Friday 17 September 2010

Gleaming Scarf

I have just finished the most magnificent scarf I have ever seen.  It is a present for my mother in law (MIL) and it is so beautiful I don't want to part with it.  Earlier in the year I bought some Artist's Palette Gleam. It is very very beautiful, an exceptionally well named, as it catches the light as it moves.

The yarn is a sport weight yarn in 100% silk and the lovely old gold colour is perfect for my MIL's wardrobe.  She wears a lot of warm browns, golds and taupes.  I initially decided to knit a pattern from Kristen Kapur of Through the Loops, called Andrea's Shawl.  I got as far as half way through the edging then decided it wasn't going to look right.

I just felt that this yarn was not right for this pattern.  I really like the pattern, so I know I will use it again one day, but I think I will be using a yarn with at least some wool content, so it highlights the pattern properly.  After finally giving up I recycled my yarn.  I put it to one side and waited to find the right project.  I had to wait some time, but I knew this yarn was going to be for my MIL, so I wanted it to be special.  Finally I got an email from Knitting Daily, linking to a free pattern that was perfect.  It was the Wakefield Scarf, by Melissa LaBarre.  The pattern called for sport weight yarn that was 50% merino and 50% silk, so I was pretty sure that this pattern would work well for my yarn.  It exceeded all my expectations!

This quite simple stitch pattern causes the fabric of the scarf to gently bias, which gives it a beautiful drape.  I cast on 68 stitches and knit the 12 row pattern until I ran out of yarn.  I used almost all of the 100g of yarn that I had, and it blocked out to a scarf that measures 14" x 68", which is a great size for the scarf.

The fabric of the scarf is light but has substance so you don't feel like it will fly away in the first wind that comes along.  I love how it feels on your neck and imagine it would look lovely with a skimpy top on a summer evening, if you felt like exposing your shoulders.  I also imagine it would look equally glamorous with a polo neck for an evening in a nice pub.

Blocking this scarf really made quite a significant difference.  I had heard that silk doesn't particularly hold it's blocking well on lace projects, but this has opened up nicely.  I don't know if it will stay that way with wear, but I don't think it matters as much on this pattern as it did on the first one I tried.

I think this scarf will be well received because even when it's not being worn, it is still decorative as it lies around the house!

I love how this yarn feels once it is knitted up, it almost makes up for the splitty nature of it, and the few little snags and catches that occurred during the knitting process.  I quite enjoyed my first experience of knitting in 100% silk, but it would have to be a very special project to splash out so much again, one that matched this very elegant scarf.

Don't forget that you still have time to enter my blogiversary giveaway by leaving a comment on this post, before midnight (UK time) on 17th September.


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