A project that only took 18 months

So, not much of a quickie. However, sometimes the long haul is worth it. Behold my linen-stitch scarf.SONY DSC

I actually really enjoyed knitting this but just felt like knitting on other things for a lot of the time. Plus there was that stage in the middle, familiar to all knitters, where the new-lover excitement of cast-on has been replaced by the long trudge of the second act and you’re not yet in sight of the home stretch. (Do you like your metaphors mixed?)

It’s done in linen-stitch which, while slightly tedious (there’s lots of to-and-froing with the yarn, rather like rib), has three huge advantages for scarves:

1. it knits perfectly flat. No rolling at the edges, no need to knit borders or make any compromises at all.

2. different colours of yarn shade beautifully into each other because of the half-slipped nature of the stitch. You don’t have to worry at all about what colours are going next to what because there are no hard edges. It’s amazing what you can get away with.SONY DSC

3. There’s no wrong side.

Of course most of this is also true of garter stitch, but I hate garter stitch. Plus you get unacceptable levels of stretch with garter stitch and risk looking like the Tom Baker incarnation of Dr Who. (By the way, isn’t Peter Capaldi great? Hadn’t watched Dr Who since the 70s but now I’m hooked).

Anyway, it was all knit in 4ply on a 2.5mm needle – 147 rows gave me near-as-dammit 8″ wide, and 700-and-some stitches gave me 6’10” long including fringes. I left a long tail at the beginning and end of each row for the fringe, then knotted them all up at the end.SONY DSC

The needle and yarn sizes have something to do with the fact that it took me so long. I timed a row the other night when I was on the phone and it took about 45 minutes. So the whole scarf took six thousand six hundred minutes, more or less. I like it so much I’m going to spend the evening casting on another. 800 stitches this time…

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