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!