I almost gave it away.

A while back I visited some friends in northern California, who have near their home a lovely knitting shop. Inside there were samples, as are found in knitting shops, and something found me–a slender scarf in a variegated yarn and attractive lace pattern. I was intrigued. I live in southern California, where it is for nearly 90% of the year inappropriately warm for a scarf, and therefore (dun dun DAH!) I have never knit a scarf. True. Never. I’m a knitter who’s never knit a scarf.

Funny enough, I am the one who tells people they do not need to knit a scarf as their first project. Knit a hat! I say. Knit a hat. Takes less time than a scarf, more likely to be worn, and just as you’ve gotten the hang of the whole knit stitch thing you run into a little decreasing. Just the thing to liven up the suddenly-less-exciting new relationship. But a scarf seemed oddly appealing, despite its miles-upon-miles of The Same Thing. I bore easily, sigh. (Don’t tell my son.)

The scarf became my purse knitting, thanks to two words: easy lace. I memorized a four-line lace knitting pattern that was really only two lines of pattern and two lines of purl. (As an intermediate weaver I think of this as “pattern lines” and “ground lines”. If this slips in sometimes, I’m sorry, unless it works for you. Then I’m not sorry at all.) I’d wrap the shrinking skein and the working needle in the center and wrap around the work-in-progress, fastening it closed into a roll of lovely gold and purple-red with the other needle, and tuck it in to the bag.

The surprising thing was that a week before I finished, a friend’s birthday came up and I wanted to give her something special. So I considered giving her the scarf. For two days I rushed to finish it, listening to Jasper Fforde’s nursery crime, and yet it would not get done. I resented the whole scarfness of it, how long it was, even as I admired its even lacy progress. I sent my friend another gift, and the scarf finished at its own pace.

My first scarf

I love this scarf. I wear this scarf. This despite my usual uniform of jeans and woefully unfashionable oversize faded t-shirts. Wearing it, I feel like Catherine Tate. Perhaps people who knit things for themselves to wear are onto something?

That’s just crazy talk.


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