PDF here: Beamish
‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
–from “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
This scarf is a tale of two knitters, a Ravelry love story, and a spat over stash.
I met David online two years ago today, in the Ravelry forums. We immediately struck up a long distance friendship, soon met in person, and later fell in love. During the same period of time I went through some life changes that necessitated a move to Seattle. This summer, David decided to join me here.
As part of the moving preparations, I flew down to Texas to help him get organized: the fun part was sorting his stash! During that process he told me I could have anything I wanted, since he was approaching SABLE and felt guilty for all of the lovely yarn languishing in his care.
Moving interrupted his work on a pair of kilt hose he had promised for a wedding, so when he arrived he was too far behind to meet the deadline. I picked up one of the hose, and ended up working about half the project for him. There were many late nights. He ran out of yarn about half an inch too soon. Pawing through his stash for a substitute, I found this skein of Jabberwocky. Between remembering the earlier offer and in light of the work I was doing for his deadline, I asked for it.
It turns out this particular skein was very special, having been purchased on a trip several years before we met. Much hilarity ensued. Finally, we agreed the yarn could live in my stash, and whoever picked it up to knit first could have it, so long as they didn’t let the WIP languish.
Of course I cast on the next day.
I wanted to create a scarf that would be a quick, interesting knit and would use exactly one skein of flashy hand-painted yarn. (Don’t we all have a couple of those in our stashes?) It needed to showcase its wild colors without flashing and pooling, in a firm, thick fabric that wouldn’t roll. In other words, it had to be perfect. I looked at a lot of patterns, swatched about a dozen different stitches, and finally came up with this pattern. It’s worked longways, giving it the stripes of pattern along its length.
Every time I put down the project and worked on something else, David would threaten to rip it, or to start knitting from the other end of the skein. I talked about wearing the scarf and never letting him so much as touch it, and about giving the FO away to various people. But in the end, for David’s birthday, I gave him the finished scarf wrapped around a new skein of Jabberwocky. Love is a frabjous thing.
6 x 60 inches
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Heavyweight [100% superwash merino; 350 yds / 7 oz skein]; color: Jabberwocky; 1 skein
1 32-inch US #8/5 mm circular needle
a second 32-inch US #8/5 mm or smaller circular needle to use for grafting
25 st = 3.25 inches in horizontal herringbone stitch (washed and blocked)
25 st = 3.5 inches in linen stitch (washed and blocked)
Crochet Cast On:
Using waste yarn, work a crochet chain several sts longer than the number of sts to be cast on. Starting 1 or 2 sts in from end of chain and using working yarn, pick up and k 1 st in the back loop of each ch until the required number of sts have been picked up. Later, the chain will be unraveled and the resulting live sts picked up.
This fabric has a knit side and a purl side. You will work every other stitch on each row. The slips and the knit sides of the stitches always face the right side of the fabric, and the backside is just purl bumps. The edges are a single column of garter.
Row 1 (RS): k1, *sl1 wyif, k1; repeat from *, k1
Row 2: k1, *sl1 wyib, p1; rep from *, k1
Horizontal Herringbone stitch:
This fabric also has a knit and a purl side, but you work two stitches at a time. There are several tutorials on YouTube for this stitch pattern if you get lost.
Row 1 (RS): k1, *sl 1, k1, yo, pass slipped stitch over both the new stitch and the yarn over; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 2: *p2tog, then purl first stitch again, slipping both stitches off the needle; repeat from * to end of row.
The cast-off in this pattern is completed using Kitchener Stitch (grafting). An article about this technique can be found here.
The cast-on and cast-off for this pattern give matching edges that are firm without being tight. Done correctly, they will look identical.
Tubular Cast On
Using waste yarn, crochet CO 190 sts.
Using working yarn, work as follows:
Row 1 [WS]: K1, [k1, yo] to last st, k1.
Row 2 [RS]: [Sl 1 wyif, k1] to end. [380 sts]
Row 3 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, k1, sl 1 wyif, p to last 3 sts, sl 1 wyif, k1, sl 1 wyif.
Remove waste yarn; the edge will not unravel.
Work Linen Stitch for 8 rows.
Work Horizontal Herringbone for 6 rows.
Repeat these two sections two more times, so that you have three stripes of Linen, and three stripes of Herringbone, alternating.
Finish with 10 rows of Linen Stitch.
Tubular Cast Off
Last row (RS): k1, *sl1 wyib, k1; repeat from *, k1
Using working needle and second needle, slip across, moving every other stitch to the second needle, so that the stitches worked on the RS are on one needle, and the stitches worked on the WS are on the other.
Now comes the grafting. Get your chocolate and your yarn needle. You will need a yarn tail about 3 times the length of the fabric, or you will need to join on new sections of yarn as you work.
There is one option that avoids joining on several times and subsequently weaving in lots of ends. It is to fold the entire length of yarn you will need to complete the graft in half and half again, and pass the loops through the eye of the needle. This way you are pulling several thicknesses through each stitch at once rather than having a very long piece of yarn to pull through. You will work only one thickness of yarn in the graft just as you ordinarily would; but this technique lets you pull the tail through more easily.
Kitchener across the edge from the two needles until all stitches are bound off, applying chocolate liberally as needed.
Weave in ends.
Wash & block; the pattern opens up nicely when you take the time to pin it out!