I’ve found it extremely hard to start a project in the last few weeks. In general, casting on is probably my least favorite part of knitting – you know how scraggly and uneven everything looks for the first few rows? And how you need to struggle to get your needle through those too-tight stitches of the first row? And how you have to be super-careful to join your stitches in the round the right way, rather than creating a moebius loop unintentionally? And how that connection is always kind of baggy? Yes, all this can be made easier or fixed later on, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that starting is fiddly! Additionally, when you’re under stress to the extent that I’ve been in the last few weeks, the last thing you want to be doing is struggling with fiddly beginnings. But I missed knitting oh-so-much. So what could I do? I was lost, until I remembered my biggest shame – something that has carried the work-in-progress label for about a year and a half, and thad hadn’t been touched in a loooong time. It’s quite a simple pattern, actually the reason why I had abandoned it was out of pure boredom, so it would be perfect for these stressful times. And – no beggining was necessary! Yay!
The pattern is Bobble Scarf by Ann Budd. I basically stuck to it religiously, apart from replacing the single rib for seed stitch. It gave the scarf a different texture, and made it so incredibly rich looking. I am absolutely thrilled with this mod, and so happy I made it! I can’t even remember now if I had done it on purpose or had just happened to make a mistake (I was a very novice knitter when I was starting this) and then liked it, but who cares anymore anyway…
Don’t you just love the texture?
As soon as I got my hands on it again, I started making good progress. But one thing was bothering me. The chart is humongous, with tiny characters, and involved a lot of counting every few rows. I really thought it could have been presented in a much better way. So I decided to write out the instructions for myself. I was going to do it in stages, a bit at a time, but it actually ended up taking me only 10 minutes. Here’s the before…
… and the after photo.
That’s the thing! Look how simple it is. And while it was in chart form, I would have to pause my knitting every three rows to count on which stitch I had to make the bobble. The columns weren’t even numbered so as to make it easier! I’m so happy I decided to do this, and my knitting has been much faster because of it. I don’t have anything against charts in general (I used to be scared of them, but I have since become very comfortable with them), but this one is simply counter-productive. The only thing it’s useful for is checking that your pattern of bobbles is coming out in the shapes (left-pointing triangles) that it should. But for the actual knitting itself, the written instructions are much easier (and quicker) to follow.
I’m making it for a friend, who wanted a huge scarf, and she’ll definitely get what she wished for. I have another three 100g skeins to go through! But now that I have my written instructions and newly-discovered enthusiasm, I’m confident that I can have it done in a jiffy! Here’s one color photo as well – I think the richness of the stitch combined with the purple makes it look kind of regal, don’t you agree? :)