If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see youย at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Post-Oscar Roundup

Dear Kay,
A Day In the Life of a Noro Silk Garden Stockinette Scarf Using Two Different Colors in Alternating Stripes:
9:02 am: A scarf is born. As I cast on, I’m sitting in Sunday school listening to the dean of the church explain something about why the Anglican communion, the primates (whatever they are–aren’t primates apes or something?), the Lambeth conference, and something else (oh yeah–the entire southern hemisphere) are all upset with the Americans and the Canadians. It has to do with ordaining gay bishops and gay marriage. As far as I can tell, the Anglican church is going to split apart, and it seems to boil down to real estate. I am fascinated by the way two wildly different shades of yarn can have such a fine time together. I am filled with remorse for all the terrible things I’ve said about Noro yarns in the past. Multicolors? Bring ’em on! Furry/nurbly/irregular? The slubbier the better.
9:59 am: I look over and see my knitting fiend friend Judy working on yet another of Pam Allen’s corkscrew scarves. She knits these scarves the way Cezanne painted his mountain: often, and in endless colors. As the dean winds down the Q & As, I can. not. wait. to get back to this scarf. I can, however, avoid ever again listening to anything having to do with church politics.
2:15 pm: Cloudy, sixties, my kind of weather. I go outside to hang out in the screened porch which has finally emerged from the primordial ooze, while Clif jumps around all the low walls pretending to be Mario, the video game character. He does a perfect “Let’s-a gooooo!” The yarn is getting all wacky now, with a hot red and a sure-nough purple meeting up. I’m watching this scarf the way I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm: with a fascination that’s probably not too healthy.
3:35 pm: David returns from bowling with his friend. Farewell, scarf. I’ll always be thinking of you.
7:14 pm: I am officially out of commission to watch the Oscars. I even watch Bahbwa Walters interview Will Ferrell, which is excruciating. Surely she’d never understand the cowbell skit.
11:15 pm: Hubbo does splendid job of turbo-viewing the Oscars thanks to TiVo. I get kind of weepy thinking of Jamie Foxx talking to his grandmother in his dreams about winning his Oscar. The scarf has become a party in a rectangle. I’m a little concerned about what’s going to happen when I start the second balls of these yarns: will the change be noticeable?
Stay tuned. I am completely drunk on television and Silk Garden.




  1. Go ANN! This is not something I’d have expected from you (mixing two Silk Gardens). I’m drunk on your experiment.

  2. That scarf is fantastic! I never would have thought to mix two different colors of Silk Garden like that. I can’t wait to see how it turns out…

  3. I love scarves that alternate stripey yarns like that. I find them absolutely mesmerizing. Like, my brain SHOULD be able to notice the patterns of the two separate yarns, but instead I become entranced at the random stripiness created by the combination.
    Anyway, lovely.
    I’m staring.

  4. 1. What kind of church allows knitting during anything? And where do I sign up?
    2. So glad you like Silk Garden now. I didn’t like it at first, but I made the Silk Garden Beanie and it is my favorite hat – light, warm, soft.
    3. This scarf idea of yours is really clever!
    4. It would look really cute with a matching, striped hat. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. That is gorgeous! Since I have quilts on the brain lately, I immediately think of Michael James’ work…do you know it? Click

  6. Go, Ann! Now that you’re hooked on Silk Garden, you might even consider…knitting sideways! The Debbie Bliss Noro Book 2 scoop neck cardigan A) would look great on you ii) is a lot of fun to knit 3) makes the stripes go vertical ****) could be the occasion of another button election.
    Lis and The Keyboard Biologist both have very helpful hints on this sweater in their archives.

  7. ooh la la! that’s almost enough to make me rethink my heretofore aversion to noro. and it’s nice to know that on weekends, i’m not the only one who likes to mark the passage of the day with knitting progress.

  8. I ,too, misted up when Jamie started talking about his grandmother and her “acting lessons” and his dreams, and well, just the whole speech. I’m such a sucker for the “poor disadvantaged youth grows up to win Oscar.”
    I’m also a sucker for the whole “two skeins of silk garden intermingle to form one garment” look. That’s a keeper!

  9. Entrancing! It’s really impossible to focus on both colors at once. What an improvement over the “I Hate this Scarf” Silk Garden experiment that’s currently hibernating, half done, over here. What size needles did you use?

  10. Wow, a few days away from the internet and look what I missed! Boxy centre cable denim sweaters (I want one); lovely, lovey lace; georgeous stripey scarves! Not to mention teeny tiny crocodiles & airplane knitting jealousy. I love it here!

  11. The Oscars were fabu…I knitted on the second sock of a pair that I am making for myself. I saw all the movies nominated in the top 5 categories before the show, and it was so much fun. I picked different people in a couple of categories, but I was not disappointed with any of the winners. I would have loved to have seen Jamie Foxx win both awards, though.
    The scarf looks fantastic…Go Ann!

  12. I love this idea of 2 Noro yarns in stripes. Its brilliant. If I looked good in horizontal stripes I’d make a sweater this way. I looked at it this morning & it kept popping back into my consciousness all day, even though I swore I’d knit no more scarves once the gift giving holidays had ended. Maybe just one more..I mean, it was another friggin’ snow day today…

  13. Is one of your Noro yarns all reds? I see changes in one, from turquoise to lavendar to purple to blue…but the other goes from red to red to red to red (at least on my monitor it does).
    Is it going to curl? Hey! Maybe cylindrical scarves will be the next fad to sweep the blogosphere, now that the buttonhole bag thing seems to have abated somewhat (not at my house, by the way).
    I love silk garden; I love how it gets softer every time I wear it, and I love love love the color changes. I’m not so fond of the muck I have to pick out of it as I knit it, though!

  14. Kathy D–I’m using size 7/4.5mm needles.
    Mary–Yes, one goes from red to orange to browny orange, and the other goes as you say. I’ll post a photo of the skeins, to show how they look at first.
    It definitely curls–the garter stitch edges fold under rather neatly, so that the stripes are all you see. I’ll block it (of course) but I’m not that worried about the thing.
    If I were doing this again, a 2 x 2 rib would be a better choice, but I hate doing ribbing, and I like the way the stockinette shows the color changes clearly.
    It’s not much of a project–I started it only because I didn’t want to be doing lace during the Oscars!–but honestly, I have been more fascinated by these color changes than anything I’ve done in a while.
    And yes, what’s the deal with all the flurf? It’s a regular barnyard in there.

  15. Hey y’all. Now that I have been feeding my new addiction to Japanese knitting and craft books, I am starting to understand those bits of matted flurf in the Noro yarns. My theory is that it satisfies a very elemental appreciation of the natural world. I’m not even kidding! A photograph of gravel in one of these books can be mesmerizing. A piece of roving-felt that is wonky and askew has a beautiful wildness.
    Or maybe they just don’t clean and card those beasties properly. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. I think it’s done on purpose and we need to evolve more to appreciate it.
    Mary deB–SAY IT ISN’T SO!!!!! (The Buttonhole Bag going up to the Big Knitting Table in the Sky.) I’ve gotten a few wonderful pictures I haven’t had a chance to post. Must get photoshopping! xoxox Kay
    xoxo Kay

  16. Hey, that wasn’t me! Mary deB, Mary B, different! (Although I am worried about the scarf curling, too…)
    My Buttonhole life was stalled, but I recently found a bunch of beige/grey/brown wool on super sale, with a burgundy for kick, and I am going to make another bag, BUT, I think the actual buttonhole may have had its day. I’ll try a shoulder strap! The thought of knitting 4 feet or more on 10 stitches makes me miserable, but that is my present plan. You can be sure I’ll keep you posted!
    Mary deB

  17. Beautiful scarf. Fun read, as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. Mary deB: What if you cast on the straps longways, and just knit 20 very long rows, instead of 40 million little short rows? Then you could graft the edges to the bag.
    THIS MaryB is still very into the whole buttonhole bag phenomenon, particularly since my mom’s bag came out so much cuter than mine! I’ve got three shades of pink, pinker, and purple to use for the next one. (I tried to go for other colors, but I couldn’t help myself…these were insistent!)
    Some of those buttonhole pics Kay is talking about are the ones my mom and I made. Cute!

  19. Hmm, a long thing with a few rows could just work. I was also thinking of just making a super-ginormo buttonhole, and then I’d still knit in the round (a reallllly big round) and get two handles.
    Oh, decisions, decisions.

  20. Mary (I’m just saying Mary so I won’t mess up again)–LOL at the super-ginormous buttonhole idea. You are way out there on the edge of the definition of buttonhole!!! I have found, though, that if the buttonhole gets 20 or more stitches wide, it ceases to act like a buttonhole and begins to act very much like….straps. So make it very wide on the cast-off row, and then cast back on even MORE sts, and see what you get. Bet it’ll be good. Here’s an idea. To get a thick strap, sew the 2 buttonhole ‘tops’ together at their centers?
    OK, brain melting now. Not sure if that is a good idea or not. xoxo Kay

  21. aHA! Another Academy Awards devotee! Lovely scarf there, I’m impressed! And like yourself, I got bitten by the Noro bug a few months ago and can’t seem to quit buying/using the stuff. xoxo

  22. Ann,
    I’m new to the online knitting – I’m a Methodist KNITTING pastor in California – my knitters knit in church – I say it is better than sleeping through my sermon……I am struck by your words – the lecture regarding the 2 sides to a church issue and the 2 kinds of Noro yarns you would never have expected to go so beautifully into a scarf – my prayer is that people will feel the same regarding homosexualiy as you do about your Noro – the scarf is beautiful and so are all God’s children.
    New poster,
    Linda DH


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)