Monday, November 03, 2008

Twice upon some buttons

Once upon a time, a knitter named trek visited the County of Patterns which is in the Land of Ravelry where she came across a lovely scarf pattern and decided that she wanted needed to knit one. trek observed that it was a very interesting stitch pattern because it laid perfectly flat, even though it was all knits on the right side and all purls on the wrong side. "Ah, verily, the flatness must come from the combination of simultaneous increases and decreases," thought the knitter. Perhaps that was the reason or perhaps it was some fibery magic but whatever the reason, the knitter approved of the flatness. There was something, however of which she did not approve.

"Whilst I do indeed like Lady Carol's scarf pattern, I do not like the rough edge it yields," thought trek to herself. "I much prefer a smooth, even edging on mine scarf." And so the knitter returned to the Land of Ravelry, this time to visit the District of Projects, which is part of the County of Patterns. It was there that the knitter saw Castingon's Pidgish Neckwarmer. The knitter was taken with the cleverness of the smooth edging and determined to knit some onto her own scarf.

Now, trek was wise in the ways of knitting: she read the pattern carefully and obediently swatched with large needles as directed by Lady Carol, the pattern designer. The swatch was everything the knitter had hoped it would be: the fabric was squishy and dense and yet not too firm. The knitter was pleased with Lady Carol's instructions and with the swatch and so she measured carefully, entered the measurements onto the magical parchment, and scribed out out her new pattern. She pulled out a new skein of yarn and cast on for the scarf.

The next day, trek ensured that she had plenty of provisions and made the arduous journey to the nearest purveyor of buttons where she carefully considered a plethora of button options and finally selected a pair of round, brown ones which reminded the knitter of stones. Her knitting notions thus secured, the knitter fairly flew through the remainder of the scarf. And she was pleased with the scarf but not yet well pleased.

It was now time to swatch for the edging. trek set the scarf aside and returned to her swatch. She carefully unraveled a small section of the swatch, reclaiming a reasonable length of the yarn so as to have enough fiber. Although she used the large needles to knit the scarf, trek realized that the smooth edging could be knit with smaller needles as it did not require increases and decreases. She tried one set of needles and the edging was nice but she felt that it was a wee bit too loose so she tried an even smaller set of needles and the edging was perfect: neither too loose nor yet too tight.

And so trek picked up the scarf once more and began to knit the smooth edging upon its creamy length. She fairly hummed as she worked, the edging was progressing so smoothly. Now, when it was time to turn the corner and begin to work along the short edge, trek remembered that it is wise to knit one or two extra bits of the smooth edging when turning a corner. And so she did.

Halfway along the shorter edge, the knitter saw that the smooth edging was developing an unpleasant rippling. She stopped to ponder her predicament. Then it entered into her mind that she was picking up one stitch per stitch in the cast on edge. trek remembered then that knitting has what learned scholars call ratios about it. Grateful for the forgiving nature of the knitting, she pulled out the offending ripply edging and reknit the short edge picking up only half so many stitches. And it was much better. And trek continued along the short edge. Upon reaching the corner, she turned left and marched back up along the scarf until she reached the final turn and the second short edge. Soon, trek knit the last stitch of the smooth edging, cast off, and tidied up the edging with her sharp sewing needle.

Then, trek retrieved the two brown buttons. She placed the scarf about her neck and tried to slip one of the buttons into a button hole but it was too tight. trek took the scarf from about her neck, placed it on the table, and proceeded to try to button the button on the card to the end of the scarf. If she pushed with great strength of her hands, she could force the button and the button hole to bend to her will but this did not please the knitter. She wished for her knitting to be a thing of grace, beauty, and great gentleness.

The following day, trek journeyed once more to the purveyor of the buttons, bearing with her the two brown buttons. Once again, she examined the buttons which were offered for her inspection. Finally, she found the right buttons. They were not so large as the brown buttons. Nor were they brown. In fact, they were blue and black. And sparkly! And trek fell in love with the sparkly blue buttons and declared, "These buttons shall I have for my scarf and no others!"

The kind button seller accepted the brown buttons into her shop once more and trek returned home with not two but three of the sparkly blue buttons. She collected the scarf, her sewing needle, and her sharpest scissors, and set to work. Soon, two of the sparkly blue buttons were sewn fast to the edge of the scarf and the scarf was ready for modeling and the official portrait artist rendered a lovely painting.

After the portrait was finished, trek tried the scarf upon her own neck and showed it to the wonderful Neatnik who declared the scarf "beautiful!" and requested that one be knit for her but smaller and in some colors that go nicely with her winter raiment.

Two Button Scarf

Thanks to Neatnik for loaning
Tony the (Modeling) Pony

8 yarns:

Chris said...

And verily, it was so! (I was afraid there was going to be a tragic ending.)

Abigail said...

....and the Knitter's friends rejoiced with her!

Sheepish Annie said...

And thus the Knitting Kingdom rejoiced most heartily with both the Dew Of The Mountain and The Cups Most Peanutbuttery!

AmyPinSeattle said...

Love the tale...and the end object. I love it so much, I just went and got the pattern for myself!


Anonymous said...

Can we have what the Sheep is havin'?


trek said...

Dear Number Guy,


That would be a sure-fire formula for accelerating a child beyond excape velocity and launching said child into orbit.


But I love you anyway.


Anonymous said...

I didn't mean HER....


Deb said...

And lo, there was peace and joy in the kingdom. Pass the Sheep beverages please!