It feels odd to write that, the first finished thing of 2010. On Thursday I was thinking back to ten years before. I remember cleaning my apartment with the TV on all day, watching all the coverage of new year's celebrations around the world. I particularly remember the fireworks exploding off the Eiffel Tower, and some ice place up in northern... well, Scandinavia. I remember the ice more than the nation. I remember having good friends over for dinner--I think I made a stuffed flank steak, and maybe a cake that involved a blow torch? And one friend brought a 2000 jello mold. And we sat around talking and watching celebrations, and it was fun.
Then I think about everything that's happened in the last ten years. That was such a moment of transition in so many ways--I was finishing my dissertation, I was on the academic job market for the first time, and shortly after the new year had my first interviews. I knew I'd be leaving Chicago, most likely, and was sad about the idea of moving away from friends.
Since then I finished my PhD. I published a reasonable amount of stuff. I got three different jobs. I moved to a new city, then a new state, then a new country. I bought and sold a house. I got tenure. I traveled, to Russia, of course, but also to Japan, Australia, the UK, France, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania. I read, I listened to music, I saw movies, I made new friends, I lost and refound old ones. I lost two cats and gained another one. I knit a lot. I was amazed by technology, and the ways that it altered my life (newest tech thing: the kindle--crazy) in ways both good and bad. I was shaken, saddened, elated, by events from the global to the familial.
I was somehow feeling a new year's desire for a palate-cleansing knitting project. I finished a pair of socks for my mom a few days ago. I've got one sweater on the needles, but I'm going through a period of questioning the pattern. I knit Rose Red twice, but have to frog it and do it again, smaller. So instead of tackling either of those things, I pulled out some yarn I bought from the sale room at Loopy Yarns over the summer--Manos del Uruguay in the colorway "Dove." They had and I bought two skeins of it.
What to do with it?
I decided that I wanted something open. Not lacy, the yarn's too thick and thin to be a true lace. But something open and latticed. I knew I wanted the holes to be bigger than a simple yarn over would make them. And then I thought of a particular stitch from Orenburg knitting, called, if I remember correctly (and I can't check because my book's in storage in another country), "peas."
So I just tried using that stitch, offset a touch.
And I'm quite happy with the result. The scarf is thick but thin, both in the yarn and in the way it feels around my neck. It's holey and yet substantial. It's warm but airy.
Opposites, in other words.
If anyone should like it enough to knit, here's the pattern.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasico (I think? that's how it's listed on ravelry--in any event, the bulky 3.5 oz/138yds or 100 g/125m kind), 1 skein plus about a third of an additional skein (I also knit an urchin hat in size large, on 6.5 mm needles, from part of one skein; this scarf used one whole skein plus the remnants from the hat)
Needles: US size 10 (6mm) (BUT!! I'm a very loose knitter, so you might want to go up a size or two if you're not; also you might want to do that anyway, to make it even looser/airy)
Cast on 20 stitches (or another multiple of four if you'd prefer something narrower or wider)
Set up: Knit two rows.
Rows 1-2: K4, [yo, k2tog, k2], repeat stitches in brackets to end
Row 3: Knit
Rows 4-5: [K2, yo, k2tog], repeat to end
Row 6: Knit
Repeat rows 1-6 until desired length or you're running out of yarn.
If you're obsessed with symmetry (as I am), knit one additional repeat of rows 1-3, then one more knit row, then bind off.
If you don't care about symmetry, or are running out of yarn, knit one additional row, then bind off.
Weave in ends, block, wear.
I think this does benefit from a nice blocking--not necessarily a hard block, but enough to open the eyelets a bit. Plus, because this is essentially garter stitch with holes in it, I think it's most likely to grow in length with wear. Therefore, blocking it wider, in particular, struck me as a good thing.
Anyway, it went from this:
with a good blocking.