Branden’s sweater is done! But it’s not blocked, so I don’t have any pictures to show you yet. I’m hoping to get to that today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, a finished sweater means that I am out of knitting. I started some swatching with the yarn that I bought at Rhinebeck, but there are lots of stitches and many design sketches to go before I am ready to really cast on with that. I needed something to get me through a couple of all-day faculty meetings, and the return-to-school commute.

Teresa from my local knitting group kept telling me that the basketweave stitch pattern would make a great scarf, and I had to agree. It’s a nearly-reversible pattern and has a lot of depth and texture. It would be a simple enough pattern to write. And so the idea simmered.

I started looking for yarns, put up the last post with the full list of criteria I was looking for, and spent more than one afternoon poking around on Ravelry hunting for just the right thing.

On Tuesday, Teresa introduced me to Hub Mills, a local yarn shop hidden away in the middle of an industrial park. They had a very nice selection of yarns, and we spent quite a while browsing over their selection and weighing the pros and cons. In the end, I went with the first skein I picked up when we walked through the door; a very soft merino from Swans Island Yarn.


This is from their Natural Colors collection, in the colorway Tarragon. The ball band says that it’s supposed to knit up at 4.5 stitches to the inch on size 8 needles, but I needed 6.5 stitches to the inch on size 2’s to get the right firmness of fabric to go with this stitch pattern. Which just goes to show that you really never can tell from the ball band.

Fortunately, Teresa talked me into buying one more skein than I thought I’d need for the project, just in case. I was hoping to get by with 1000 yards, but bought 1250 instead. I was surprised at how quickly the yarn was running out, so I paused the knitting for a couple of days and blocked the first skein’s worth of scarf on the needles. The photo above shows one skein of knitting; the scarf is just over 11″ long, and then of course I lost a bit of yarn (maybe another inch and a half?) to the swatch. I could probably have made it in 1000 yards if I’d used one fewer pattern repeat, but I wanted something nice and wide so I’m glad for the extra skein. As it stands, the width is about 19 inches. At this rate, it will take all 5 skeins to end up with a scarf that’s just around 5 feet long, which should be about perfect.