Saturday, 19 April 2008

Colourful Scarves

Knitting scarves for friends has become rather fun. I go to the yarn store (in itself a fun outing) and wander around touching yarn until something jumps out at me for a particular person on my list. My sempai has apparently gotten numerous compliments on how well the colours suit her. That is what I am aiming for.

The first of my most recent projects was a difficult one to pick out. The friend in question and I had gone shopping together in the early fall and actually each bought two scarves. So I knew she wasn't exactly freezing for want of neck warmth (not that she would be this time of year anyways, but...). So her scarf had to be special. It took me a long time to decide on the yarn, but I fell in love with some gorgeous variegated mohair in what I would call Easter colours (green, orange, purple, yellow). Once I had the yarn I thought about it for a long time, and ended up starting and finishing a number of other projects because I couldn't decide on a pattern. I eventually decided I wanted to make her a shawl instead of a scarf, and cast on with a pattern I thought I liked. After a few rows, however, it became apparent that the yarn colouring wasn't working with the pattern so I ripped back and went back to the drawing board (aka Ravelry and my 365 Knitting Stitches book). Finally I found something I liked and that I felt worked well with the yarn, and this is how it turned out...

The friend in question took me shopping before term started to buy shoes for my enormous feet. (I still hear echoes of the infamous Indian call of "big size! big size!!") There happened to be a yarn store in the neighbourhood, so of course we went there too. My friend really liked one of the scarves on display and, without knowing I was currently working on a shawl for her, pointed at the small and largely white scarf and said "Sarah, will you make me something like this?" Since the shawl is neither small nor white I pretty much lost all confidence in my yarn and project choices. I was almost finished, however, so I figured I should give it to her anyways. I'm still not sure she was completely thrilled with it, but she did say all the right things when I gave it to her.

More so than the intended recipient, however, one of my coworkers at the museum loved the yarn and the shawl. I show her my current project every week, and every week she oohs and ahhs and fingers the wool. The shawl, however, particularly caught her interest. She insisted that I take it in to show her once it was done. When I was left with nearly two balls of wool after finishing and fringing the shawl I decided to see how much of a scarf I could make for her. The finished product was quite small...

But was a huge hit nonetheless. When I gave her the tissue-wrapped scarf the look in her eyes made it clear she thought she knew what was inside, although she wasn't quite sure she should hope so...

April is the start of the new school year in Japan. This year that meant officially entering my university. I had been worried about what this new school year would bring as the only other student in my area of the major (and my closest friend at the university) graduated last month. I shouldn't have worried too much, however, as I had a couple of friends also entering the grad school this year, and have been getting to know others in my new program. (more on that once I've organized my thoughts a bit...) One of the former is a girl who was in my professor's study group as an undergrad last year. She graduated and is back again, entering the graduate school in the geography department. She is a wonderfully warm and friendly person, and never fails to cheer me up with her bone crushing hugs (a very uncommon trait among Japanese). The scarf I made for her is rather too bright and colourful for my taste, but I (and a number of others who know her) felt that it represented her sunny and offbeat nature perfectly!

And she seems to agree, obligingly posing for a photo despite the warmth of the day!

I have another scarf that I just finished but it will wait for my next post, as will my gorgeous birthday yarn (I'm going to be selfish and keep it for myself, I'm thinking a nice shawl?).


  1. Sarah
    I love your scarves - you are doing some really neat designs. Wonderful!

  2. the shawls/scarfs etc are amazing Sarah. You could probably sell them and make a nice profit. I'm still not done my tiny pillow case from India and just got around to hemming my pants with something besides safety-pins!