November 9, 2007

Giving cashmere a bath

I finished Henry! Yes, I did skip one of the repeats. The scarf was looking rather wide and I'm glad that I did skip it. Before starting this scarf, I did look into the finished ones and the in-progress ones on Ravelry. That website is so handy! I was mainly looking into the cast-on and seeing how everyone else did it. I've never done a tubular cast-on or cast-off. This scarf has both. I read that a few people used much smaller needles for the cast-on and set up rows as well as the cast off section.

11907aSince I was planning on using a size 3 for the main section, I went all the way down to a size 1 (2.5mm) needle for the cast-on. A provisional cast-on is called for, but they pattern doesn't specify a certain kind. I used the provisional cast-on that I like and that's the one where you crochet stitches onto the knitting needle with waste yarn. Then you knit with your working yarn. I was rather eager to see if this would work, so I took out the waste yarn after one repeat of the scarf. It looked horrible! There were so many loops of yarn that didn't look right. Somehow, I figured out that if I pulled on the tail of yarn where I started knitting, everything fell into place and looked good. Yay!

This yarn is 2/16 Colourmart cashmere. The website says that it's a 4-ply fingering weight, but it certainly doesn't look like it. The yarn is oiled and requires a hot bubbly bath before it will have the cashmere feel and look. It requires swatching because of the drastic changes that it goes through. I did a plain stockinette swatch just to see what needle size I like. I didn't bother with trying to match gauge, since this is just a scarf. After knitting, I filled up my sink with the hottest water that would come out of the faucet and shampoo (dish soap works too). I threw the scarf in there and squished it into the water. The water gets a cloudy, milky look to it. I was rough with it and squished it thoroughly in the hot water. I rinsed it out a few times with just the hot water until the water ran clear. After that, I rolled it into a towel and stomped on it. I didn't bother pinning it down to dry. I just laid it out on a sheet on the floor and moved it around a bit until the edges looked straight.

11907cIt looked amazing when I picked it up this morning. It's so soft and fluffy. I love how it's thin and drapes so elegantly. This scarf is intended for Dwight. The scarf that he currently uses is a thin fleece-like scarf. I wanted him to have something a bit nicer than that. But now I want to keep it for myself.

With all of the great patterns out there, free or bought, I try not to knit a pattern twice if it's one that takes some time. But I'm very tempted to knit this one again---for me.

Pattern: Henry (from Fall 07 Knitty)
Yarn: 2/16 100% cashmere from
Needles: cast-on, set-up, and cast off done on size 1 (2.5mm) needles -- main section done on size 3 (3.25mm) needles

Final measurements after washing: 8.25 x 63 inches

Start: October 31, 2007
Finish: November 8, 2007

I did finish the Unoriginal Hat too, but forgot to take pictures of it. I'll have to get E to stand still a bit to model that one and the leg warmers that were finished last week. Today is Friday!!! That means that this weekend will be spent knitting on the Secret of Chrysopolis and the Secret of the Stole.

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