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August 6, 2009

Entrelac scarf completed!

entrelac-done-1.jpg

At last, at last, a finished project. And it's so beautiful I keep looking at it and asking myself, "Did I knit that? ME?" All I want to do is stay home and watch documentaries on the History Channel and knit entrelac in Noro. That sounds like a dream job. Throw in an occasional visit from the UPS man and there's my fantasy life.

For this scarf I used the free entrelac pattern available online here. I'm very thick-headed when it comes to reading patterns and I think that Allison Lo Cicero, the woman who wrote this, is brilliant at writing patterns! It's very clear for such a complicated concept. You do have to take a leap of faith when you start the first time because it may not make sense for a while (What? I'm knitting one stitch and then turning the work around and knitting that one stitch from the other direction? Are you nuts?) but it works. My scarf was knit using Noro Silk Garden yarn in color 241 and I used a size 9 needle because I have learned that I just need to go up a needle size for pretty much every pattern. The pattern calls for a size 8, and my friend Corey is knitting this same scarf now using a size 7 and yet she and I are getting the same gauge. Funny.

I also want to point out that if you don't want to knit a scarf that costs eleventy hundred dollars I have seen some entrelac scarves knit from the beautiful and affordable Patons Soy Wool Stripes, which is softer than Noro in my opinion and also self-stripes. I might make my next entrelac with the "Natural Garden" color. Or I might unravel this scarf which I never finished because I caught the entrelac bug and knit with that. So many choices, so little time spent alone with my yarn.

The finished scarf is puffy and textured, which I love. I know some people would prefer this pattern blocked into submission so that it lies flat and even but I prefer the rope-like woven quality. I did block it lightly, I pinned it into place on some fluffy, clean towels that I layered on the little mini-sofa in my home office. The ends were really the only pieces that needed much help, and before bed last night I lightly sprayed the edges of the scarf with water, shaped it with my fingers, pinned a few spots, covered it with a clean sheet and let it dry overnight:

entrelac-blocking.jpg
That's a miniature sofa which folds out into a twin-sized bed, it was the only thing I bought myself with the money from my first advance. The rest went to pay off my divorce lawyer. Fitting, no? Anyway, I usually keep the minisofa covered with a tapestry or slipcover that I can throw in the wash each week, since my cats loooove this sitting spot. That pink monstrosity of a tapestry is from Target. I like it. It was on clearance for something like $4. Wonder why.

The back of the scarf looks like this:

entrelac-back.jpg

As I was knitting this scarf I couldn't help myself and I would take it out and show it to everyone who walked past my office. And I heard more than one comment from folks about the back of the piece, which struck me as odd. It almost sounded like criticism -- which I don't take well, because I'm five -- and besides I think the back looks like madras fabric or something. Then one of my friends said (almost in defense of the scarf) that one could line the back of it with fabric and this appealed to me, I like the idea of lining the scarf with some beautiful jewel-toned velvet or something. I haven't tried that before and I love to sew, so why not? Maybe I will do it at some point, but I don't mind the way it looks without a lining. Anyway, I can't be bothered to stop my knitting projects right now and do some sewing for goodness sakes, I have The Fever! The knitting fever!

All in all, this is the most beautiful thing I think I have ever created. I love it! I can't believe I figured it out all on my own, I sort of feel like I grew brain cells from doing it. I'm not someone who is comfortable bragging on herself but I tell you what, if I could have called a meeting with the mayor -- nay, the Governator! -- nay, the President! I would have done so just to brag on my own bad self for knitting up some entrelac. Really now. I'm cookoo for cocolacs.

entrelac-Cindi.jpg
Here is my friend Cindi modeling the scarf. If I had a figure like Cindi's, I would just walk around naked all day. I wouldn't even bother with clothes, except maybe an entrelac scarf.

entrelac-corey.jpg
And here is my gorgeous friend Corey, who I love for defending the back of this scarf... she said, "Lining it? Oh no way! I want people to know I made this sucker!"

So there it is, an actual finished project that I even blocked and forced friends to model for me. And I can't wait to start another one in a different color. It's so addictive!

Posted by laurie at August 6, 2009 8:21 AM