the scarf in time for Russian Christmas on Jan. 6th, the date celebrated by Western Christians as Epiphany, which also happens to be our wedding anniversary. :-)

I chose to do a slight variation on the "Doris Edging" from p. 74 of Sharon Miller's book Heirloom Knitting (see left, and click for a larger view), mainly because the framed diamonds seemed to harmonize nicely with the rest of the lace design. The 12-row repeat (= 6 attachments per edging point) turned out to be ideal for me, because by sheer dumb luck both the stitch count across the top & bottom (= 66) and the row-count along the sides of my augmented scarf/stole (= 294) came out as even multiples of 6. By squeezing the points at either end of each long side into half the usual space, then, I found that I could provide sufficient ease so that the corners would eventually lie flat.

I finished the knitting on Jan. 5th. It came out to 11 points across each of the short ends and 51 points down each long side (= 124 points in all).

This scarf is HUGE by anyone's standards. I decided to emphasize length over width when blocking it, and the only way to get it to fit on the bed was to fold it more or less in half horizontally and block a double layer. I did not stretch it as hard as I could, though, because I wanted the fabric to have some stretchiness and give to it. So the finished measurements are 20” wide x 104” long (i.e. 51 x 264 cm). It’s really more stole than scarf, I suppose, but in the dead of winter, I love having an extra-long scarf that I can wrap around my head & neck several times and still have plenty of yardage hanging at the front/back.

Here's a blocking photo (left), and a picture of me wearing the scarf (right), as I have done pretty much every day since its completion. My 2010 Advent Calendar project quickly became a beloved addition to my wardrobe, as well as a conversation piece. As always, click on either image to see a larger view.

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