This week, from roughly Wednesday to Saturday, I followed a mantra for my lace scarf: “I will knit at least one pattern repeat a day.” Today I skipped, so I think the mantra shall forever be revised to be this: “I will knit at least one pattern repeat a day, BUT NEVER ON SUNDAYS.”
This mantra of mine is — as I have learned the hard way — like selling your soul to the devil. By Friday I found myself knitting one pattern repeat and then I said, “I will knit the first row of the next pattern repeat and then that will get me ahead on the next day’s pattern repeat. Indeed, the chart’s pattern repeat is rows 23 to 38. On Saturday I felt a bit better about knitting my one pattern repeat because I was ahead of the game and only had to knit rows 24 to 38.
The scarf in question is Inna Voltchkova’s “A Man’s Scarf in Blue to Knit” which is the most beautiful scarf intended for men that I have ever seen in my life. If I were a religious man I’d shout “Hallelujah!” because honestly I have grown tired of knitting lace just to give it away to women who can pull it off wearing it. My readers may question Ms. Voltchkova’s decision to market her pattern as “lace for dudes” but guess what? That’s their problem. I am totally on board with wearing this puppy and I will eventually wear it. I just have to finish the darn thing first.
I took the scarf to knitting club yesterday and tried to knit some of it, but I just couldn’t focus to get it right. As a matter of fact, as soon as I started working on row 25 of the pattern repeat a friend at the table said, “what are you knitting?” and I said “something that takes some concentration, I’ll show you once I get through this row.” I showed her my WIP and she almost spit out her coffee. Really, that’s how gorgeous it is. Really, that’s how challenging it looks to knit. She said, after swallowing her coffee, “why on Earth did you bring such a difficult thing to knitting club?” I answered with the truth: “Everybody says all I bring to knitting club are garter stitch things or stockinette in the round, or socks, so I decided to knit a row of this, put it away, and then proceed with a self-striping sock.” That’s exactly what I did. I knitted row 25, put away the lace scarf, and took out my neon self-striping sock project to “kkkkkkkkkk” away on.
Mind you, this scarf, in reality, isn’t really all that hard to knit, but you have to pay attention to the chart. Remember, the repeat is rows 23 to 38, which is a repeat of 15 rows. To add some fun there are two cables and the middle is a zig-zag. The relief comes with the fact that the middle, although zig-zag, is garter stitch, so every even-numbered row is k all the way through the middle, with a chain selvedge edge and k1p1 on the cables. To refresh your memory, here’s a photo of the project (imagine it 70 rows longer):
My reason for selling my soul to the “one pattern repeat a day” devil? I have found that I start making mistakes after one pattern repeat. If I try to knit more than that, I get to my second pass through rows 23 to 28 just fine, and then I mess up and have to tink because maybe I didn’t yarn over, or maybe on my way back on an even-numbered row I let a yarn over fall off the needle without noticing (usually the latter more than the former). So, one repeat a day, but never on Sundays.
I absolutely am 100% certain of one thing: I’m going to finish this scarf. It’s lace for men to wear! Finally! I want to wear this so bad. It is also part of my evilly selfish scheme to have a million handmade ways to accessorize my Levi’s blue denim jacket. Just imagine, it’s beautiful lace, it’s complex, and it’s “for a man to wear.” I mean really, this scarf was designed for me and only me. BY THE DEVIL.