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19th September
written by Steph

It's a scarf! And I made it!

If updates here at S&TI! have been less than fast and furious over the past week or so, I apologize but I've had a new obsession take center stage. After finishing Scarlett Thomas's Our Tragic Universe (review to come very soon), I was struck by the undeniable urge to knit (the link isn't as tenuous as it might seem, but I'll get into that more when I talk about the book proper)... something I haven't done in, oh, 15 years or so. What this meant is that I had to go out and ransack the local Michael's store to buy some supplies and also spend many hours on Youtube watching knitting tutorials, because I was damned if I could remember how to do anything other than pluck my wool from the middle of the ball rather than the outside. After many hours getting tangled up and making knots worthy of boy scouts but not necessarily helpful in terms of the art of knitting, I finally began to make steady progress on a basic K2P2 ribbed scarf design. I dedicated my first project to Tony, and because he has such a freakishly long torso, it meant it took me a while to reach the 68" desired for comfortable scarf length. At times this task became tedious as the pattern is anything but challenging (it looks impressive though, right?), but I'm so happy with the outcome! It doesn't look like those lumpy, shapeless messes I so often associate with home knitting. It's not perfect by any means, but for a first effort, I'm pretty ecstatic with it. Reading is my first love when it comes to hobbies, but I must say that it's awfully rewarding to create something with my own hands. Something other than meals, that is (since Tony is always reminding me that I'm plenty creative and productive in the kitchen)!

Tony wearing my first scarf!

Emmy Lou happens to think the scarf belongs to her...

Rory didn't much care to wear the scarf, but we forced him to take part in family scarf time...

I've already set to work on my next scarf - this time with a cable knit pattern, because I'm all about upping the ante and challenging myself. My goal is to eventually get to the stage where I can make some of the drool-worthy sweaters I've been seeing in Vogue Knitting, but until then I figure I might as well try to teach myself something new on every project, hence tackling cables on my next scarf. I completed 16 rows last night, and it's actually looking like, well, a cable-knit scarf!  Huzzah! If you're interested, you can follow my progress on this next endeavor (and get a sneak peak at it) on my Ravelry project page.


  1. Sim

    Awesome work, Steph! I had no idea you were interested in knitting, but your first project shows you have a definite talent! Looking forward to seeing more 🙂

  2. 09/19/2010

    Congratulations! I remember the first thing I crocheted, and how proud I was of it! And at the time I also had two dogs, who also thought I did it for *them*!!! :–)

  3. 09/19/2010

    You did an awesome job that is all the more impressive considering how long it had been since you knitted!

  4. 09/19/2010

    About a year ago, I wanted to learn how to knit, so I bought a teach yourself visually book on knitting, and went for it. I made a huge mess of things and eventually made my husband read the book and learn how to knit in order to teach me. He grudgingly went along with it (I mean what man really wants to learn to knit?) and taught me the basics. I am happy to report that I am now in the middle of a scarf. It is taking a super long time though, because I never seem to have any down time in which to complete it! All that being said, I love your scarf, and I love the color you chose for it. I will be excited to see what you do next!

  5. 09/19/2010

    I am so impressed, and as cute as Tony is in the scarf, the dogs just upped the cute factor mega big time. LOVE it. I don’t have the patience for knitting, but I love to create other stuff and definitely understand the pleasure you get out of stuff like that.

  6. Nice job! I’m a crocheter, myself, but knitting always looks like fun to me. I made a lot of scarves when I was first crocheting, until just about every one of my friends and family had a homemade scarf and giving them as gifts wasn’t as impressive 🙂 Then I switched to a blanket, but haven’t done much more since.

  7. Eva

    Fun! I don’t knit very often, but I LOVE knitting hats (I’m a total beginner). My fave is a free pattern on Ravelry for ‘faux cables’ that’s knit on the round. So easy, so fast, and such an awesome hat!

    Also, the colour yarn you picked is my fave. 😀

  8. 09/20/2010

    Well done Steph! I am very impressed. I have tried to knit a few times over the past couple of years but I think it is something I think I would enjoy doing more than I actually enjoy doing it!! I am interested in learning to crochet at the moment though…

  9. 09/20/2010

    I tried to knit a scarf once . . . it looked like crap! You did a really awesome job. I love how the whole family got a chance to try it on!

  10. 09/20/2010

    @ Sim: I actually had no real interest in knitting until about 2 weeks ago when the bug bit! My grandmother taught me the basics when I was a little girl, and I think I had a lot of ingrained motor memories of that because the mechanics came back really quickly and I felt I was less sloppy than I might have otherwise been…
    @ rhapsody: Yes, I am freakishly proud of my scarf even though it was nearly as simple as you can get in terms of knitting. Emmy wore it for a while yesterday but then started to overheat so she agreed to relinquish it!
    @ Kathleen: I guess my grandmother taught me well! As soon as I began doing the knit and purl stitches they really felt very familiar and the motions felt very natural… provided I do English style knitting! I played around with continental style and that’s very difficult for me!
    @ zibilee: Love the story about making your hubby learn to knit so he could teach you! I think Youtube was a saving grace for me – the few static diagrams I’ve seen really make no sense to me; it’s much easier to watch someone do the steps rather than trying to wrap your mind around drawings. If you find yourself needing help with the more obscure things beyond knitting & purling, I highly recommend “knitting tips by judy” on Youtube!
    @ jenn: Ha! Yes, I just look for any excuse to post pictures of the pooches! 😉 I am hoping I will ultimately have enough patience to knit things like sweaters and the like, but I admit the thought of how long they will take me certainly is daunting!

  11. 09/20/2010

    @ Kim: I have two more scarves on the roster and then I think I will mix things up and try out something like a hat or mittens or something a little different. I do think a bunch of people will be getting scarves as gifts this holiday season, though! 😉
    @ Eva: I haven’t learned to knit on the round yet but that’s in my future! And I’m glad you like the yarn I picked! It’s 100% wool and was only $4 a ball, which I thought was quite the deal!
    @ Karen: A few of the projects I’m interested in doing at some point involve crocheting so I may try my hand at it one of these days. Also, I think the key with knitting is sticking with it; it can be very frustrating at first, especially when you’re in the stages where everything looks like a mess and you need to unravel it all and start from scratch!
    @ Stephanie: You can bet that the majority of my knitting projects will be modeled by humans and canines alike… that is until I knit something that’s dog-dedicated… I think Tony would have a hard time getting on a sweater knit for Emmy!

  12. 09/20/2010

    And the pictures make a great pictures of family in fall fashion! Rory looks very cute in it.

  13. 09/21/2010

    I’m always in awe of people who can knit. I never tried it myself and always have the feeling that involves some sort of magic.

    The other day I was in this serious meeting with a client, big oak desk, 8 people, only 2 of them women (one of them me). At the beginning of the conversation the other woman takes her knitting gear out of her bag, turn to me and my colleague and says: “I think better while knitting…” He was chocked, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Maybe I’ll try myself this Christmas. It seems like a good time to try. Looking forward to following your new knitting projects.

    I have a good friend who is an amazing knitter, take a look at her creations:

  14. 09/21/2010

    @ Matt: Yes exactly! Any excuse to post more pictures of the dogs! 😀
    @ Alex: So far no magic has been involved but I think with some of the more ambitious projects I may find I am more muggle than knitting witch… I guess we’ll see! And thanks for your friend’s link… she definitely is very talented!

  15. 09/28/2010

    Aww…such lovely pics. Your dogs are particularly super-cute!

  16. 09/28/2010

    Nice work! Best of luck with the sweaters.

  17. 09/29/2010

    @ Nishita: They are super adorable… and even more so when dressed like humans… 😉
    @ charley: Thanks! Sweaters are still pipe dreams at the moment, but some day!

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