Scarves for Las Vegas friends

Leaving Las Vegas was just as difficult as the Sheryl Crow song makes it sound.  Although neither one of us had any kind of gambling addiction, so I guess not quite as bad.

But we made some wonderful friends in Vegas, people whom we hope to keep in contact with for years to come!  For some of those folks, I was able to make scarves before we moved, so those are the scarves I’ll share here.  All of the scarves were made from yarn straight from my stash, and most of the patterns were ones I had either been waiting for the right time to try or were patterns I already knew would be perfect.

First there was our favorite family, the Wiks!  Jenn was my “neighbor” at Liberty, and was the first person I met when I was new.  She was (and is) one of the most hospitable and genuinely friendly people I’ve ever met.  She also has a fabulous sense of style, so I wanted to make a scarf for her that would hopefully go with outfits she already had.  It’s called a Golden Threads Boa, and I made it with a black ribbon yarn from Berroco, black Fizz yarn and black sequined thread.  The pictures don’t do it justice — I think it turned out very elegant, and it had a great drape to it.

Then for Josh — the funny man and all-around friendly guy.  It’s always tricky to find a pattern for a dude, but luckily I had just bought a new book called One Skein Projects, and the book had some really nice simple cable rib patterns that would work well.  I used a yarn made from camel hair that was soooo soft and lovely to work with. I had two skeins of the yarn in two different colors — teal and white — and thought rather than trying to create stripes that were evenly spaced, I’d just split the scarf in two colors — right and left side.  Sort of a wrong-colored port and starboard. The end result is the scarf I think I’m most pleased with.

Then for the Wiklets!  Gavin has been Patrick’s buddy in daycare since they were born, so I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to make for him, and Emma has been Patrick’s little “momma,” so she needed a scarf that would be glamorous and delightful.  Here’s what I made for them:

Gavin got a Gator Scarf.  This is one of my favorite scarves ever — a Morehouse Merino pattern that has so many different options to it!  This one is made from a green wool blend, perfect yarn for a little kid.  I also took out a couple rows of scales to make it a little shorter. 

Then Emma got a scarf made from acrylic yarn with fun little kernels of color in it.  The base kernels were pink, so I thought that would appeal to a lovely lady like Emma!  The pattern is meant for bulky alpaca yarn, but I think it works pretty well as a working kid’s scarf.  Sturdy, washable, and ready for a chilly day!

After making scarves for the Wiks, I made this scarf for “Auntie Ro-Ro.”  Ro-Ro is a waitress at Amore’s Taste of Chicago, the best pizza place in Vegas, but she was so much more than that to us.  We’ve known her since we started going to their restaurant on Friday nights, and she was so excited for us when we became pregnant.  And Patrick loved her so much — she lavished attention on him!  She would always threaten to bite his cheeks someday — which is a tempting proposition, seeing how apple-y they are.  But she helped organize his baptism party at Amore’s, always brought him his own soup in a little bowl, and treated him like the special little guy he is!  We already miss seeing her once a week, and will be sure to visit her when we are in town. It’s a horizontally striped scarf in red and white Lily Chin wool with an extra stripe of red sequins.  I really like how this one turned out — no pattern here, just cast on for about how long you want it to be, and then knit like crazy in garter stitch!

And last, but not least, is a scarf for someone who has been a mentor to me in many senses, but most as an ELL teaching guru — Connie!  I have missed her when she got transferred to another school, but now I’ll miss her even more when I’m in another state!  She was so helpful with all of the applications to grad school, and with great ideas for teaching, and also just for life in general.  For Connie, I made the Golden Threads Boa also, but you’ll see that the effect is very different.  I used black Fizz again, but for the base yarn, I used a novelty ribbon yarn with some really pretty colors in it.

We will miss all of these friends and more dearly, but we are so excited to be starting up again here in California!  I’m already on the next project — it’s a big one, so go ahead and start feeling the suspense now!

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Knitter’s Tank for me

We moved into an apartment recently…well, recently as in three months ago.  Recent enough.  When we moved, I went through all the yarn I had, which took up most of a closet in our house.  I had saved every little scrap from every project, just waiting for a moment when I might need only three yards of Noro Kureyon #348.  So I was able to throw away all the unusable scraps, clearing out more space than I knew I had.

But amongst the small, shapeless skeins and unattached labels, I found a tiny treasure trove of unfinished projects.  Scarves one fourth finished, waiting on a stitch holder.  Sweaters completed except for the sleeves.  Yarns hugging each other tightly, waiting for the time when I would make them into the promised shawl or poncho.

So I created a new Yarn Resolution — no buying more yarn unless it is for a gift project.  I’ve only broken this resolution once since May, which isn’t too shabby.  And this project marks my third completed Yarn Resolution project.

I had finished the back of this top and about a third of the front.  I had comandeered this yarn from another intended project years ago, and so I was just a few yards short of the necessary amount.  But a quick check of the stash showed a white that proved a nice contrast to the tan, and held up well with the sparkly novelty yarn.

It was easy to jump into a project partway through — the only trick is finding where you left off.  That was a little bit of a hurdle, but soon I was knitting away during Patrick’s naptime, watching Battlestar Galactica with gusto.

The next trick came when I had finished the front.  I sewed the two together, and saw that the armholes were like to gaping maws, ready to show off your bra to any casual observer.  With some of the extra white, I did two rounds of single crochet around the edges, and voila!  No problem.

We’ll see how often I wear this top — only time will tell.  Knitted tanks, although fun and quick and easy, languish in my dresser for longer than they deserve.  They stretch out after too many wearings, and don’t stand up well to cleaning.  But the yarn I used for the base here is DK Comfort Yarn by Berroco, which is washable.  I may try it.  Otherwise, I’ll just camisole it up underneath, and solve the problem entirely.

It’s not a color I wear often — light tan, or really, light ANYTHING.  But it’s always good to change it up, try something new, and attempt a new adventure in wardrobe!

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