Another One for the Red Scarf Project

A ribbed red scarf for the Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project. || withwool.com

The Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project sends red scarves and care packages to college-bound foster youth for Valentine’s Day. They started accepting scarves for Valentine’s Day 2020 September 1st, and this scarf is ready to go. I need to add a label and pick up a gift card to send off with it, but it’s ready.

I’ve knit a few scarves for the project over the years and I’m usually rushing to mail one off right before the submission deadline. Not this time. I’d like to say it’s because I cast on a few months ago, but really it was because I started this scarf way back in 2017. I knit half of the scarf before I needed a break. Then everything else got in the way. It wasn’t until the end of this July that I picked it up again because I needed to knit something so badly. I was digging through my pile of WIPs, found the half-finished scarf, and decided that, obviously, this was the next project to finish. I’m not sure where this sudden and overpowering urge to knit came from but I’m still rolling with it months later. I’ve knit more in these past few months than I have in at least the past year.

A ribbed red scarf for the Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project. || withwool.com

The pattern is a mash up of Mabel’s Scarf by Larissa Brown and a band of 2x2 rib. Mabel’s Scarf had been in my queue for awhile, and was the only one that called to me when I was digging through different patterns. The scarf was narrow though and needed the extra stitches to meet the required width. The stitch pattern was based on 2x2 rib so adding more of seemed like the optimum choice relatively easy knitting that still looked good. Once I figured out where I was in the pattern repeat and reclaimed the correct needle tips, the stitches seemed to fly off the needles.

The finished scarf is lovely. It’s beautiful, easy to wrap and tie, and definitely cosy. The chosen yarn, Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted (yeesh, say that 3 times fast), is a wonderful red specked with small bits of blue thanks to how it’s spun. The color has depth and interest and variety even though it just looks red from far off. I’d definitely use this yarn again for another scarf.

Now that I’ve waxed poetic about this scarf, it’s time to put it in the mail to make someone warm and happy.

If you would like to donate money or send a red scarf, you can find more info here. And if you’re looking for a pattern, check out the Melded Scarf which I designed specifically for the Red Scarf Project.

A ribbed red scarf for the Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project. || withwool.com


Pattern Specs

Pattern: Mabel’s Scarf by Larissa Brown

Yarn: 413 yds Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted - Garnet

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

Dates: August 28, 2017 - August 15, 2019

@Ravelry

Free Pattern: The Melded Scarf

Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

The Melded Scarf is what happens when two colors meet in the middle and come together to make a cosy and bold striped scarf. Worked in 1x1 rib the scarf is reversible, and looks great on anyone. The Melded Scarf is also a great showcase for variegated and gradient yarns.

Check it out on Ravelry and add it to your queue!

Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

I originally designed this pattern for Foster Care to Success’s Red Scarf Project which collects red scarves to send college-bound foster youth for Valentine’s Day. I first read about the project several years ago when I was a college student myself.  I probably should have been studying, but I was hunched over my laptop reading knitting blogs instead. A huge part of the reason I got into college and made it through 5 grueling years was because I had the support of my parents. Without them and their support everything from buying books, to final exams, to pulling all-nighters (saw so many sunrises from my studio desk) would have been so much more difficult. And it was so nice getting notes and surprise care packages from home. It was amazing and wonderful knowing that people were cheering me on. I wanted to share that feeling and support with others, and I still do. 

If you enjoy the pattern, please consider making a scarf for the Red Scarf Project or making a donation to the Foster Care to Success program. They provide scholarships, coaching, care packages, and an emergency fund to help foster kids get through college. And, according to Charity Navigator, the majority of the money F2C receives actually goes to it’s programs and services.

Introducing the Melded Scarf - a free scarf pattern designed for the Foster Care 2 Success’ Red Scarf Project. | withwool.com

Diablo Trio

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On May 15th, I was one of those people who stayed up to 12:01 AM Pacific Time (3:01 Central) to play Diablo III. I ended up knitting for an hour instead. Error 37, anyone?  After finishing a pair of socks and getting a few inches done on a hat, I went to bed. I spent the next couple of days alternating between trying to log on - AKA knitting a hat - and fighting my way through Sanctuary. My Demon Hunter did eventually level up enough to wear a pair of pants.

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Pattern: Pup Tent by Catherine Gamroth

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

I should call this hat Tristram Cathedral since that’s where I spent my time when I wasn’t knitting. I didn’t modify the pattern since I just wanted to knit. The cable rows where fun and I learned a new way to do work two stitch cables just by working from a k2tog or ssk. Can’t wait to try it out on something else.

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Pattern: Waffle Hat by Gail Bable

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

While Hat #1 served to keep me entertained because I couldn’t log in, Hat #2 exists because I could log on. I cast on while waiting to play with friends and got a few inches of ribbing. I knit on it to keep me from playing 30 mins after I just logged out to cross chores of my to-do list. I knit on it to give my hands a break. I also knit on it to use up the rest of the skein. Cast on 96 sts, knit 24 rows of ribbing, and worked the waffle stitch for 5.5” before decreasing. It’s a big, warm hat and I still had 5g of yarn leftover.

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Pattern: Stuffed Ball Cord Pull by Lee Meredith

Those remaining 12 yards turned into palm sized ball that I’m going to use for plying yarn. 

Isn’t it amazing how much is possible with 242 yards of wool? I got 2 hats, a plying ball, stress relief, patience, and hours of entertainment. Wool is awesome.

Anyway, back to killing demons for me. Iskatu is going down. 

Deux Hats

Not long ago, I would never have written this post. Never. It’s not offensive or a rant or even remotely political. It’s just not from the now. I’ve made so many things and never posted them because they just seemed old by the time I got around to writing about them. Like my Damson shawl which I wear all the time. Or my extra giant Daybreak that I worked on while sitting out on the swing with a fluffy, black cat for company. Is there any merit at all to this way of thinking? I don’t know anymore. So, before December 2011 recedes any further from our minds, here’s some hats I made.

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Mairead by Tara-Marie Phillips of Shipwrecks & Bravery

Full details @ravelry

Don’t let my picture fool you, this is a pretty awesome hat. Pretty fun to knit too since the lace panel adds just enough spice to keep the stockinette interesting. I might even make it again too which is high praise since I rarely knit anything twice. Besides from socks that is. This hat was also the first bit of Christmas knitting which started way back in July.*

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Torunn by Tron Anfinnsen from Hat Heads

Full mods @ravelry

Speaking of knitting things twice, this is the second time I’ve made this hat. Kind of. Technically, this is the second time I’ve used this chart but the first time I used it on a slouchy hat. The “pattern” is over in my ravelry notes if you want to make a slouchy, fair isle hat too. Anyway, the chart is great and, eventually, I’ll make myself something that uses it. Hat Heads, the source for said chart, in general is also a pretty cool and inspiring book. Makes me want to knit all sorts of fair isle hats. Check it out.

Have I beaten my proclivity towards hiding away the “old” stuff? Probably not but I’m trying. After all, I’ve still got a few more things to show you. 

*See what I mean about old? I made it and have been keeping it to myself for 5 months. My brain keeps telling me that if I didn’t do it within the last week, it isn’t interesting anymore. I keep telling it to shut up.

Minty Fresh

I was going to start this off with a nice, little anecdote about feeling comfortable and on schedule with all the Christmas knitting before coming to realize that this was impossible. Instead, I’ll give you the knitty gritty. I think about this space a lot and about writing for this space a lot. I think up cool stuff, knit awesome things, and go on interesting adventures. I write out outlines in my head about this cool stuff/awesome knitting/interesting adventures with the intent of fleshing it out on the computer screen. Then, for whatever reason, I say I’ll do it tomorrow. Then the day after that. And so on. Eventually, a whole month goes by between posts. It’s embarrassing. 

When even my dear Bearded One says I should write a post, I know it’s been a long time.  Just for the record he said that last week. It wasn’t until last night when I felt suddenly and completely motivated to do something right NOW that I finally got off my butt and got moving. The house is clean, the dishes are done, the podcasts are all caught up, and the gift knitting is a little closer to completion(but not really). With all these things ticked off my to-do list, writing a post tonight and not tomorrow sounded like a great idea.

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Way, way back in January at the year’s first fiber guild meeting, I volunteered to knit a few hats  for the guild’s Chemo Cap Project. I bought some yarn, looked at potential patterns, and put it all aside to knit later when the yarn wasn’t sticking to my hands. Later, turned out to be November when I remembered I only had one month to finish 6 chemo hats, 11 preemie hats, and all that gift knitting I had planned. Why do I do this to myself every year?

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Enter Minty, a free pattern by Erica Jackofsky in the First Fall 2010 issue of Knitty. This hat caught my eye way back then and I added it to my queue to let it simmer for later. One year later on a night before I headed off for a weekend in Atlanta, it was ready. The pattern was simple enough to knit during the last episodes of Star Trek: TNG but interesting enough to keep me occupied through Atlanta traffic. With a striped and solid version, two different crown options, and the ability to squish everything up, there was room for variation and play. Plus, stripes are just fun and so was the little bit of color work at the top.

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I ended up knitting all the hats as written...mostly. For the peppermint version, I just cast on with color B and kept going. Also, six combined feet of i-cord just wasn’t going to happen but a round kumihimo braid would. Hat #3 was an exercise in trying to use up as much yarn as possible so I followed the Minty Blue version and just switched colors when I ran out of yarn. I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work out but I’m rather fond of it now.

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I’d probably still be knitting these hats if I hadn’t run out of yarn. Might even have six of them but I’m done stressing over it. I’ve done all I can do. Just need to start earlier next time. Oh, and buy more yarn.

Still Knitting

There are 21 days until Christmas and I have a feeling that I'll be furiously knitting through all of them. My list includes monsters, a blanket, washcloths, hats, fingerless mitts, a scarf, and a bunch of Christmas ornaments. I tried starting early*, in September, but there was no urgency, no looming deadline and I kept putting stuff off. Now, things are starting to get hairy but I have a plan: urgent monogamous knitting. This is isn't how I usually do things but I actually seem to be finishing stuff. Who would have guessed?

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The first project to get this treatment was the Circle Stripe Scarf (@ravelry) out of the book One More Skein by Leigh Radford. It's going to charity so I can't exactly give them a half finished scarf and an IOU. So, I put the scarf at the top of my list an only knit it for a few days. I managed to finish with time to spare and was even able to block it too.

I've since moved on to my next project, a very late pair of birthday socks, which I hope to finish this weekend. No rest for the wicked after all. If things keep going this well, I'm going to keep up the monogamous knitting until I finish up all of my gift knitting...or, at least, until Christmas. 

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*I even had a spreadsheet.

2 and counting

A few weeks ago I decided to reacquaint myself with the awesome-ness that is my local library. It wasn't long before I found myself in the craft section and perusing a nice selection of knitting books. One of the books I pulled out was Hat Heads by Trond Anfinnsen. I've seen it before in my local bookstore but the urge to buy just never popped up. So, Hat Heads ended up back on the shelf until I gave it a second look at the library. I was still a bit ambivalent about the book but now I had time to spend a few more minutes to read through it. The story behind the whole hat project was inspiring and so were the charts. Once I had my library card, Hat Heads finally came home with me. 

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Torunn | ravelry |

It didn't take me long to pick a hat and cast on. What happened next was a perfect storm of knitting. The patterns were fun and a perfect use of the yarn I'd picked up a few days before. Once I started, I couldn't stop knitting. I knit so much that my hands started to hurt; however, they hurt more when I didn't knit so I just kept going. Soon, I had 2 hats to send off but I'm not done yet. There are only 5 or so more patterns I want to make before the library gets its book back. Time to renew it for another couple of weeks and get back to the needles.

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Mostafa | ravelry |

Ridges

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Pattern: My own

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Dark Grey Mix and Rich Red

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Date: Sept. 1 - Sept. 6, 2009

@Ravelry

Of everything I've knit during the Single Skein September KAL, this scarf is far from the cutest but is definitely my favorite. Besides from being warm, which is an important aspect of any scarf, it has an ambiguous character which, in this case, is a good thing. It could appear striped or solid gray depending on the angle or a strong gust of wind.  I know how illusion knitting works but I still find the effect intriguing. Amazing what something as simple as 2 rows of stockinette and 2 rows of garter can do, isn't it?

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I tried out a few other patterns that I wasn't quite happy with before picking this one. Since the scarf would be heading off to the Red Scarf Project, I wanted to send something that either I would wear or happily give to family and friends. Seeing as how my mother wanted to take it off my hands, I think I succeeded. Once I figure out the note that I'll be sending along with the scarf, they'll be on their way to Sterling, VA. If you want to send a scarf as well, the details are here and the deadline is Dec. 15.

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Single Skein September

Today, September 1st, is the beginning of the Single Skein September KAL run by Nicole and Jenny of the Stash & Burn podcast. The basic premise is to knit as much as you can from various single skeins of yarn (or several skeins depending on the project) through the month of September.  I usually don't join KAL's but this one sounded fun and was a good fit with my gift knitting plans. I might even win something since there's a prize for most knit and another prize given to a randomly picked participant.  Not going to hold my breath on that though.  If you feel like joining in, the KAL is being hosted in the Stash & Burn group, here, on Ravelry. 

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My first project for this endeavor is a scarf for the Red Scarf Project which gives Valentine's Day care packages to people that have aged out of the foster care system. I've wanted to contribute something to this charity for a few years now but never managed to before. So, this year I made sure I had some red yarn, along with a matching grey, and some empty needles. Since illusion knitting has lodged itself in my brain, I'm useing the basic foundation of that technique for this scarf. Two rows of stockinette followed by two rows of garter is creating a wonderful fabric that has a dash of ambiguity.

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If you also want to contribute to the Red Scarf Project, info on requirements, deadlines, and where to send is here, and at the Ravelry group.