Finished Objects...In More Ways Than One

Ted E. Bear's showing off the latest knitted Finished Object: a skinny silk scarf in Colinette's Tao colorway "Mardi Gras." The yarn (mentioned in my last post about my trip to Cary, NC) is a gorgeous 100% silk from Wales...in every color of the rainbow. And, did I mention that there are only 117 metres (not quite 128 yards) in a skein? And, that the shop only had one skein in this colorway?? And, that I could only afford one skein of 100% silk yarn from Wales???

I could see this yarn becoming a skinny scarf...one that can be worn with all manner of tops. At all times of the year. And, when the shop owner suggested that I use a dropped stitch, garter stitch "pattern" for making the skinny scarf, I thought: problem solved. I'll be wearing this beauty in no time.

Not so fast.

I cast on for a garter stitch scarf and immediately saw a problem. Garter stitch (all knit stitches) create little "bumps" where the stitch loops are formed...very visible, and very annoying in that the bumps were disrupting the "flow" of rainbow colors...destroying the entire rainbow effect, actually. Didn't like that at all, although I did like the dropped stitches in stockinette (where you purl on the reverse side of a knit stitch). OK...frog it (which, to you non-knitters who are still reading this post, means rip it out), and try something different.

I found a pattern for a chevron lace scarf. Cast on and knit a few inches. Nope...the lace pattern just got hopelessly lost in the busy-ness of the rainbow colors. Frog it...and find something else.

I cast on a limited number of stitches using an afghan pattern that is designed to create waves (sort of like a feather-and-fan design). Nope...pattern was lost, and it was also taking up way too much yarn. If I'd continued that one, the scarf would have been about a foot long, max. Frog it...and find something else.

Ah well, Necessity...better change into your Mother of Invention clothing. I finally decided I would have to design something just for this yarn...and for the scarf I wanted to wear. So, what are the parameters, I asked myself? Well, Number One, it had to be long enough to go around my neck and tie in front...at least 4 feet long. So, that meant I needed to keep the number of stitches per row to a "minimum."

Number Two, the scarf needed to look as good on the reverse as on the front. Pet peeve of mine. It doesn't have to look the same, just as pretty. And, I may be prejudiced, but I think stockinette is ever-so-much prettier (or, hangs more gracefully, maybe) than garter stitch. But, unless you are knitting in the round (which requires a lot of yarn), you can't have ALL stockinette on both sides, so I would have to design a rib pattern. And, because I liked the effect of the dropped stitches, I wanted to include those in the body of the scarf.

Number Three, the pattern needed to be easily memorized. I wanted this project to be repetitive to the point of not having to have to look at a pattern. I'm working on another project that is killing my eyes, since I have to look at a (%#^!*) chart ALL of the time to get the pattern right. I certainly didn't need anything like that.

Number Four, since there wouldn't be enough yarn left over to fringe the bottom edges, the pattern would have to have some kind of "flourish" at the bottom...a modified "ruffle" maybe...both for looks and to help keep the scarf from rolling up (as stockinette will do on its own). That's a close-up of the ending border or modified ruffle (left).


Voila! I did it. I finished my 3.5 x 55 inch skinny scarf (photo, right) yesterday. I was so thrilled with the results that I took the time to write down what I had done (hey, what a novel idea!)...and then, I created a Adobe PDF version and attached it to my blog. Now, I can share my La Grenouille Skinny Scarf with other knitters who have the same idea about their pretty but precious-scarce yarn.

So, why the name, La Grenouille? Heh. During a large portion of the time, while I was knitting and frogging and designing and knitting and frogging and redesigning and knitting and frogging, etc., I was watching an NCIS Marathon on TV (they have them on USA network quite often...you should check 'em out!). And, one of the more mysterious characters (until a couple of seasons ago) was named La Grenouille. That's French for The Frog. Thought the name was most appropriate for my new scarf and pattern.

Anyway, in order to share my pattern with other knitters, I have created a link over there in the left column <---. If you are interested in the pattern, just click Menu and Download...or follow this link right here. All yours! Wear your La Grenouille Skinny Scarf in good health and happiness!

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