I want to begin this post by stating that I am officially done with winter. Yesterday another storm moved through and dumped every kind of possible precipitation on us -- snow, sleet, freezing rain, regular rain. Rainbow had a two-hour delay at school and I had to take her in, so that meant I was late for work and got there pretty much soaked after trudging through all the slush. That put me in a bad mood for pretty much the whole day. I also skipped knit night last night after sliding on black ice several times on the trip home, so that bummed me out even more. But the sun was out today, and we have at least a couple of days when we're not supposed to see any more snow, so I'm trying to be more cheerful.
The delay yesterday morning meant that I got to make a special breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes, which I'd promised Rainbow I'd make if there was a school delay or cancellation) and get in a little bit of extra knitting time. That, combined with an hour or so last night, meant that I actually finished Rainbow's handspun scarf!
Pattern: Orwell Bridge Scarf by Alison Hawke
Yarn: my handspun, BFL from Gale's Art in Deep Blue Sea
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) Knit Picks circs, magic loop
Started/Completed: January 25/February 5
Mods: several; see below
I picked this pattern because I wanted something small that would fit just around Rainbow's neck and not be a strangulation hazard, and the keyhole feature seemed ideal. There are quite a few patterns like this on Ravelry, but I wanted something plain (and the likelihood that the finished object might be rejected after it was done was high, so I went for a free pattern so that I wasn't out both time and money).
I made a number of modifications. First, I started by casting on one more stitch than specified, because you increase to an even number and I wanted to start with an even number so I'd have the same number of increases on both sides. I also used the same size needles throughout, as my yarn was a bit lighter than what was called for in the pattern. When I got to the far end of the scarf, I also kept the ribbing as a tube, rather than making another keyhole, because I really thought the one keyhole was plenty. I haven't weighed the leftovers, but it looks like I used roughly half of the yarn, and I really love the gentle color changes I got.
I'm hesitant to say anything bad about a pattern because I know how hard it is to write a good one, but I will say that I found this one a little hard to follow. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner, because there's quite a bit you need to intuit. If you have some experience, it won't be terribly difficult for you, but it's not a pattern where every single step is spelled out for you. I do like the finished product a lot, as does Rainbow, so it's a success. I might even make one for me, though I'd make some additional modifications (like I'd skip the purl stitches in the main tube).
Still on the needles are Rainbow's Little Oak cardigan (I'm a little more than halfway done with the body) and my TTL Mystery Socks, which are slowly progressing through the foot. I'm resisting the urge, for now, to start a sweater for me. I've suddenly found that I'm a little bored with my sweater selection and have sweater quantities of yarn for at least three sweaters, but I'm trying to get through these things first. Maybe I will cast on one next month and make it my birthday gift to myself!