Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Millicent Scarf

This scarf-- another pattern I stumbled across online and saved for future reference because I loved the look of it-- was my introduction to a couple of things.  It was my first time crocheting (and blocking!) wool and my first time going beyond double crochet to even taller stitches. 

63/365 - Finished Millicent Scarf

(Check out this project on Ravelry, if you have an account there. If not, you can find the pattern here, where the author, Tracey Swaine Hickson, has posted it on her blog.)

This is another of those patterns that are easily memorized (which I like). You get into the groove and you just don't really want to stop working on it. Very fun! And I have to say (again), I love the way this scarf looks. . .

Millicent Scarf

I initially started crocheting it in some sport weight acrylic, but after a few rows, I decided that it probably wasn't going to look right in acrylic.  The pattern's author indicated that it would open up (and grow) a lot with blocking, and I kept reading that acrylic just doesn't work that way.  I don't know-- maybe you can block acrylic yarn and get it to open up and show a pattern like this-- but I wasn't willing to put that much time and effort into it, only to find out that it didn't work.  Instead, this was obviously a sign that I needed to buy wool yarn.  ;o)  I ordered some fingering weight, 100% merino wool yarn-- Palette in "Clematis Heather"--  from Knit Picks.

(By the way, I was very happy with my order from Knit Picks.  I'm not a yarn elitist, so perhaps my opinion is worthless in this instance (g), but I'd definitely consider ordering from them again-- especially if I can snag some yarn on clearance, like I did the first time!)

So, the crocheting went well, and then it was time to block it.  I decided to go the full-immersion route, so I soaked it (actually, washed it gently with some extremely watered-down soap and then thoroughly rinsed it), carefully pressed the water out (against the side of the basin), placed it on a thick towel, rolled it up, and pressed even more water out of it-- then, finally, got down to the pinning.  (I pinned it to some towels over a carpeted floor.)  I didn't do a perfect job on the pinning, but I guess I did well enough.

Blocking made a world of difference in the look of the scarf!  Here's a before and during shot:

47/365 - Blocking

It wound up being longer than I'd expected.  I knew it would likely grow with blocking, but I was still surprised to see it actually happening.  Also, as a lacy fabric, it's pretty lightweight-- but that's ok.  Most of the time, our weather doesn't call for heavy scarves, anyway, and even a light scarf can be warmer than you'd think.

Well, that's the story of the scarf!

. . . Something about this pattern reminds me of spider webs-- but in a good way. (g)

Millicent Scarf