The new yarn is already here! It is splendid. The reds are earthier than I expected, which makes them much more up my alley. (Relatedly, I’m now a couple of days behind in Dracula—I’d been a few ahead of the serialized version, and kept wanting to write about these little moments, so I stopped to keep myself from spoiling it, and now have the opposite issue—but this section is just intense for its turns of phrase. Got a bit heartbroken over Mina’s last few lines in the 2 October journal entry:
I hope I have not done wrong, for as sleep begins to flirt with me, a new fear comes: that I may have been foolish in thus depriving myself of the power of waking. I might want it.
I also like it a lot when Van Helsing says something on the lines of Quincy’s head being on a plane with the horizon. Yes, that is how you describe it in Texas. What a good, sensible guy. I wish my head seemed reliably on a plane with the horizon.
This seems like quite the departure, but it’s relevant! I needed the red colors to be spooky/deep/earthy for upcoming shawl purposes. It is very important for this yarn to tie in, at least obliquely. I am trying pretty hard to do a spooky season theme this year, and I had enough done and set up in advance of, well, now that there’s no excuse to just fail completely, per tradition.)
Anyhow, this yarn is directly the result of the late September sale. It’s going to immediately result in a more coherent shawl sample for a pattern that’ll be up this month. So: pretty exciting, immediate, tangible results! Goal achieved! Yarn purchased and acquired! Thanks very much to anyone and all who contributed, on purpose or coincidentally!
I usually get a little self-defeating regarding goals or advancement, and I really didn’t expect much from a last-minute sales pitch, so I’m genuinely pretty stoked about this. I’m hoping to be able to wind this and cast on this evening.
Day ??? for me—but a good square, with some handspun merino/grey alpaca/sari silk, Malabrigo Yarn Rastita in Glitter, and Arroyo in some sort of blue. If you’re knitting along, and you’d like to share your squares, feel free to leave a link to your instagram, blog post(s), or link your project page on Ravelry.
So, there’s a pandemic going on, and it is so far beyond my pay grade that I essentially have very little ability to even acknowledge it here. It’s hard to be flippant about it, and there is no solemn official stance to take with knitting patterns. (We’re doing everything we can to reduce risk by changing nothing! Enjoy instant curbside e-delivery of all .PDFs! If you go and stand by a curb, I guess!) Personally, I am having a lot of angst and not focusing very well, but that only bears mentioning because it means I am pretty much entirely off doing the type of small domestic things that theoretically ought to alleviate some of the psychological pressure. It makes it ridiculously hard to knit a thing, and describe knitting a thing in an effective way.
I had the idea for this scarf a while ago, but have generally been succumbing to morale problems and not working fast, so I’ve decided to launch it early as a very casual knitalong with no accountability, before my sample is done. It could be worthwhile; it could be an amazing trainwreck. But I think I’m at a sort of now or never point with it.
It’s not done yet. I was working on a different design with similar elements, but there is no final photo. It’s a MysTeRy KnItAlOnG. (It isn’t. Those are usually well-planned from what I understand.)
It’s made up of little (well, big, for mitered squares) mitered squares.
It’s a scarf. It ends up being a pretty long scarf. I am working without a measuring tape, bro. But I did the math.
So with that being said, please join the Stay-at-Home Auxiliary‘s Campaign to Not Destroy All Humans, and enjoy this free pattern for a scarf!
The Stay-at-Home Auxiliary Mitered Square Scarf will consist primarily of 14 large mitered squares, knit together as you go, to minimize loose yarn-ends as much as possible. Gather up your DK scraps and partial skeins, don’t go out,* and knit a square a day to count off two weeks. Or knit the whole scarf, relentlessly, all in one or two sittings. I am not really here to tell you how to knit. I mean, I am here to tell you how to knit a scarf, but not how to knit while you knitit.
This pattern is offered as a free, serialized pattern to help pass the time while we’re all avoiding each other because of how we like each other.
(It won’t be a very complicated mystery knitalong. There are really only three parts.)
*You could also order in from your LYS, in order to support small yarn shops, while observing all precautions. But scraps are good, and that’s what I’ll be using for this very informal knitalong. I think they originally came from The Loopy Ewe in Colorado, which I kind of regard as my foster LYS, because they’re not really local to me, but they are kind of, if you feel like you have a pretty big range under ideal conditions.
Fun Horrible Fact: as mentioned above, I’ve also never done anything with mitered squares before, and I’m launching this as a knitalong, in stages, before my project is completely done—so this really does have an entertaining potential to really go badly wrong. (As of this writing, I’m working a few days ahead.)
Gauge is not too important for this project, but will affect total yardage and the dimensions of the project. Gauge shown is 20 sts and 44 rows in unblocked garter stitch, using light DK/sportweight yarn. A dense gauge gives the squares a nicer shape—in theory.
Yardage estimate: about 600+ yards of DK yarn. Please note that this is a very broad estimate! Scraps are fine; full skeins are fine if you’ve got them on hand. I’ll be knitting mostly DK, but worsted weight is also fine; it might result in a slightly bigger scarf.
(Estimated) Measurements: a pretty broad estimate, again. Ideally, the squares as shown, knit in light DK/sport, will end up being about 6.5” X 6.5”/16.5cm X 16.5cm. This results in a scarf that’s 91”/2.31m (oh no) long before working the border. Borders should/will be about 1-2”/2.5-5cm wide, so the totals should be around 93”/2.3m long by 8.5”/21.6cm wide. This is a pretty massive scarf, so feel free to cut a couple of squares, though obviously it won’t give you 14 days at a square a day if you do not knit 14.
For the sample shown:
600+ yds light DK/sportweight yarn
1 40-60” circular needle in US4-5/3.5.5-3.75mm, or size needed for gauge. (You can also work on a shorter needle—16” circular, straights, or even long DPNs, if you’re careful—and this may be a lot more comfortable in fact, but a long circular will be required for the last part of the pattern.)
tapestry needle, for weaving in ends
Please note: if this scarf is approached as an any-yarn project, then yardage and needle sizes required will vary; choose needles the work with your choice of yarn.
Terms: k—knit LH/RH—left hand, right hand p—purl RS/WS—right side, wrongside s2kpo—slip two, knit 1, pass slipped sts over, a centered 2-st decrease sl1–slip 1 st/s—stitch, stitches
So that’s Day 0: gauge, measurement estimates, yardage estimates, and materials. The next update should be on Wednesday or Thursday, with the first instructions. I will apparently be writing these with a 70-pound poodle trying to be on my lap because he’s upset by changed schedules. Not much of him fits.