Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Never Ending Scarf

I should start this post off with a disclaimer: I am usually not an angry knitter. Knitting is fun - sometimes frustrating - but mostly relaxing. Getting into a rhythm of a pattern, seeing your work unfold, is truly spectacular.

Unless, of course, you are working on something that you have developed an incredible and insurmountable hatred for. This brings me to one of my current projects - my boyfriend's belated Christmas-present scarf.

This whole project started out badly - and I should have taken it as a knitting-omen. I loved the pattern "New York Scarf". It looked like a simple ribbed scarf. Very masculine depending on the colour and material choice.

I settled on Illimani Yarn in Baby Alpaca. I chose an interesting shade of brownish grey - and wound it into cakes the minute I got home. I began to notice that the yarn was quite thin for a worsted weight, but dismissed the thought. I grabbed my US size 6 needles (which is what the pattern called for) and cast on the 35 stitches. I worked about an inch before I frogged because the stitches were too loose for my liking. Ok, lets start round two.

I went down to a US size 4 and cast on 55 stitches - worked an inch and found it to be too tightly knit. God forbid I do a gauge swatch - Heaven forbid! It's a ribbed scarf, what do I need a gauge swatch for?! So I frog the blasted scarf for the second time, and throw the yarn in my project bag. The next day I head to knit night, and realize I have yarn and no needles. I run over to Michaels (since it was around 7pm and I knew any decent LYS would be closed) and pick up a pair of US 5 circular needles. This should work.

I cast on 55 stitches again, and work the pattern up and begin to like what I see. I, the Goldilocks of scarves, am finally satisfied. Except that I hate these needles. The cable is so stiff and has so much memory it is almost impossible to work with. Did I mention that I hate the pattern as well?! The rib is worked up in a K2 P3 on one row and K3 P2 on the second row. This is not normal. Why couldn't it be K2P2 or K3P3 over an even amount of stitches??

Needless to say, the scarf was not complete by my Christmas drop-dead date.

I open up my Christmas gifts and behold! Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable Needles!!!! I quickly prep the US size 5 and begin knitting the scarf on these new needles. LOVE. I am working quickly, with my mojo primarily coming from the new found joy of gorgeous needles.

This quickly dies, however, as my hatred for this pattern and yarn come back. I knit with the sole motivation of hatred, thinking the faster I knit, the faster I finish. I come to the end of one yarn cake, and quickly have to wind the next one before I lose this motivation.

***insert tangle in yarn***

I want to throw this scarf out the window and drive over it. I want to give it to my boyfriend and tell him to suck it up and wear a short scarf. But no, I love him too much, and take too much pride in my knitting and frankly, am too stubborn to let the scarf win.  I spend the better part of a sunny Saturday untangling my yarn and winding it nicely. I join the new yarn with the end of the last cake, and on I go again.

Then I get bored, go on Ravelry and decide to cast on something else because it's just not fair to me to hate what I knit.

I abandon the scarf, and tend to only take it out when my boyfriend is around. This way, it looks like I spend a lot of time knitting it. I begin to feel guilty, and decide to finish this scarf once and for all. It's been four months since I started and it's just not right.

I have been working on it all week, and decide to bring it to my knit night last night. Everyone (including myself) laughs at the hatred I have for the scarf, and I apologize for giving everyone cut-eye as they ask me details about the scarf.

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to give you cut-eye. I mean to give it to the scarf."

In closing, I'm about 85% complete. There's probably about 30 yards of yarn left. The scarf is quite beautiful despite the pure anger that went into it. I will post a pic as soon as it's done.

Lesson of this posting: If you hate something almost immediately after casting on, do yourself a favour and pick something else. Also, do not tell the recipient on the gift that you are making it. Then the expectation is just guilt on top of your God-awful knitting project.

Until a happier knitting post,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dreaming of Pantone - Contest Alert!

I had one weird dream last night.

It's interesting how my dreams stem from simple little conversations I have had throughout the day. The thoughts must stay in my subconscious, and usually turn out weird during my REM sleep. This one however, was interesting-weird.

I had a dream last night that I was back at University of Bologna (insert big music festival in Bologna last night, and a conversation I was having with a co-worker about keeping my options open about going back to school). While I was in Bologna/Dreamland, I was filling out a survey about which Pantone ( colour I would associate with the following:

- Vacation
- Boyfriend/Love
- Best Friend

This is the weird part. I actually chose the Pantone colour by number. Now, in order to write this post I had to verify my dream accuracy. I don't remember the exact number I chose, but I do remember the exact shade.

- Vacation - 15-5819 TCX Spearmint
- Boyfriend - 12-4608 TCX Clearwater
- Best Friend - 15-3910 TCX Languid Lavender

Now, if you're asking "who" or "what" Pantone is - here is a quick breakdown. Pantone is the leading worldwide colour authority for colour. The company has given a numerical code to almost every colour imaginable to the human eye. If you want to paint your car or house a specific colour, just walk into a paint store and request Pantone colour # and voila - your car or house will be THE EXACT colour.

So, back to my story. Since I woke up thoroughly inspired, I decided to host my first ever cowl contest!

The Pantone-Cowl Contest

The Grand Prize will be a City Cowl ($50 value) in as close as possible to one of the Pantone colours you chose).

The City Cowl - more colours to chose from!
 The criteria for entering the contest are as follows:

1. Leave a comment on this blog posting stating your top three Pantone colours - and why. You can search through the Pantone website for this - it's actually much more fun than it sounds.
2. "Like" my Facebook page "The Little Cowl Company"
3. Follow me on Twitter (@thelittlecowlco)
4. "Share" the link for this blog posting on Twitter - and of course link my account!
5. Of course, follow the blog!

The more criteria met, the better your chance at winning! The Contest will close on Monday April 1st at 11:59pm EST. I will chose a winner using and will announce the winner on the blog.

Good luck to all who enter, I can't wait to hear all your feedback!