I suspect that most knitters have a warm-up project. When you get up in the morning and your hands have that slightly thick and sleepy feel and are disinclined to leap into action, you need a forgiving item on which to knit to nimble up. It has to be something worth doing, of course, but shouldn’t be too complicated nor require absolute consistency in tension. Scarves are great for this.
Most scarves are a simple repeat of a basic stitch or pattern. My current scarf is a Noro striped scarf (Ravelry), somewhat like the one pictured at right, by Jared Flood. (Note: Noro is a yarn company, not a disease. Although the yarn is contagious, apparently. So yes, it’s both a disease and a yarn. Who knew?)
This is one of those trendy things that was all the rage at one point. Everyone (and I mean everyone) made one. Depending on the colours chosen, it can turn out to be completely blah or absolutely spectacular. Nice thing about it is that, owing to the simplicity of the striped pattern, it can be a completely unisex project.
So I started one recently to fill my finger-loosening need, having been somewhat alternately turned off by the massive number of people doing the same project and turned on by the brilliance of the colours. And they are gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that. I truly think Jared should be getting some sort of commission from Noro for every one of these started with Noro Silk Garden yarns, though. At roughly $10 CDN per ball (and it takes four balls to make the scarf), this is hardly a cheap project. On Ravelry alone, 8510 scarves had been started or were done at the time of this post. Of those, almost all used some form of Noro. Luckily John needs a new scarf, so I’m assured the new owner will love it and it’ll stay in the family.
And why the “robot” phrase at the beginning? Well, at the Christmas Craft Fair this year I spied this mug, made by Maaike Charron at Blue Dragon Clay :
(Yes, my desk really is that messy. I thought this photo might make you feel better. In fact, the chaos is usually worse.)
It’s a robot, knitting a scarf and the other side simply says, “Robot knits a scarf.” My husband bought it for me and, by some weird twist of fate, I bought one for him. Santa brought one for Katherine, too, so we all have robot mugs. My mug is knitting, Katherine’s purple “Robot attempts flight” and holds an umbrella and John’s orange “Robot disapproves of these shenanigans.” They are nothing short of brilliant. All Christmas, we would say things like, “Robot wants to go outside,” or “Robot walks the dog,” or even “Robot is hungry.”
Finally, just to give you an idea of the scarf colours I’m knitting (note that they look very unlike anything you see in the Jared Flood photo), I give you this horrendous picture, which will serve to make the final product look like a major improvement: