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I Want to Knit
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Vegas Scarf- Intro
So before my knitting teacher left for an emergency to Florida (a real one, not an "I need a beach, bad!" one), she'd knitted one of those throws where you use a mix of yarns. It used a combination of knit rows and purl rows to create an interesting texture, not to mention yarns ranging from mohair to ribbon, plus cutting the yarn at the end of each row gives ready-made fringe. She asked us to go around the store and pull out colors we liked, and to try to work a scarf like that ourselves.

These are the yarns I chose. I call it my Winter Icicles Scarf (I know, lame name):

From left to right, clockwise, starting from the large gray pouf, they are:
1. Schachenmayr nomotta Hair (light smoky gray, 65% mohair/35% acrylic),
2. Katia Flash Print (navy edged ribbon with silvery slashed centers that go from ice blue to purple, 50% cotton/40% polyamide/10% nylon),
3. Estelle Pearl (light to medium blue with a gold filament running through and skinny, soft, short "eyelashes", 30% merino wool/43% polyamide/27% acrylic)
4. (center ball) Lana Gatto Crystal (silver icicles just like tinsel on a Xmas tree, 63% viscose/20% polyamide/17% polyester)
5. Schachenmayr nomotta Novellara (also a ribbon with slashed centers, this time a muted range from gray through blue with some bright blue spots, 35% new wool/35% polyamide/30% acrylic)
6. Katia Ingenua (darker gray-mauve, 78% mohair/13% polyamide/9% wool)

I love the yarns, and the colors, and am looking forwards to having a blue scarf to wrap around my blond head to show off my blue eyes. But- I'm a bit of a control freak. I know. That rumble of the earth you just felt? Caused by my entire family and friends doing a collective gasp. I admit it. I like being in control.

Theoretically I could do what Nicole (knitting teacher) suggested: put the balls in a bag and just reach in at the end of each row. This leaves me with a problem. Unless I decide to knit while wearing gloves, I know I can tell the difference by feel between the yarns. I can at least identify which 2 are the mohairs, which 2 are the ribbons, which 1 is the tinsel and which 1 soft ball is the golden fleck one. I know myself. I will be utterly incapable of reaching in and pulling a random ball out. I will most likely end up deciding which ball I want, and going by feel to pull that ball out, purely accidentally of course.

The second problem I have is that we are supposed to just knit or purl a row at random, to create an interesting look and see how the rows play off each other. Again, I can't do this. (See above re: control freakiness).

So I came up with a great idea. I'm claiming it as my idea for the moment unless someone points me to a source who came up with this first (I'm sure someone did). If not, than it's mine mine mine!

I call it the Vegas scarf. (As an aside: am I truly surprised I named the scarf after the place two of my favorite shows occur? CSI and Las Vegas are cool shows. Now if only they would make a Law & Order: Las Vegas I would be in heaven. As an aside to my aside: am I the only one who would be thrilled with weekly TV consisting only of CSI and Law & Order-type shows? In any incarnation? I'd even give up my reality TV for that! -Sorry for the rumble again folks. That was the collective gasp again.)

I rambled, let me start over. I call it the Vegas scarf. Why? 'Cus it embodies the stakes of chance, fate and luck. Tools needed: 1 die and 1 coin. Beginning to see how this will work? This is how I will knit this scarf. Before I begin I will assign each skein to a number on the die. (Possibly I already did above). I will then assign (for example) heads = knit and tails = purl.
Step 1: Roll the die, get a number, cast on with that ball, cut ends leaving 4" tail.
Step 2: Roll the die, get a number, grab that ball. Toss the coin, get a side, tells me to knit or purl that row. Follow the directions of fate across the row, cut ends leaving 4" tail.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for scarf.
Step 4: Roll the die, get a number, grab that ball, bind off, cut ends leaving 4" tail.

Voila! A completely random scarf that fulfils my need for control while leaving things totally up to chance! The cool thing is that no 2 scarves will ever be alike! (Uh- if anyone ever manages to make 2 scarves exactly alike by this method, run, don't walk to your nearest casino or depanneur and play blackjack or buy a lottery ticket or something, 'cus that's freaky!)

I'll post pics as I have stuff to post. I'd love to see pics of any scarves anyone else makes with this method. If I get a bunch of pics eventually I'll make a page for them.

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:39 a.m.  
  • At 12:54 p.m., Blogger Kathy said…

    What a great idea! I'm looking forward to watching the progress of the scarf. (Hmmm....maybe this is what I'll do with the extras from the 'Christmas stash'!)


  • At 1:01 p.m., Blogger Colette said…

    Cool idea! I too am never able to just pick a yarn - I have to think it out first - this takes the onus of me and puts it on the dice/coin - Please post lots of pic, can't wait to see how it works out.

  • At 2:01 p.m., Blogger robin said…

    this is a *great* idea! i don't think that i personally have ever heard of this or seen it anywhere before. i totally want to do this. i need the control, but want the random, just like you. and i have all sorts of leftover yarn that will work just perfect.

    thanks for such a clever idea!

  • At 3:15 p.m., Blogger lucia said…

    Very good solution! Actually, chances are no-one can really pick things at random. Who wouldn't be influenced by the last few rows? So everyone should do this if they want a random scarf.

    The yarns look really pretty.

  • At 5:54 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    neat idea...and cool way to make a scarf. I've never mixed fibers so I'll be interested to watch your progress. ~wendy

  • At 6:06 p.m., Blogger Sue said…

    This is a really great idea! I think you should write up the instructions and copyright it as a game for knitters! I'm going to have to try this one.

  • At 8:48 p.m., Blogger Jennifer said…

    A HUGE thank you to everyone who replied! I was really excited when I came up with the idea, and really wanted to get other knitter's opinions. Based on the interest and responses, I'm going to make up a little page for the Knitting Game "Vegas"-style, and put it up on the site, and send it around on the knit trails.

    Thanks for the support!!!

  • At 6:14 a.m., Blogger Fiadhnat said…

    Brilliant! I too would find it difficult to choose, mine would have to have a pattern between the knit/purl rows and colour combinations. I'm off to search the stash and find the die. Thanks.

  • At 2:15 p.m., Blogger crackers said…

    Awsome! Now I know how I'm going to choose my colors and stripes for my next Baby Surprise Jacket! And nope I've never heard of this before, so it must be alllll yours! :-D

  • At 8:45 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just want to let you know that we use eight-sided dice to get the random crossing of the cables in this great sweater
    Someday you'll have to try it!
    Maple Grove MN

  • At 6:44 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a great idea! You Canadians are so clever! First you bring "Coronation Street" to North America, then you invent the Vegas Scarf. I'm almost done with my first one (started it last night), and I made it out of various balls of Lion Brand WoolEase that I had hanging around. I'll send you a picture when it's done!

  • At 10:13 p.m., Blogger Jennifer said…

    How cool! Yay to ...uh..Anonymous #3! The first Vegas scarf! I haven't even started mine yet 'cus I just finished a pair of thrummed mitts and a felted bag for my parents for Hanukah, and now I have to finish a pair of thrummed socks for my bf for Xmas, then finish 3 baby outfits by Jan 1st. THEN I can finally start knitting for me. Please please send the pic when you've completed it, I promise I'll put up a page! Yay!

  • At 5:58 p.m., Anonymous Stormshade said…

    Thank you SO much for this great idea. I've been having so much fun knitting these that I just can't stop!
    Here are a bunch of pics from my January scarf binge.

  • At 4:27 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nice site!
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  • At 4:27 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 4:27 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you! |

  • At 8:53 p.m., Blogger Jan-Knit said…

    Great idea...
    I teach kids to knit, who often only have access to one or two yarns. By combining and sharing, they can each have a muli-colored, multi-textured treasure...and a lesson on cooperation!!
    Love it!

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