I'm going to continue on with the posting of projects I knit late in 2008 but didn't get around to posting about on time.
This year at work as part of the Christmas Festivities, we had a charity auction to raise money for Centraide of Montreal (United Way). People were asked to bring something in to auction off or to provide a service. Everyone ended up volunteering one or more items, such as Personalised Surprises for a week, Guitar lessons, Diet Coke delivered to your desk for a month or lunches: one a week for the month of January.
I had no idea what to volunteer until it occurred to me that people might enjoy something handknit. Everyone knows by know that I knit, having seen me bring in the occasional pair of socks or hat to work on at lunch. And they know from the handknits I wear on a daily basis (it is very wintery still in Montreal) that I'm a good knitter. So I volunteered to knit a pair of socks for whoever won the auction. Through some negotiations, this became a custom handknit accessory. But through advertising and the usual office conversations my item became quite sought after. I even had people come up to me in the days before to place their order. There was quite a battle over who exactly won the auction but finally when the dust settled, I found myself with the task of knitting a scarf for my coworker's three year old daugther.
My coworker Maria wanted a scarf for her daughter that would go with her coat and a hat she would be getting for Christmas. Something that her daughter could wear now, but if she was careful, could use as she grows up. Maria brought me the hat to take with me yarn shopping. From the start I had the thought of making a Feather and Fan scarf out of striped jelly bean colours. To tie in the colour of the hat without being concerned with it matching exactly which would be pretty much impossible without custom dyeing and I haven't had much time or energy to do much dyeing lately.
I headed up to Effiloché after work that day with the hat and had quite a time picking out appropriately jelly bean colours out of various squishy Alpaca yarns. I chose Alpaca so that it would be super squishy and soft. The hand washing wasn't as big a concern to me as this scarf is going to be special to go with a nice dressy coat and hat. Special to me means it's ok for special care. Plus natural animal fibres that haven't been overly treated still have their natural protection against grime.
Somehow I managed to narrow the enormous pile of yummy Alpaca yarn I was playing with at the store down to 8 skeins which I bought (exact yarn & colour information available on Ravelry), found a garter version of feather and fan on the internet and cast on straight away for the scarf. The first evening I spent playing around and settling on the ruling guidelines for the scarf. I settled on 3 pattern repeats of a 4 stitch feather and fan pattern, each stripe would be 2 pattern repeats and away I went.
I was always clear with my coworkers before the auction that whatever they asked for would really not be ready for Christmas, but as it turned out I'm a big fat liar. Some combination of making a not terribly big scarf with worsted weight(ish) yarn made for super fast knitting. Plus the interesting but still simple lace pattern and lovely squishy Alpacay goodness made this a really enjoyable project. I did want to get it done, but it was also SUPER fun to do. Even if I did have a bunch of ends to work in at the end which did get a procrastinated a bit.
I managed to get it done and delivered to Maria on my last day before leaving on holidays on the 13th of December. She wore it around work for the rest of the day despite the tropical temperatures that our office has been experiencing lately.
Pattern: Feather and Fan (4 stitch garter version)
Materials: Part of 8 skeins of mostly Alpaca yarns: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Ultra Alpaca Light, Louet Gems Sport, Susan Andrews Collection Warani
Start Date: December 2, 2008
End Date: December 10, 2008
Modifications: Well, kind of my own invention really
I do have a WHOLE bunch of yarn leftover which may become a Jelly Bean Granny Square blanket (I'm almost done with the Mini Blanket) or a co-ordinating Mommy version of the Jelly Bean Scarf. I'll keep you posted. No seriously!