Thursday, 16 August 2007

Byzantium Moebius Scarf

I had some Katia wool (Nordic Print) left over from the Byzantium” hat , so I decided to make a scarf. Now, a normal scarf with a couple of wraps around the neck would have been very bulky in this yarn, so I decided to try a Möbius scarf.

Yeah, I know – probably a bit ambitious for such a newbie knitter. It’s not uncommon for my ambition and enthusiasm to greatly exceed my abilities and knowledge. But that’s how I learn stuff – jump in feet-first and hold my breath till I know which way is up!

It’s interesting what such a tricky cast-on and first few rows does to my mental state. I approached it in a kind of Zen frame of mind. Just do one stitch, see how it goes. I can do one stitch. Okay, I did one stitch. Now do another, I can do just one more. And so I did. And another. And another. It did get easier.

I used the simplest of cast-ons, it’s the one I usually use. Mainly because I haven’t learnt any others. Yet.

I don’t know what the cast-on is called. In macramé terms, it’s just a half-hitch.

It’s one needle in the right hand, and a loop of yarn across thumb and index finger on the left.

It’s very quick, no fuss. As the stitches aren’t really formed until the next row is knitted, it is also neither too tight nor too loose.

Its major disadvantage is with working the first row. The yarn between the made stitch on the right and the waiting loops on left needle grows and grows. I get round this a couple of ways – use that extra yarn to make extra loops on the left and drop the same number of loops at the end, or simply work with it until the end, where it just becomes a tail, long enough for sewing up. I always cast on with an extra loop at the end anyway, and that gets dropped off too. This can be a problem with knitting in the round, as there is no “end” from which to drop off those extras.

I didn’t use any specific pattern for the Möbius – just the instructions from here

I also didn’t want a shoulder-width shawl kind of scarf. I wanted a neck-hugger. I knew how many stitches I had cast on for Byzantium, and what circumference that many stitches made, so I just worked it out from there – how wide I needed it to fit over my head, but not have it sit too far away from my neck.

The stitch pattern I used was the “One Row Scarf” from the Yarn Harlot . I didn’t quite get the first couple of rows right – it was quite hard work getting those at all! I knew the pattern wouldn’t quite line up because of the off-set from knitting into the bottom loops of the cast-on.

Oh well. It is what it is, and I still quite like it. I can get my head through it, and it fits snugly. What more could I want?

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