I wanted to call today’s post “The Medium-Sized Reveal,” but the green scarf isn’t quite off needles. So a small reveal it is. Here are a couple of shots of the first striped scarf:
It’s funny. This finished striped scarf and the other one that’s still on needles are made from the same yarn, but I used needles of different sizes, and the textures of the two scarves are completely different. This one is very light and airy – a lot like what a clothing store would call a “tissue” garment – in spite of the fact that the yarn is a wool blend and is actually quite warm. I used size 6 needles for this one. The darker striped sweater (which is still on needles) is being knitted on size 4 needles, and its texture is thick and soft – almost cuddly. I’ll admit that I like the texture of the second scarf better, but mostly I’m just baffled by the fact that I’ve been knitting for almost 20 years and have never known just how powerfully needle size affects the texture of a finished product. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve really never knitted scarves before – I’ve always made sweaters and socks and other fitted items, and needle size has always been determined by the pattern and by my gauge. Since a scarf can really be any width, I experimented with needle size without really knowing I was doing it, and the differences between the two scarves are fascinating.
In today’s photo at the top of this post, you can see the most recent scarf I’ve begun. The yarn is extremely fine (this scarf is going to take forever to finish – I do NOT expect to finish it for Christmas), and it’s a really beautiful melange of orange, watermelon red, and just the tiniest bit of golden yellow. The photo above really doesn’t do it justice. When it’s done, I’ll take some outdoor photos in daylight so you can see how beautiful the colors are.
Lately I’ve been hearing about Geoffrey Wolff’s A Day at the Beach EVERYWHERE. I believe Random House just reissued it in paperback and is marketing it heavily (or maybe I just subscribe to way too many email newsletters about books?). I remembered right away that I had a copy socked away on a shelf that I’ve never read, and after several glowing reviews, I pulled it off the shelf and started flipping through it. My copy is hardcover, and on the back a sticker informs me that I bought it at the Dartmouth Bookstore for $4.98 in September of 1994: my first year of college. I went through a short but intense obsession with both Wolff brothers that fall. Tobias Wolff gave a reading at Dartmouth – which was the first reading of any kind that I ever attended, I think – and I had seen and liked the movie version of This Boy’s Life a couple of years before (I saw it on the night of the junior prom, if you really want to know. I remember sitting in the theatre feeling honestly puzzled about whether I should feel sorry for myself for not being at the prom or whether I should be happy to be relaxing in front of a good movie. This moment essentially foreshadows every single emotion I have ever had about every social event of my adult life – but I’m digressing, aren’t I?). I read The Duke of Deception that fall, as well as This Boy’s Life and whichever collection of stories Tobias Wolff had just published. And then I bought this one and apparently ran out of time or moved on to a different obsession (Joseph Campbell? Yes, this might have been around the time that the Joseph Campbell obsession began). The sticker on the back of the book also says that I bought A Day at the Beach in the Children’s Sale Section, which has to be a misprint, I would think.
Next Wednesday is Christmas, and I’m thinking that Ginny (who hosts Yarn Along at her blog, Small Things) may not publish a Yarn Along post that day. She has seven kids, after all (what’s your excuse – sheesh!). Because I don’t have kids and am not especially religious, Christmas is a mellow time for me, so I’ll probably go ahead and write a Yarn Along post (this one will be the medium-sized reveal, I promise) even if Ginny doesn’t.
Have a great week, everyone!
P.S. The photos of the finished scarf have made it clear that I needed to trim the fringes. Don’t worry – it’s done.