Saturday, December 03, 2005

Please bear with us...

I will be going away for 1 1/2 weeks this morning. Singapore, here I come.

So what that means for all you scarf-ers and scarf-ees is that Cynthia will be on her own checking on the scarfexchange mailbox and managing all the questions. Since she is working alone, please bear with us as she may be in a different time zone from you. I'll be back to help on 15th December, so till then...

It's been good watching everyone post. Congratulations to those of you who have completed your scarves. Wow! What a feat! Well done, folks.

I decided to start the Ene's scarf. I am giving myself till Christmas to complete half of it. If I don't get that done, I don't know what the chance of me completing it by the exchange deadline is and I'll have to change to a simpler scarf.

See you in 1 1/2 weeks!

Posting about nothing

Hi everyone. This is my obligatory post. Unfortunately, posting is all I can do right now because Christmas knitting is preventing me from working on the scarf for my pal. I'm thinking about it a lot, tho! Love seeing what everyone else has accomplished!


I'm not sure why the fringe looks so wonky in the pic - it doesn't in real life, I promise. This is the Short Rows Rib scarf from MagKnits, knitted using Noro Silk Garden. I've really enjoyed knitting this - I love the way the colours blend subtly within each block, but then, because of the way it's knitted, there are abrupt changes between blocks. I do hope my pal likes it.

Finally I have made up my mind

So, procratsination is my pastime. And I have been practicing it alot lately, but I have finally decided what to knit for my pal. I've made up the pattern myself using a stitch bible, so here's hoping it comes up a treat. I got some lovely deep red yarn today that is just yummy to knit with, and when I get a second to sit down and do nothing, it will be the first thing I pick up to knit, can't wait!


I have started the scarf, pattern is easy to memorise but the darn yarn keeps slipping off the needles it's so fine. I can work maybe 6 rows then the yarn slips off ... I am using aluminiums should I buy a pair of bamboos? Am also trying to decide on hat yarns ... it's a lacy pattern should I use 80% angora which will make it warm even though lacy, or should I use Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere which will make it more like a decorative indoor cap?

What a lucky girl am I!!!! Wow!!!

The mail arrived today with a special and wonderful scarf from my secret scarf pal who is not so secret any more...Beth Bostian take a bow! It is a beautiful scarf! I love it! I am in awe! I do not knit, I crochet. I've seen knitted lace scarves and admired them. But I haven't a clue how to do it. You did such a superb job and it is so gorgeous!!!! I can't wait to wear it out and get all those admiring glances!!!!

I've had a cold for a week now and it is a typical Oregon day with rain, wind and cold dampness so your package was such a bright light on such a dull day!!!

A thousand thanks and highest admiration on such a beautiful scarf. (And, p.s., it arrived not only before Christmas but close to my birthday to boot!!!)

Thank you so very much,


Hi All,

As promised, here are some photos of my finished scarf.

The scarf is made from a yarn called "Amour". It is mohair boucle plied with a slubby cotton. I knitted it in a simple double moss stitch because the yarn is so interesting in itself.

It will be in the post next week sometime. So, secret scarf pal, look out for it in your letterbox in about a week's time. Because you don't know who you are, I suppose that everyone will be wondering if the scarf will be in their letterbox. To narrow it down, my secret scarf pal lives in the USA. That's all I'm saying.

Because I think posting photos of the scarf gives a bit away, I've included a little surprise something in the package to keep up the fun.


I think I know what I am doing!

Well, I think I have finally decided on a pattern and yarn. I have 3 balls of KFI angora extra to make the herringbone lace scarf from the Ella Rae pattern book 2. I won't be able to start until after Christmas though so might change my mind again, there are so many possibilities!

Friday, December 02, 2005

frog and frog again

I think I might finally be ready to begin the *real* SE scarf. I love the yarn I chose though perhaps I was too hasty in making my decision. There are just so many choices out there.

I am also over the poor me, or rather poor SE pal, of not being experienced enough or not being a hand dye-er, or not being a spinner. My SE pal will have to be content with my beginner knitting skills and I have come around to the fact that if I make the best scarf I am able to make, it will indeed be good enough.

The pattern I initially chose, on the recommended needle size, simply did not look like the best I am capable of. Then I tried another pattern I liked, simple as it is, and it was pleasing, but seemed narrow. Frogx2.

Does a lightbulb going off over your head make a sound? Mine was thunderous. Add a repeat of the pattern you like to make the desirable scarf wider.

So now I begin anew and hopefully, third time's a charm.

Bring on the lace!

I'm so excited to see all the lace scarves! I think I'm going to use some laceweight white alpaca that I ordered from a local farm and I've been plotting and scheming on my pattern. Right now, I'm planning a modified version of the lace scarf on's set of staff scarves. I may not have enough yarn though, so there will be some changes. (Don't we always have to make a few changes?)

I'm a bit concerned about using white yarn, even if it is for lace. Seems a bit plain so I think I may also include a few colorful flower pins that my pal can attach to the scarf or her jacket to liven things up a bit. I was struggling with the question of funcational and warm vs. delicate and pretty for awhile, but my pal seems open to anything so I was greedy and picked what I wanted to work with. Can't resist alpaca!

It looks like most people have their patterns picked out, but I wanted to also send this link to a blog devoted to the curly ribbon-type scarves that are so popular. There are lots of great knit and crochet versions there if you're needing any inspiration. I've started one and have several more in line for Christmas gifts.

I'm definitely in the post-Christmas exchange group so I hope my pal has patience. Just too many other projects on the needles. I planned my alpaca lace knitting as a reward for a stack of Christmas projects. Happy knitting all!

P.S. Dani, I'd go for the black. I'm in a pretty dreary winter climate (Buffalo, NY) so I usually like bright colors for winter, but the black really sets off the blue and makes it look very rich.
That combo would look great for anyone with a black or even grey winter coat!

Black or White?

This will probably be anticlimactic after all the finished scarf posts, but I'm still in the yarn decision process. I've decided on my main yarn/colour which is going to be Cherry Hill Tree Glitter Alpaca in the Moody Blues colourway (in the middle of my oh so beautiful comparison picture), but am having trouble deciding on a complementary colour. I've narrowed it down to the Peruvian Baby Cashmere from Elann, but am having trouble deciding whether to go for the darker silvery black(pewter) on the left or the crisp white(parchment) on the right.
I personally prefer the black with the Moody Blues, but am afraid it may be too glum for winter-wear. What do you all think?
The pattern is all in my head, and at the moment I can't say anything definite beyond that the baby cashmere will be the lining and the cuff of the hat.
Thanks for any input!

Just checking in

Hi all,

Just checking in. Even though I have finished the scarf, I have spent the last week or so mulling over whether to add a beaded fringe or beads to the scarf. In the end I decided that the scarf didn't need it. I will post a photo this weekend.


Thursday, December 01, 2005


Hi everyone! It's so good to read everyone's progress.

Just a friendly reminder.

1. You need to post. If you haven't yet, please do. We just want you to check in so we know you're still with us

2. I have updated some of the profiles with hand heights. If you want to know how tall you'r pal's hand ius, check his/her profile here.

Choices, Choices....

Just checking in to say that I've contacted both my scarf giver and receiver and I'm having fun tryingto decide what to knit. I know what colour I'm doing but not what to do - I did make the mistake of reading my friend's copy of Scarf Style and Wrap Style... Spoilt for choice...I'm hoping to do something a little challenging and since we have till Feb I should be able to manage it. Got to get my ornamental exchange decoration out of the way first. Happy knitting all - Sharon aka The Stripey Tiger

Honest Advice Needed!

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But this scarf has been bugging me all day! I've put aside my other projects just to focus on it! Then around 2am last night (Ah, the magic of insomia) I finally figured out a pattern that works well with the yarn and looks pretty.

Or does it?

I need all of my fellow knitters here to give me their advice: Is this pattern good enough to be an exchange scarf? I'm going to put fringe on it as well, possibly with some beads.

And see that white dot in the picture? That's my first needle-felting doohickey! Woohoo!

A hint or two in rhyme

I've just bound off
The final stitches.
The scarf's ready to ship
With my fondest wishes.

I wanted to finish fast
I did it -- Hurray!
In order to send it
By my pal's birthday

She doesn't know me
From Adam or Eve.
I'm hoping she'll like what she sees
And won't give a heave.

This Seattle gal is SUPER
And I've enjoyed sneaking on-line
Reading all her blogs
But not linking to mine.

When she gets her scarf
I hope she will know
To wear it in rain
Or in sleet or in snow.

It's made with much love
And a mistake or two
But what's a dropped stitch
Among friends like you!

Knit and Purl Grrl

Yarn, pattern, and a plan...FINALLY!

So after what seems like weeks of going back and forth, I have finally chosen a yarn. I chose Rowan wool/cotton in an orangish-pumpkiny color. For awhile I was worried that the color was all wrong, but I held it against a black wool coat and it seemed to work well. I normally don't wear orange, so this will be fun to knit in a color that I would not necessarily pick out for myself.

Finding a pattern has been equally time consuming. I tried out a few lace patterns found on Craftster, but I have really been wanting to try the Midwest Moonlight pattern from Scarf Style. I think this scarf will be nice to knit on and off while doing all other holiday knitting.

knitting away

Well, I've started knitting away. This lace pattern I picked is going to be the death of me, so I think I'm going to switch to something else a little more substantial, especially since I went outside today in my lace scarf and froze my wee neck off.

Just checking in!


Woohoo, I've finished my pal's scarf and got it in the mail today! Since my pal is in the next state over she should have it in a few days... definitely before Christmas. Anyway, here it is... Karabella Piuma Gold in a modified Opera Scarf pattern (apparently it's the Brioche Stitch.) It's hard to see in the picture but the yarn has little colored spangles in it. I really think (hope) that my pal is going to enjoy her scarf. This exchange is a blast!


Is it so bad I wish my secret-pal picked a different type of yarn and colors they liked? Because I this great pattern for this one type of yarn I was eyeing...

Ah well.

I've been distracted with finihing up my Xmas knitting (last year, I swear) but now I'm going back to working on my secret pal's scarf. Except I STILL can't find a good chunky scarf pattern. Grr.

So I want to ask everyone here: Would you mind a simple scarf pattern (all garter, moss, etc) as long as it suits the yarn well? I feel guilty doing something easy while everyone here does lace and other cool designs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Made it!

I have the yarn - Elann Baby Cashmere and, I think, the pattern - I just need to sit down and cast on!

Scarf is almost complete

I think that I have never been so excited to knit something for someone else before.
I am still thinking of the best hat to go with the scarf. I need to ask if people would be disappointed if they received a head band instead of a hat? Give me your thoughts! Thanks

Scarf yarn arrived

The scarf yarn arrived today, the fastest shipping I have seen so far (I only ordered it last week), but they used a big box ... and charged my card $9 to ship 50g! That cancels out the discount so I am not going to recommend the company. That said, the yarn is gorgeously soft ... it's the finest merino yarn I have ever seen. Now I need to ball this up, but I suspect it's going to take me a long time to knit this scarf ... the yarn is as thin as sewing thread. I am not going to reveal the pattern because I have mistakenly revealed my identity to the person I am knitting for ... but the pattern I am using is recommended for this yarn. I am still thinking about the hat.

Am I over ambitious?

I found some gorgeous baby alpaca laceweight in a dark brown colour. It's Perlita brand - never hear of it before. It's gorgeous.

Now, what am I going to make with it? I have the following options
1. Ene's scarf - Scarf Style
2. Possum lace scarf pattern from Cherry Tree Hill
3. Blizzard - Scarf Style
4. Branching Out in double width - Knitty
5. Mini Kiri Shawl
6. Seaweed and shells scarf -look at it here
7. Tiger Eye scarf
8. Flower basket shawl which is more like a scarf
9. some other pattern that I create

1, 6 and 9 are my favourite options right now. Am I too ambitious to think that I can finish one of these patterns by February? I don't want to disappoint my pal who is in the northern hemisphere and probably freezing right now, or will be soon.
I'd like to decide soon as I'd like to take it away with me to knit while I am away next week (working) as I expect to have some down time at night in the hotel.
What to do, what to do..

Critiquing a Handmade Gift?

One comment on my last post made me want to clarify what I'd written. I think I inadvertantly may have given other bloggers the idea that I'd be "critiqueing" the scarf made for me. Heavens no!

What I meant to infer is that when I received my scarf, I'll be APPRECIATING every stitch, knowing how much effort and time it takes to create something handmade.

I made a lace shawl for a family member, and spent so much time on it. The recipient was not a knitter, never did any handcrafts, so she really had no idea of how much time it took, or how much energy and thought went into selecting the yarn, finding the right pattern, and creating the work of art. She said "thank you" of course, when she received it, but it was never mentioned again. She had no clue that I'd spent weeks and weeks working on it.

I don't ever want this to happen with something I receive as a gift! I want to let the person making me a scarf know just how appreciative I am of all the thought, effort and time put into the creation of the gift.

This is why I'm excited about participating in the exchange. I know that when I make something, the recipient will know what I put into it thoughtwise, timewise, and it will be appreciated more because the recipient is also a knitter.

I wouldn't dream of receiving something someone had made especially for me without appreciating what the person put into that creation.

That means, as I finger each stitch, I think about what that person was doing when they created it. I think about all the other things that person could have been doing when they chose, instead, to take the time to make that stitch just for me.

So each stitch is a gift of a moment in that person's life, a gift of time and energy, a very precious commodity in today's world!

Critique a gift? Never! Appreciate it? Absolutely! I don't look for flaws, I just appreciate the creation of each stitch, and how it became part of a whole. I appreciate effort, and mistakes are part of effort. I don't want something "perfect," but something that came from human effort, and contains both perfection and mistakes.

I know, no matter how hard I try, I will never create something totally "perfect." There will be flaws, but hopefully those that detract from the visual and textural beauty of the creation will be minor, compared to those that enhance the beauty of the piece.

In rugmaking of the quality that takes 10 years to create a single rug, the artisans will purposely put a "mistake" in each rug, so that it's not perfect. I don't think I'll ever have to worry about purposely adding a mistake---it's going to happen whether I plan it or not. And if I don't discover the mistake until I've nearly completed the piece, then it's not going to get frogged! It's just one imperfection that shows a human being, not a machine, made the scarf!


Yarn and A Plan

I just squeezed under the November post deadline. Whew! I'm enjoying reading everyone's selections so far. I've been trying to decide what yarn I want to use for my pal's scarf/mitten set, and I've come up with this. This yarn is so nice and soft, and I love the colorway. I hope my scarf exchange pal does also.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Got the Yarn!

I have finally decided on what to do with my Habu Textile purchases from this year's Stitches event. I am going to use the silk (the cone) to make a lacy scarf and the silk mohair on the mittens. Since the silk won't make very good mittens, I am going to make some nice black wool ones with some furry embellishments. I found a lace pattern online, but I would be willing to take suggestions if anyone knows of something really great!

At least I have the yarn!

I have the yarn, I picked up two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill alpaca at my lys that were on sale. I just haven't landed the right pattern yet, but I am sure that it will make itself clear when I find it!

my obligatory November post

I've bought the yarn, and I've picked the pattern, but I haven't started any knitting. But - secret scarf exchange pal, I swear I am thinking about you!

Scarf Style

I am so glad I joined this Exchange, and big thank-yous to Cyn and Celia for organizing it.

Before I joined this exchange I hadn't knitted a scarf in - well, since I was 8 yr old and my grandma taught me to knit. Then I joined this exchange, started looking at scarf patterns on line, looked at yarns in my stash that I didn't have in sweater quantities, and thought about who I could make scarves for. I'm now in the middle of my 4th scarf this month - all are for Christmas gifts and some are changing recipients as they take shape and I think "no, this would be better for SIL than for Dear Friend"... And I'm loving it. The instant gratification that comes with a fast completed FO, the freedom to play some with yarns without a huge investment in them, and the opportunity to make my gifts this year.
All the while, knowing what yarn I plan to use, but not really being clear on a pattern, I'm keeping my eye out for the perfect pattern for some Koigu for my scarf pal. (I am open to suggestions)
And I keep seeing all these wonderful scarves knit from Scarf Style. It wouldn't have occurred to me to buy a book of scarf patterns before, but now, this book is going on my wish list.


what to do?????????? My yarn and I don't see eye to eye on what the yarn needs to become. I've started and frogged 7 projects so far. Each time the yarn and I will agree on something and then when I'm about 10 inches into the project the yarn decides that that isn't what it wants to become and becomes pretty nasty about it. I'm going to try another scarf pattern and I hope that we'll get farther along than 1 skein... Good thing I still have 2 more months LOL.

Cheers y'all, Eva

Yarn and pattern ready

I was frightened that some people had finished or received the scarf !
I just prepared the yarn and pattern, but they are still in my bag now.
It seems that it's impossible for me to finish the scarf before Christmas.
I wish it could be received by my pal before Chinese New Year (b/c I am in Taiwan and that's our New Year here!)
--- Add on : I post the scarf already, it could be a Christmas gift surely!! Dec 08, 05

Monday, November 28, 2005

Finally! I made a decision!

I am terrible with making decisions...but I've finally figured out what I'm going to make for my pal!! I'll be knitting a Backyard Leaves scarf out of Rowan Felted Tweed. The color is Ginger. I hope my pal likes it:)

-Stacey...aka...Sheep in the City

Bought My Yarn!

I took advantage of the sales this weekend and braved a yarn store to buy my yarn... now, to come up with a pattern... the mittens won't be hard, because I have a great mitten book, but scarves... so many choices! Hmmm. :)

How exciting

Oh my gosh, so many of you guys are so far ahead of me and already done. You're making some really beautiful scarves! I hope my pal doesn't mind waiting until after Christmas to receive hers. I'm still a long way off from starting. I have finished this gift scarf I was working on and took it in to my LYS for show and tell. I was so excited when the owner asked me to write the pattern up so she could sell it! Wow! Now I'm really seriously thinking about doing an original design for my exchange scarf as well, this one was so much fun.

Response to Pal from the Travelling Knitter and etc.

Dear Secret Pal,

No I don't mind a lace scarf...cables were only a suggestion. I am so excited to hear from you!! I can't wait for my scarf! I can't remember the last time I got a knitted item all for me! :)

Isn't that so pal is making sure I will like my scarf!!!

Now for MY secret pal....I went out and got the yarn below!! I am going to turn it into a branching out scarf.....I've NEVER made an item with the yarn suggested by a pattern, but nothing is too good for my secret pal.

Hopefully the yarn will get wound into a ball shortly! Fingers crossed!

Still thinking...

I haven't decided on a pattern yet - there are so many possibilities. I've narrowed down my yarn choices although they could change too! I'm busy with Christmas knitting but I'm also moving house and countries (UK -> France) next week, so understandably I'm a little preoccupied.

It's great seeing such a wide range of styles being posted and even some finished scarves!

Nearly Done

I'm nearly done on my scarf for my pal. It's on the cast off (bind off for you Americans) row. Easier said than done though as the row has over 1000 stitches. But it will be done soon - hope my pal likes it. Also just wanted to say that I'm really glad to be given the pal I have - for reasons which will become clear....

Decisions Have Been Made

Just got back from Italy last Saturday and am trying to get used to not having the espresso cafe bar at every street corner.

While in Italy, went to a wool shop just outside of Milan and had a wonderful time in that place. I bought a lot of yarn and I am sure I have definitely found the yarn for my pal. I have also decided on one of the patterns in the Scarf Style.

I have not contacted my pal as the "requirements" were quite clear and I really hope that my pal would like what I am going to knit for her.

................ To Be Continued

Me, Myself and I

Hooray for me. After a long grueling debate with "Me, Myself, and I" I finally decided on the perfect yarn after numerous stores later and "FINALLY" decided on a pattern after digging through my numerous filing cabinets crammed pack with patterns..I go online and find the perfect pattern. Flustered and just plain worn out from all that debating. I think I just sat there for a good day or so just staring at the yarn and pattern and patting myself on the back thinking what a good job I did.. so I get ready to start knitting away and realize I DONT HAVE THE NEEDLES it calls for.. so another trip to the store..then another..thank god I found them now I think everything is prepared.. Im gonna pick up and start knitting any minute now.. I will I know it.. I just have to keep giving myself pep talks.. We'll see my progress umm hopefully soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I've found a pattern!

I'm just checkin' in! I've finally settled on a hat and scarf pattern. The hat pattern came from and the plaited cable scarf pattern is from Just Knitting Around. Now to find the perfect yarn, then I'll start knitting like crazy after the Holidays!

Still searching for yarn and pattern

I spent several hours last week cruising the net for yarn, but nothing seemed quite right. I think for this project I'm going to want to go to a LYS in person and fondle the yarn. :-b

I'm so amazed by people who are already done! I won't be able to start on my set until after the new year. Right now I'm working on a cabled sweater for my mom for Christmas that is taking up all of my knitting time.

So... no real progress, but I am thinking about what pattern I want to use.

Thanks Giving is gone at last.
I can hardly wait to get my projects for Christmas finished so I can give my all to my secret Scarf gal! I am sooo excited. I have several ideas and the yarn wow what great colors I get to work with.

It's done

It's done - I'm posting it tomorrow so I am going to show you anyway.

But I didn't knit it! I wove it on my new Ashford Knitters Loom - after I hand spun the yarn.

I hope my pal likes it.

I do! :) Happy happy joy joy!

Spinning Around

This week I started to spin the merino for my scarf pal. I started with 4 ounces and got 212 yards of a heavy DK/light worsted - it's 11wpi. While I'm waiting for my dye order to get here, I have been doing some test swatching. Here are two patterns I have tried - this is not the yarn that I will be using - just some wool blend that I used for my last cat toy project. I think I will try some more open patterns next to make sure I get some length. I'll also be back behind my wheel this week to get some more spun up. It's been so much fun spinning and came out balanced - I can't wait to try my hand at a bit finer or more wpi yarn.


I"m updating as required. hahaha. I have the yarn and pattern in mind for my pal. :) I just need to start it. I'm going to wait till after the holidays to start my pal's scarf. I have too many things to make before Christmas rolls i'm trying to gauge my time wisely. hehee.

i hope everyone had a good thanksgiving!