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February 11, 2010

My new favorite knitted scarf, and perhaps I can use it as a self-muzzling device.

First, this has nothing to do with my scarf, aside from the notion that a long scarf might be a useful tool for shutting my mouth:

I was chatting with a coworker yesterday, we'll call her Jane, and she and I were in the ladies room in front of the mirror where the sinks are. And of course when you're staring into a big huge mirror you check out your lipstick and so on. She turned her cheek a bit and looked at a small red bump and said she had a blemish that she was a little worried about.

"I'm not sure what it is," said Jane, "but I don't remember touching it or anything and yet it's red and kind of dry. It's unusual. I don't know if I should get it checked out."

"Well it's probably not the flesh eating bacteria," I assured her.

Jane just looked at me for a bit, not saying anything. Then: "Um, I hadn't really considered that option."

"Oh! I had a pimple once and I went to my doctor and I was sure I had pre-flesh-eating-disease and so he looked at it and said it was just a zit and then he wrote me a prescription." I said. Then I smiled, to be more reassuring in nature.

"I see," said Jane. "And what did your doctor write you a prescription for...?"

"He asked me where I got the idea that it was a flesh-eating acne situation and I told him I'd read it on Web M.D. and then he wrote me a prescription for no more Web M.D.," I said. "Now that I come to think of it, I guess that is an embarrassing story."

"Actually," said Jane, "I was thinking more along the lines that I should get this spot checked out for melanoma or something like that."

"Oh!" I said. "Melanoma! That makes so much more sense than flash-eating bacteria!"

And then we walked out of the ladies room and later I realized I was maybe not as reassuring as I had hoped unless my goal had been to reassure Jane she was not the crazy lady in the department because that position had already been filled by Yours Truly.

- - -

So, sometimes the easiest things are the best, like not assuming your zit is flesh-eating disease, or like making quick scarves using plain old garter stitch and a bunch of orphaned skeins of yarn. Look at that smooth transition from one subject to another! Ah, the literary masters will weep at my prowess.

On Sunday I pulled out a plastic bin of yarn that I'd been keeping around forever. Most of it was stuff I'd bought back when I first started knitting and was yarn-crazy. Back then I was constantly buying one or two little skeins of yarn with no project in mind and after a while I had all this yarn and not enough of any one flavor to make even a hat! A lot of it has since gone out of style, mostly eyelash or fuzzy novelty yarns, but there was some good stuff in there, too, like a beautiful hand-dyed wool from a reader friend and a lovely soft cotton yarn. Luckily my tastes seem to run toward pink, red, orange and more pink so all the colors looked great together in the bin.


I've been wanting to knit a scarf lengthwise for a long time and recently my friend Work Jennifer completed a beautiful scarf knit lengthwise on long circular needles and it inspired me. So I got out my tub o' yarn and cast on about 250 stitches (it's a REALLY LONG scarf!) on size 11 needles. I think they are a 32" long set of circular needles. And I just knit garter stitch (knit stitch) on every row and the fun was trying out all the different yarns and stranding a few together and mixing in the colors and textures. I tried this once before on The World's Ugliest Scarf, and now I wish I would have knit that monstrosity lengthwise because I bet it would have been beautiful!

I love mixing yarns and coming up with crazy yarn combinations and it worked perfectly in this scarf:



This scarf might be my favorite thing I have knit yet! It was super simple, knit every stitch and at the end of each row just leave a long piece of yarn to make a fringe.

I love really long scarves, which I guess seems odd for someone so short. But to me there is nothing finer than a crazyass oversized scarf. Maybe it's because I wear mostly basic, unfussy clothes and a big, wild scarf just makes me feel festive. Anyway, my good friend Work Jennifer helped me with my photos and she was trying to find some way to illustrate how ridiculously long this thing is:




She is so damn cute. I love that we've become friends. Having someone at work you can chitchat with and share your knitting zeal with at work makes every day so much better! She and Corey both oooohed and ahhhed over my now favorite scarf ever, even though it is long enough to use as a fluffy burqa.

And it only took me an evening and a half to make this big ol' multicolored scarf! After knitting every project recently on size 3, 4 and 5 needles, it was really fun to whip up something fast on size 11s. I also had SO MUCH help while knitting my scarf:

Action shot!

Bob searching for the wooden needles hidden in the bin. He's like a heat-seeking missile when it comes to wooden knitting needles.

So that's my scarf and my flesh-eating zit story of the day. The moral here is don't overdose on Web M.D. OR throw away those half-skeins of novelty yarn. Just like the moral in a regular fairy tale.

- - -
Edited to add: One of my favorite knitters on the planet Wendy Johnson is giving away five copies of my book today at wendyknits.net. Bob is currently gathering up his secret stock of hair barrettes, bottle tops and twist ties and saving them for lovely Lucy, who might one day be my cat-in-law....

Posted by laurie at February 11, 2010 9:34 AM