I took a break from socks before I jumped on the next pair. I didn’t start the sweater, however, and I didn’t buy any more yarn.
A little more than a year ago I knit a ear-covering headband for cold weather. My ears really can’t take it when it’s cold. Even well above freezing I generally still need to wear a hat or my ears get very red and painful. Sometimes I don’t really want an entire hat, and as much as I appreciate the functionality of earmuffs I’m always hoping for something cuter. I saw the pattern Portsmouth: a skating hat and thought it was a really cute look in the pictures. I had some leftover yarn from a skein purchased during the Madelinetosh Black Friday sale in 2011, so I used it. I wore the finished item maybe once or twice and then forgot about it until I found it at the bottom of our “cold weather accessories” bag in the closet, when trying to organize the scarves. As cute as it looked on the model, it just would not lay flat on my own head regardless of blocking.
When I discovered it again, I thought about how much yarn it probably contained, totally wasted in its current state, and unraveled it.
What I had in mind was a small poncho-like item that would be roughly the scale of one of my dolls. I own a few ball-jointed dolls, one roughly 1:3 scale (approximately 55cm tall) and the other roughly 1:4 scale (approximately 42cm tall). One of my favourite things about them is buying adorable outfits and shoes, and I’m always on the lookout for something beautiful or cute and well-made.
During the winter I purchased a few Japanese catalogs that came with bags, both from a brand known as “Pink House.” This brand’s clothing style is very layered and patterned and feminine and whimsical. They like outfits with many patterns, textures, and lengths of clothing worn in various combinations. It’s a very interesting style, and one I thought would be beautiful on my dolls. Near the back of the catalog were a few pages showing about ten clothing items mixed-and-matched for 2 weeks of outfits. Each outfit had accessories and shoes that were not part of the original ten clothing items, and one of those accessories was a knit bulky cabled wrap that buttoned on one shoulder. I wanted it for myself, but I also knew I’d likely never actually wear it. On the dolls, though…it would be very cute.
The wrap itself was a long rectangle draped over the shoulders and fastened into a single loop with 3 buttons. In the picture, the buttons are also covered in yarn, but I don’t think I can manage that well in a smaller scale. The yarn that I unraveled was DK weight, and thus I couldn’t have as much detail to my cables as the pictured wrap. (I’d need to use a more delicate yarn due to the smaller size.) I decided instead to stick with two 4-stitch cables, mirrored on either side, a 3-stitch garter stitch section on the right side of the rectangle, which would be facing the neck of the wearer, and a larger cable in the center.
The doll-sized wrap turned out to be a project that made a nice break from socks, but also a project that really benefited from blocking.
When I added the fringe, it was curly and wild. The strands would not hang in a way that gave any indication to how even they were. It was not a very good look. The cabled base scarf itself was more of an hourglass shape than a rectangle. The edges did not look even, and one of the border cables seemed less pronounced than the other. A half-hour soak in wool wash and gentle smoothing out to dry took care of that. Now that it’s dry, it’s softer and the stitches look much more even. The tassels have calmed down; they’re all straight and hang to frame the edge.
I realized that I didn’t have any buttons that looked well with this yarn, so it’s on hold until the buttons I ordered for it arrive. I hope they match the yarn as well as I think they would. There’s something really annoying about having the wrong buttons on the wrong project~