That Runcible Woman
November 19, 2008
Oh, that runcible woman, that Mrs. Lear! How heedlessly she tosses out blithe and beautiful ideas. Ideas that come to her every minute of every day, and that bump me out of orbit faster than you can say “Jason Bateman.” While Mrs. Lear gaily moves on to fermenting kitchen wine, re-weaving rope seats for Swedish chairs, or creating bespoke children’s coats, I’m left 6 ideas behind, knitting 8-10 skeins of yarn into a fabulous Frankenstein scarf. Which one can buy, in a lesser, non-handknit, but perfectly acceptable version, at the Gap, but that’s not how I roll.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this. As soon as I saw it, I got that Puff Daddy tingle. That Make.It.Now frisson.
This sweet slide of self-deception was made that much easier by telling myself what a “fabulous stash-buster” this scarf would be. Here you can see that I have started off virtuous as hell, striping a long-neglected skein of Noro Cash Iroha in lime green with a forlorn and forgotten skein of Noro Silk Garden, which is usually self-striping, but in this case is self-pitying. Shade #252 has mournful gradations of midnight blue, charcoal, and black, with one little wisp of lime at the end, when I started striping it with a leftover skein of Rowan Magpie in Berry.
Observant observers will note that I used a provisional cast-on. This is just one side of the scarf. When I’m done with the second skein of Noro Silk Garden striped with the Magpie, I’ll work an Elizabeth Zimmermann Phony Seam down the middle stitch of this piece, and leave the live stitches on a holder. Then, provided that Runcible woman hasn’t got me painting the living room floor by then, I’ll knit a second stripey piece, in different yarns (still from stash–yeah right) and in a different stripe pattern. Again with the provisional cast-on, again with the Phony Seam, and again with leaving the stitches live. THEN, the 2 pieces are seamed together. Two seams, down the middle of the front and back of the scarf. Now I will knit, in yet MORE stash yarns (cough)(hey, if you just bought it, it’s in your stash NOW, am I right?), ribbed “cuffs” down from the live stitches at the end of the 2 pieces. These will be knitted in the round. Then, unzip the provisional cast-ons at the other end, knit another “cuff” in the round. Anybody still with me? Is this a worthwhile thing to do? Too Gap-like? Only wearable by Jason Bateman?
For now, I’m calling it the Runcible Sleeve Scarf. I have in mind to give it to a dashing pal who is not afraid to be stylish or eccentric or handmade in his attire. I hope he is reading and wondering if it is he. (I promise he will not look like this.)