Cashmere Scarf for Nola

My children sang in a church choir for the past couple of years. Alas, the church closed down (see the post about taking out the pipe organ), so the kids will be singing in a different choir in the fall. Their previous choir director was SO nice and SO wonderful to my kids, that I felt moved to make a nice handknitted gift for her.

Here it is. I hope she likes it.

I knitted it out of "Brighton Rock" Cashmere yarn, from I *really* like this yarn, and knitting with it was a complete joy, and once it is washed and blocked, it is Oh So Nice... but... I don't think that it shows up the lace pattern very well. All in all, I like the scarf, but I was a little dissapointed in the overall lack of lace-definition. Live and learn.

I wrote out the pattern on a gigantic piece of graph paper - presented below, if anyone is interested. The first link is to a photo of the entire chart - other photos are of "close ups" of different parts of the chart. Please feel free to use it if you like. Also, feel free to comment on the merits or demerits of the chart, too. I'm new to all of this charting business, so any criticism is welcome!!! (Towards the end of the list of links is a "key" to the symbols.)

Photo Number 1

Photo Number 2

Photo Number 3

Photo Number 4

Photo Number 5

Photo Number 6 - knitting information "key"

Photo 7 -Key 2

Photo 8 - Key 3

Photo 9 - Key 4

Photo 10 - Key 5

I wrote the chart so that there would be no blank squares. It ended up to be very easy to visualize. Since I drew it by hand, I could angle the decreases so that it sort of curves, just like it does in the knitted item.

In some areas of the leaves, there are more stitches than there are blocks on the graph. In this case, I wrote in the number of stitches with black ink, and circled them in black, too. This simply means to knit this number of stitches, which are more stitches than there are blocks. It works, trust me. This avoids the dreaded "blank square" which makes it so hard to visualize the chart. It works for me, maybe it'll work for you, too?

There are also instances of numbers in green - these are simply the number of stitches to knit - it helps with counting the chart.

I was driven to write the pattern in this way after perusing an old lace knitting book with lovely, detailed charts which didn't look a single thing like the final knitted item. I thought, "There has to be a better way - one which is more visually representative of the finished item."

While this chart isn't perfect, it serves my purposes just fine.

I hope that you can use these pictures, if you want to, that is. Let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to use all or part of the charts, however you wish to use them. I'd like it if you'd credit it to me, but if you are a skunk, then feel free to pretend that you made it up yourself.

I knitted the "back of the neck" in Italian Chain Rib (I think that this is the name?)

which is in one of my Barbara Walker stitch treasuries. On the bottom of the chart, every row of the Italian Chain is charted, but notice that after a few rows, only the right side rows are charted.

Then, I knitted three repeats of Rose Trellis, also in a Barbara Walker book. Next, three repeats of a leaf design that I made up, and lastly, a sort of an embellishment for the edge. To finish the lower edges, I mitered the right hand corner, then bound off the edge in just plain garter stitch, short rowing an extra row or two at the "points" and omitting a row or two in the "valley", then on across the rest of the end of the scarf, and mitering the other corner. All that was left was to kitchener the 3 edge stitches and I was done.

I provisionally cast on at the back of the neck, and knitted to the lower edge of the scarf. Then I went back and just knitted in the other direction from the center back. It was so easy, and you can't even tell where the join is. I provisionally cast on just like you cast on for toe up socks with the Turkish Cast on. This is my favorite provisional cast on. In fact, it's the only one I use.

I'm going to try another scarf, only out of a finer, solid color yarn. Maybe for Emma's cello instructor? Hmmm... I love looking forward to knitting gifts!

What a pretty little volunteer, right in the middle of my yard!



Pensguys said...

How pretty!!!!!!!!!!

Luni said...

Lovely scarf, and I bet it is so so soft. I especially like the way the ends flare.
Those flowers are funny. We were just noticing them today when we drove over to Westcliffe for lunch--they're everywhere. They look so perfect, you'd think they were plastic.