Do not try to adjust your screen! This scarf really is just as loud in person as it is in the photo. Well over a year ago, I was taking Ms. Z through a LYS to look for something for a pattern I wanted to work on. As she was walking through the store with me, she found the Knitted Wit Haute Pink and wouldn’t put it down.
I’ll be the first one to say that I love me some bright color. And this has to be about the brightest pink I’ve ever encountered. But there was no way I could figure blending that in with my current wardrobe and work life style. And she’d been asking me to make her something. So…
Ms. Z, would you like to have a scarf made out of that yarn?
Yes, yes, yes, Mama!
Now, a smart knitter would probably have just decided that a 6 year old getting a scarf should get something simple a single color in garter stitch. But I am not that knitter. And I get very bored knitting simple scarves and never finish them. So…
What would you like your scarf to look like?
Pink and purple with zig zags!
Hmmm… Okay. Do you see a purple yarn that you like?
This one! This one! This one!
“This one!” turned out to be Knitted Wit Her Majesty, a beautiful rich purple that I might have picked for myself. But combined with Haute Pink was going to be visual lightning to the eyes. But, I decided, this was her scarf. And I want her to love color and play with color and be creative. And given some of her school art projects, I think she has wonderful color sense. So…
Okay. We can get that one, too. Now, how do you want your zig zags to run?
I want them to go the long way and for the edges to be zig zaggy!
(I am probably paraphrasing that last statement, but she did make it very clear that she wanted horizontal zig zags).
And so it was that I came home with whatever I was looking for and two skeins of Knitted Wit DK Superwash Merino (I am not completely impractical. Small children need to have washable knitwear, even if Mama needs nice yarn to knit with).
I started to troll Ravelry for some ideas. I am mostly a lazy knitter and if someone else has done an horizontal zig zag scarf with DK weight yarn, I am more than happy to pay for a pattern and take advantage of their effort doing calculations. It didn’t take me long to find something that would help me out — Stephen West’s Creekbed, which had the extra added bonus of being a Knitty pattern, and, therefore, free.
Just as I love me some bright color, I also love me some Stephen West. His patterns are not only beautiful, but well engineered. Creekbed is clearly not something that immediately screams flaming hot pink yarn, but given Mr. West’s color trajectory of late, I thought he might not disapprove if I used his design as a starting point. I did a little bit of swatching to figure out how to get a nice long zig zag that was a visible design element. And then started to think about stripes.
As per usual, I could not just do alternating simple stripes. I thought with a very cool and a very hot color, it would be more fun to do something that created a gradation effect and might give the scarf a more mod look. (The observant among you will notice that the stripes are not completely balanced… i.e. that I did not repeat the widest pink strip in the purple, nor did I repeat the narrowest purple stripe in the pink. The wise among you will speculate that I ran out of pink yarn. And I would not deny that.)
This scarf should not have taken me two winters to knit. But it did. The fabric was a tad stiff after first being knit up, but it softened out nicely after blocking. It also bled A LOT when I soaked it. But mostly it just leaked into the water and didn’t change the color of the fabric. If you are using this yarn, I’d encourage you to wash it separately from other things until it doesn’t bleed anymore.
Of course, Ms. Z is getting this scarf just as it is starting to warm up here in Chicago. So it’s good that it’s a little longer than you might normally consider for a small child. (She’s about 4′ tall and the scarf in the picture is wrapped around her neck twice). She was super excited about trying it on and is looking forward to wearing it to school tomorrow. I am going to have to find someway (that doesn’t involve a black Sharpie) to indicate it is hers. Perhaps I have entered the era of getting some fabric labels printed up.
I liked this yarn a great deal and would happily knit with it again. Blocking this scarf seems to have revved up my blocking mojo again and hopefully soon I will be sharing more pictures of the other two projects that I completed this winter but just haven’t got into the blocking bath.