Sunday, 20 March 2016

I am contemplating scarves

or rather, the making thereof.
I do not normally wear a scarf. I haven't worn one since I left behind the winters in Downunder's federal capital. It gets chilly there in winter. It has even been known to snow. I wore a scarf on snowy days or the day the windchill factor dropped the temperature to below zero. 
It is not that I am a particularly hardy sort of cat. I'm not. I just dislike having anything wrapped around my neck. I do wear my keys on a lanyard and I have a small family crest on a chain but that's about it. I don't usually wear a scarf.
But they are useful items if you want to teach people to knit something. I hasten to add here that they are most definitely not the thing to start a learning-to-knit kitten on. The reason is that scarves too long for a beginner. They are boring - even if you change the colour frequently.  A kitten needs to be able to finish something and  use it. Headbands, phone covers, bookmarks, finger puppets are all more suitable projects.
But I am going to teach a class to adults and there are good reasons for starting them on a scarf.  It will allow me to teach them a good many things. They can start in the class and finish it at home. I won't make it a long, long scarf  (although I will design it so they can make it longer if they so wish) but it will allow them to practice what they have been taught and still have something useful and, hopefully, pretty at the end. (And okay, if there are any males in the class - which would be great, then I hope they know someone who can use it.)
I know what I want to do. It is now a matter of mathematics. I have to get an edging to fit with a border - and a border to fit with another design. It's the way this sort of lace is usually designed. I don't want to "graft" it. That is, sew two pieces together in a way that makes it look as if they are knitted together. I can't graft. It requires a sewing needle and I don't have that sort of manual dexterity - annoying but there it is. I doubt my students will want to try and graft anything either - even if they are expert at sewing.
So, I am thinking and plotting, and planning, and doing little sums. 
It's all a little more complicated than the "Flying Geese" scarf I made for my friend P. That was ultra simple, designed to show off the quiviut yarn.  This is different.
There is something satisfying about creating a knitting pattern. I never thought there would be because the rules are different from creative writing. There are rather more rigid "must" rules if you are to produce the desired result and have other people interpret it. The process always startles me. 
Writing instructions is good discipline for a writer. I should do it every so often. It makes me think about every word.


Holly said...

I'm still a fan of garter edges. It provides a bit of stability and makes everyone feel good at the start.

"argyle" makes for a good pattern in simple lace as the diamonds appear and it is something that either a man or woman could wear.

see you soon!

Kate Lace said...

Excellent news!

catdownunder said...

Looking forward to it Holly. But this project is for the summer school class on Shetland knitting. It has to be designed to teach people about edges and borders and more. Kate Lace is going to do a test knit for me - and probably teach me a lot in the process!