a new scarf to celebrate autumn

So it’s finally knitting season again! I’m right back in the swing of things, just like the footballers. Though has anyone noticed how there isn’t really any such thing as the football season any more? Every season is football season. I have to admit, some knitters are like that, too (my mother included – she is a non-stop knitting fiend these days). But personally I always seem to undergo some kind of subconscious transformation around April, where all of a sudden knitting no longer appeals to me, and I have to take up some form of embroidery instead, and then in September I get hit by the urge to pick up knitting needles again and make warm, wearable things. This year the same thing happened, and I swore off knitting (more or less) all summer long, until September hit and I suddenly felt a longing to go back to some of my unfinished projects. But this year the beginning of the knitting season got off to a particularly flying start, as we had a holiday booked at the end of September (or rather, D had some field work to do on an island off the coast of Sicily, and I went along for the ride), which essentially turned into an intensive knitting retreat (for me, that is).

Knitting with a view

I spent that week in Italy knitting like a mad thing. First I finished a lace scarf that I started back in January; then, on a roll, I started a brand new scarf, which I’ve just finished today. I’d like to point out, for those of you without a calendar to hand, that’s only three and a half weeks from start to finish! I feel like what little time I spend blogging here is mostly used up berating myself for how slowly I knit things, so this whistle-stop scarf experience is a real novelty. I intend to revel in it for as long as possible. The picture below is the latest scarf in its early infancy, against a rock, for scale. I’m not sure which is better at showing the scale of the other, the rock for the knitting, or vice versa. (D took so many pictures of his hammer for scale that I insisted we have a photo of my knitting on a rock for scale, as I felt my knitting was far more photogenic than a hammer. Something tells me he won’t be using this picture in his write-up, though.)

Autumn silk kerchief for scale

We must have made for a funny sight on that trip, driving down tiny, remote roads, and making frequent, prolonged stops in the most unlikely of places, with D striding off to inspect rocks and hammer bits off, and me seeking out shady rocks flat enough to sit on, and whipping out my knitting. Luckily only very few people actually saw us in action, so we can’t have gained too much of a reputation for being oddballs on the island. Or at least, I don’t think so. It was grape-picking season, and it was actually surprisingly busy down most of those remote island roads, so who knows.

Modelling my finished scarf by the river

Anyhow. The scarf. I am very much a fan of this scarf, as it’s eye-catching and immensely pleasing, yet mind-numbingly easy to knit (in a good way). There’s not a single purl stitch in the whole thing! The only challenge is to remember to increase four stitches every other row – the kind of challenge I like. No counting required, no nothing. Given that this scarf followed hot on the heels of some lace knitting, albeit a pretty easy pattern, I found this greatly satisfying. I did have to carry out a last-minute bodge, though, as per my custom. Rather than waste a single centimetre of yarn (I had made up my mind just to knit to the end of the two balls of yarn, rather than stopping after a certain number of stripes, as the pattern suggests), I risked an extra row of knitting before casting off, and ended up running out about six inches before the end of the cast-off. But the multicoloured nature of this beast was an advantage here, as it meant I was able to add in a scrap of a different Noro yarn in a close-ish colour to finish the cast-off, and I don’t think you’d notice unless you were looking for it. But please don’t look for it.

Autumn Silk Kerchief in all its glory

Fortunately, it seems the gods were smiling on me and my knitting today, and although it was forecast to rain all afternoon, in fact I don’t think it rained a drop. So I was able to take my lovely new scarf out for a walk within minutes of weaving in the last end, and have it photographed by the river in the surprisingly warm autumn sunshine. Happy day! And happy knitting season!