Graciously Permitted to Knit a Scarf

I’ve said before how Ben doesn’t feel the cold.  He rarely wears a jumper and only wears gloves, and hats when it’s several degrees below freezing. Pretty frustrating for a knitter 🙁

We’ve had several conversations like this over the years,

Me: “Ohhh, look at this lovely man-scarf pattern. Can I knit it for you?”

Ben: “No thanks, I don’t wear scarves. “

Me: “But you were cold when it snowed and borrowed my black one??”

Ben: “It’s not cold now”

Me: “But, but…It’ll be cold by the time I’ve knitted it….” <imagine eyes tearing up>

Ben: “I wouldn’t wear it. I don’t like them. I’d probably lose it and I’ve never seen a man wearing a scarf.”  <Ben stamps foot>

Several train trips later, after I diligently (and annoyingly) point out every  man who was wearing a scarf (and in some cases matching hats and gloves!) Ben conceded that men do wear scarves when they are cold. And not all of them are Hipster idiots!

So the great day has arrived. Ben has graciously allowed me to knit him a scarf. Some people might think he should gratefully accept my generous offer to hand craft him a custom made, beautiful garment. Made with great skill and love but , after 10 years of trying, I’ll take what I can get!

So what scarf?

He didn’t want cables or complicated stitch patterns (curses!) so we quickly came down to Erika Knight’s Garter Stitch Scarf, from her Men’s Knits book.

This book and this scarf….

From Ben Scarf

You’d think I could knit that from stash wouldn’t you? But the pattern seemed to suggest I needed 3 balls of yarn in each colour?? I didn’t have that volume of the same yarn in colours Ben would like (lilac and pink maybe but for some reason he didn’t like that idea!) That seemed a lot of yarn. How would you interpret this wording…

“3 x 50g balls of DK weight yarn, such as Rowan Baby Alpaca DK in each of grey, light grey and blue”

To me that says three balls of each colour – yardage isn’t great on the baby alpaca either – 100 meters per ball, but 900meters of yarn and a scarf weighing 450g??

I dragged Ben into a yarn shop,pointed him at the DK yarns and told him to choose three colours he liked in yarn that soft enough he’d be happy to have wrapped around his neck.

He really liked the colours of the Sirdar Country Style range. It’s a Wool/Nylon/Acrylic blend that’s machine washable and tumble dryable – not that scarves need a lot of washing but practical is best for men’s stuff! The yardage is very good on this yarn too – 155 meters x 50g. For some reason, I still bought 3 balls of each colour. Interestingly, Sirdar have recently upped the wool content from 15% to 30% in the Country Style. I can be a yarn snob but I remember growing up with this yarn – and I know it’s a good reliable workhorse. It is knitting up beautifully and feels soft too.

So what colours? Not massively different from the pattern but it has to be Ben’s choice to have a fighting chance of being worn.

These are the colours….


So how is it going?
Well, the pattern calls for you to cast on 220 stitches to make a 110cm scarf. This I did. Then I though – that’s a bit short!

I pinned a scarf of min up to 110cm and flung it around Ben’s neck. “Longer!” was the response so I restarted and I’m now knitting 320 stitches which should give a 160cm long scarf (2 stitch per cm length)

Wanna progress shot?

From Ben Scarf

It’s very plain knitting but there is something quite zen and pleasing about long rows of knit. A change from complicated patterns and shaping.

10 rows of each colour then onto the next stripe…

From Ben Scarf

So far each stripe has used about half a ball – that’s with 100 extra stitches!
I’ll keep you posted on the yarn useage….

….and if he wears it!

9 Responses

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  1. Susie Aspland
    Susie Aspland January 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    Bremont’s Sara Deluxe yarn knits a lovely scarf which is suitable for the man of taste. Pattern available in Inspired Yarns Mag, available from The Knitting Shop

  2. Stitched Together
    Stitched Together January 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

    Well done on getting your man to finally cave. I’m still working on mine. At least I have other people who appreciate my knitting .

    Garter stitch really eats up yarn and after recently completing a man sized scarf (for a pretty tall man) I can assure you, that you probably will need all the yardage!

  3. Stephanie Ivy
    Stephanie Ivy January 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm |

    Looks lovely so far! And kudos to you for finding the zen in it.

  4. Gracey
    Gracey January 5, 2012 at 1:34 am |

    Funny…yeah the Hubs doesn’t want anything either…although he occasionally will pick out a yarn…

  5. josiekitten
    josiekitten January 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    Mr JK is quite picky about his knitted items too – socks are ok, and the odd hat and scarf, but quite frankly I wouldn’t knit him anything larger because I don’t think he’d wear it!

  6. Steven Barnes
    Steven Barnes January 25, 2012 at 11:58 am |

    Got to represent for the males here. I learned how to knit, and made my ex-girlfriend a lovely pair of knitted pants for the winter. I even stitched in a lovely silk lining! Wrapped them up and gave them to her for Christmas with one of these alpaca blankets.

  7. hugalot
    hugalot November 18, 2012 at 3:18 am |

    Finally got mine to allow me to knit him a scarf. I get to choose the scarf. I asked him for colours. We have a winner with light blue, dark blue and teal. Christmas prezzy in the making.

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