The Incredible Growing Scarf

Yippee! I came in under the wire on this Knit-a-Long (KAL) with several weeks to spare. I have to admit that I was a little worried considering that I was also knitting up a storm on socks for the Summer of Socks ’08. But “I dood it!”, as my Mom likes to say.

This was a KAL headed up by the Loopy Ewe gang over at Ravelry. If you haven’t discovered Ravelry yet and you like to knit or crochet, my friend…you need to head on over and read all about it. Membership is free. You just have to sign up and wait several days until you get an email invitation to join and then the fun begins. This is a marvelous worldwide community of fiber people and the website is chock full of patterns, groups of every interest imaginable, pictures of people’s projects, a library feature where you can add your knitting books, etc. Really, it is just hard to describe. You have to experience it. Imagine a big convention of like-minded folk and now extend that convention to year-round, 24 hours a day, at your fingertips whenever you want to be there. Go to and when you get on, look up “Booklassie” and say “hi.” You’ll find me up there most days and if I’m temporarily away, you can leave me a message.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes….talking about the KAL that the Loopy Ewe group was doing. Loopy Ewe (and I promise I’ll stop tantalizing you soon) is a fantastic vendor of sock yarns and accessories and spinning wheels, etc. Sheri has a wonderful selection of handpainted yarns from some great companies and some wonderful new Indie artists. Her service is top-notch. You can find the Loopy Ewe store here and don’t say I didn’t warn you… might become a “Loopy Groopy.”

Now, back to what I was saying. We all picked a Dream in Color Baby laceweight yarn and then each picked our own projects to knit. Concurrently, there was a Red KAL going on and so I decided to pick some DiC Baby in the colorway “Lipstick Lava” and knit it up into a Rivulet scarf. I started it and decided that I wanted a little heftier weight yarn so after doubling the yarn, I was a happy knitter. Here is how it looked as I was starting out.

If you look closely, you’ll see that I actually used some “lifelines” in this scarf. For those of you not too familiar with knitting, a lifeline is a piece of string or yarn threaded through something you are knitting (usually a shawl or scarf) periodically so that if you really mess up and have to rip out a bunch of rows, you can always rip down to the nearest lifeline and know that all your stitches will be intact at the point of the lifeline. And you also try to ensure that all your stitches are correct at the point that you insert a lifeline. In almost 50 years of knitting, this is the first time I’ve used lifelines and I can tell you that now it won’t be the last. I decided that they are a good idea.

I worked and worked on that scarf and it didn’t seem to be getting long very fast but the time was ticking so eventually I decided that I was going to finish her off and just artfully cross it at my throat and secure it with a nice pin. That was the plan. Imagine my surprise when, after giving it a good soak, I went to block it out and discovered that my little scarf had grown to a full 68 inches long. Wow, that yarn just relaxed and BLOOMED in my sink. I felt like Jack and the beanstalk except that I didn’t have to climb anything to find a treasure. My treasure was lying on the guestroom floor.

After giving it a day or two to dry thoroughly, I unpinned it and wrapped it around my neck. It was soft and warm and long enough to wrap around my throat and sling over my shoulders, just the way I like it.

Once again, I’m amazed at the way lace knitting looks pre-blocking and post-blocking. And now, I plan to go pull out that stole I’ve been working on off and on over the summer. I’ve used umpteen skeins of yarn trying to get that thing long enough to wrap around a person but I was figuring that I still had another 2 or 3 skeins to add to it before blocking it. Now I’m not so sure. If that stole is anything like this scarf, I just might have a potentially LONG stole in my knitting bag. In fact, it might already be big enough to wrap around 2 or 3 people all at once. Maybe I’ll call it the “Overachiever Stole.”


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