Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Scarf of Indeterminate Time and Effort

So. I started a knitting project over a year ago. Last Christmas my sister-in-law (I'll plug her more later) taught me how to knit, and I jumped into my first project: a scarf for my dad. Not that my dad was, like, desperately in need of some neck warmth. I was just determined to start out with something simple, and I had heard him say he wanted to find a new scarf. So I said, "Dad. Don't go out buyin' a scarf. I'll knit you one with my newfound knitting skillz."

That was last January. Just today I finished his scarf.

(In case you're worried about my dad's neck, please breathe easily! He did in fact buy a nice plaid one last year that puts my warbly mess of a scarf to shame.)

In my defense, a scarf might be a terrible thing for someone like me to start with. I dearly love knitting, as meagerly talented as I may be, but my time is limited, and a scarf takes some time, even if you're only using one type of stitch. It can get achingly dull if you are making a large one for a large man (which was my case), and you might throw down your needles sometime in April, after being interrupted for the 3,784th time by children wallowing on the floor, all the while huffing, "This is so stupid!" Or something similarly articulate and mature.

I should have started out with washcloths. Nice, respectable, tiny washcloths.

Janie, determined to make a knitter out of me yet, gave me a large assortment of knitting needles and some remnant balls of yarn for this Christmas, plus patterns of some of her favorite beginner knitting projects. She basically shamed me into starting to knit again, and you know what? Her persistence was good and necessary. I really like it.

Onward! The scarf!

Here Dad models a traditional scarf position.

What scarves look like in prison mug shots.

Tryouts for a Dickensian musical.

And..."Sunrise, Sunset."

I asked my dad (who was, I should note, pleased with his long-promised scarf) to hold it up to demonstrate for the audience the scarf's Journey Through Time.

Perhaps it's hard to see, but the scarf flares out, noticeably wider on one end than the other. I did not drop a stitch; instead, I loosened my knitting as I progressed. This is a good thing. When I first started, I knitted so tightly that my hands would regularly cramp. Now I can knit in relative ease and comfort. That is, when children aren't wallowing and I can get in more than one row at a time.

So world, watch out! I have officially completed a needlecraft project, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I even joined a knitting group for accountability. I don't want to jump off of the bandwagon again.

And just so we're on the same page, don't you just love that chair? (The one my dad is sitting in for the first four photos, then clearly featured in the last.) It's my mom's, and I am a little envious of it. It's really a Quite Comfortable Chair.

That will be my next project! I will knit...a Quite Comfortable Chair!


Raechel said...

Congratulations! It feels so nice to finish a project no matter how long it takes! I'm proud of you (and impressed!) for knitting.

You could make it up to Charlotte and knit her a nice pink hood for her car seat! ;)

Love and craftiness,

Laurie said...


Great job on the scarf, but I REALLY enjoyed the photos of your dad with the FUNNY captions! My favorite is "Sunrise, Sunset"... thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning.

Jane said...

great job, christine! I'm so happy for you! The scarf looks perfect from here; and it's so wide... very impressive. will keep your pa warm in that freezing state of yours.

Lori Kuehl said...

I learned how to crochet at Ladies Retreat 2007. I finished my scarf and promptly put away my hook and yarn. At Christmas my cousin was knitting her own scarf (new hobby) and she inspired me to hop on You Tube to reteach myself to crochet. I made another scarf and am working on another for my mom. At First Church they just started a knitting/crocheting ministry. We meet Tuesday nights from 7-8:30, if you want to stop by some time.