Tuesday, 15 November 2011

NaNoBlogMo 15 - C2/Rainbow/Pride Scarf

I pretty much only make things once. Whether I am knitting, cooking or making jewelry, I would prefer to try to learn or create something new than remake something I've already done. That being said, there is one project of mine that I have remade so many times I've really lost count.

Let me backup. My junior year of college I spent a lot of time with my friend Carolyn (or Crazy Carolyn or C2). We would go on wild adventures together to get sushi or to secondhand stores, and we could always tell if it was a successful trip if we got a good parking space back on campus. One day, Carolyn was describing to me how she wished she could find a scarf that was essentially a rainbow: six lengthwise stripes going from red to purple. I was thinking how hard it would be to constantly switch colors every couple of stitches in each row when it hit me that you could just knit the entire scarf lengthwise. Suddenly a whole new universe of knitting opened up for me in my mind. I saw through time. I tasted colors. It was pretty epic.

When I told Carolyn I could make that scarf for her, we immediately went off on another adventure, this time for yarn. She picked out Caron Simply Soft Brites in the colors she wanted. We made a deal that I would make the scarf for free if she paid for they yarn and let me keep the leftovers.

I cast on what felt like a million stitches onto some circular needles and started knitting. I think it might have been this project that helped me to realize that I really preferred knitting with circular needles over straights. When I switched colors, I left the tail ends of the yarn long and just hid them in with the two tassels per stripe I added when the scarf was done.

My biggest thing I had to learn or overcome with this project was the bindoff. I had only ever had short bindoff rows before at the end of scarves so it didn't really matter if it was a little tight (as they always ended up being). However, a tight bindoff for a lengthwise knit scarf would mean an uneven and likely uncomfortable scarf. I read a bit about different bind offs, such as a suspended bindoff, or using a yarn needle. However, I ended up just knitting the last row before the bindoff extra loose and then doing a normal bindoff (also extra loose). It worked, so I ended up doing that for every scarf.
I ended up making a bunch more. Above, you can see me selling them (as well as some knitted cell phone covers and chainmail jewelry) at my college's craft fair. I have no idea whose hand is sneaking in to feel the scarf, but I don't blame them. The Caron yarn isn't the best quality, but it is very soft. Also, I promise I was having a nice day at the craft fair despite how I look in this picture. I was just tired because I had just gotten off a train to get back to college after spending the weekend at home. Travel always makes me sleepy.

I sold a few at the two craft fairs I went to in college. I sold a few directly to people that wanted them just out of my dorm room. One of these scarves was the first thing I ever sold during my short lived stint as an Etsy seller. I made one and donated it to my college's GLBTQ alliance to be given as a prize at an event. And I still have at least two in my stash ready to sell (if you are interested, let me know!). If I had to guess, I would say that I probably have made about 12, but I haven't kept track. The only picture I have at the moment of someone actually wearing one of the scarves I made is from my friend Michelle, who was kind enough to take and send me this adorable picture when she heard about my crazy NaNoBlogMo project.

I am really grateful to Carolyn for helping me design the scarf and pick out the colors. I haven't deviated from the original design/colors/yarn (other than the length of the scarf, as people have different preferences) since the very first one I made for her. In my mind, this will always be the C2 scarf.


  1. Mine you made a touch shorter and you altered the width to suit my preferences. It is still my favorite scarf and the one I wear every day in the winter!

  2. Did I shorten the width on yours? I remember cutting back on the length but not the width. Hmmm.