Spring is here, and once again I take up the search for the perfect summer scarf. Eileen Fisher always leads the way, with a variety of lightweight, drapey, wrappy and often gauzy scarves. Eileen Fisher has so many scarves on offer that there is generally a tangle of good ones in the (tasteful wooden) sale bowl, and it is easy to find similar scarves elsewhere. Eileen F. is super helpful, too. Every season there is an EiFi How to Tie a Scarf video. Have you seen this Spring’s video?
It makes you think that maybe we Eileen fans are a little dim; the knots are very familiar from year to year. I’ve been known to stand in an Eileen Fisher shop watching the scarf video loop for a pretty long time. (I never quite get The Pretzel.)
Summer scarves are challenging. They are not needed for warmth (exception: overambitious air conditioning), yet I want that comforting feeling of something around my (ahem) maturing neck–a scarf is like a soft, wrinkly friend for your soft, wrinkly friend.
I like to have a scarf on the needles, winter or summer, but I’ve yet to find the perfect summer scarf that is knitted, not woven. At Stitches South last weekend, in the Neighborhood Fiber Company booth, I found this year’s first Summer Scarf contender:
The large skein is 4 ounces (560 yards) of Capital Luxury Lace, which is 80% wool, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. It’s soft and drapey, with a smooth, cottony feel.
The small skein is 1 ounce (one! ounce!) (413 yards) of Chromium, which is 69% silk noil, and 31% stainless steel. It’s paper-thin and holds a scrunch.
The pattern is Ann Weaver’s Iodine, a cloud-like cowl that weighs only 45 grams. (Well, maybe it weighs a touch more when using Capital Luxury Lace instead of the originally-prescribed Loft, a silk/mohair blend.)
I fell in love with the shop sample. As one of the 55 Ravelers who made it has noted, however, “It’s hard to photograph!” Even the photo on the pattern, featuring Neighborhood Fiber Company’s lovely Karida Collins, does not quite do it justice. It floats and it crunches. I feel like it took me longer to wind the yarn the other night (two episodes of EastEnders and 3/4 of an episode of All Creatures Great and Small) than it will take to knit the thing.
As happy as I am to be casting on Iodine, I am still in search of a knit scarf in a more traditional summer fiber, such as linen or cotton, or even — possibly– silk. Something swingy, meshy, and/or beachy.
Readers, if you have a pattern suggestion, would you please shout it out in the comments?