Old Blog: Tale of the Sapphire Scarf

I found a few blog posts from an earlier attempt to blog about my knitting, back when I picked up the hobby seriously in 2010. I’m reposting them here for the sake of archiving.

Sapphire Scarf-In-Progress

Knitting-in-progress of a scarf intended for my grandmother.

I’ve been knitting a lot recently. Generally I do this thing where I knit intensely for a few brief months, then encounter some horrible project far beyond my skill level–something I cannot possibly be expected to complete–and after profound frustration I vow to never knit again. Some months (or years!) later, the pain of the former project forgotten, I start off with an easy project and fall in love with the craft all over again.

I like knitting because it gives my hands something to do when I’m otherwise bored. I don’t even need to pay all that much attention and suddenly–like magic!–I look down and find that I’ve created an object. It’s awesome!

I can knit while watching movies, knit while contemplating the universe, knit while reading textbooks, and knit while riding the bus. Given that I live in a city where I rely on public transportation, being able to knit on the bus and the train provides many opportunities. There’s nothing else I can really do on the bus. (I can’t read in cars/buses/trains/etc.; it makes me motion-sick.) Anyone who has relied on a bus could support my statement that buses are not the fastest method of transportation, so I accomplish a lot of progress during my route. This is quite a feat considering that I often ride the bus for roughly 1 or 2 miles in any given direction.

Since picking up again, I’ve finished a scarf for my husband, a scarf and neck-warmer for my best friend (not my proudest moment, as I was supposed to give her those items several years ago–but they’re done now!), several washcloths, a really annoying somewhere-in-limbo-between-belt-and-scarf thing, and a lacework scarf for a gift. I have Christmas presents in the works–scarves, mittens, wrist-warmers, and more! I’m on a roll! I’ve donated all the yarn I had hoarded over the years but didn’t actually want to use, used most of the yarn I kept talking about knitting with, managed to buy only a marginal amount of new yarn–for specific projects related to my Christmas plans, and somehow still avoided buying double-pointed or circular needles even though I don’t have any. After finishing one Christmas present, I cast on another and got to work. A few inches in, something dawned on me.

My grandmother’s birthday is this weekend.

I’ve kind of been a jerk to her.

I really should get her an awesome present. I love her; I don’t visit her enough; I worry about her health; and I have no excuse for not getting an awesome present.

I need to stop being a jerk to the people I love, wtf??!!

She might like something handmade.

Her birthday is Friday.

Today is Tuesday.

Oh yeah, I can totally make something.


So after work (instead of studying for the exam I have today–whoops!), I rush to the craft store across the street. I have a project in mind–a brightly-coloured, very warm scarf made of bulky yarn in a star-stitch. I register my project on Ravelry even as I’m thinking about it at work–just need to get the yarn and start knitting. I rush into the craft store (chose only over all of the ☆awesometastical☆ local yarn shops around me because it’s a) across the street and b) I need something that can be machine washed AND dried) with high hopes and dreams of knitting up a beautiful scarf in the blink of an eye.

…And there is no yarn in the store that meets my criteria.

Instead, something glittery catches my eye. I figure I can substitute it into the pattern, so I gather up several skeins and hurry home.

Noticing at home, when I go to cast on, that this yarn is narrow.  Absolutely not right for the pattern I had in mind–so I pick a new pattern. I knit; I’m happy; life is good.

Then I pick it up when I’m standing at the bus stop this morning and realize that this beautiful, glittery, lacy scarf is 1000% decorative and has no scarf-related value of warmth. This would normally be okay for a present, but not for a grandmother who will probably wear this scarf as “The Only Scarf” for months or possibly years. I don’t want to give her something that is functionally useless if it is traditionally supposed to serve a functional purpose. (It’s also scratchy rather than soft, due to the metallic filament running through the yarn.)

So it’s time to take the scarf apart. And time to find another yarn to knit it alongside. Hopefully I can do this without compromising my study time any further. It’s taking a lot of will power to not rush over to a nearby yarn shop before going to class tonight…