Friday, August 17, 2007

Why, hello, Bandwagon, may I jump on too?

I have a love-hate relationship with trends. In general, my stance is a curmudgeonly one. The more people doing something, the more suspicious and disdainful I tend to be. Not intentionally, of course, just automatically. At the same time, I have this rather pronounced weakness when it comes to the power of suggestion.

There are very few web-based knitting trends that have not wooed me. I have never knit a Clapotis and I don't intend to. I have yet to succumb to the siren call of the Jaywalker. I have never knit with Socks that Rock (but that, my friends, is about to change - am I a lucky gal, or what? and are Ashley, Christy, and Julia rocking bloggers, or what? and are schrodinger and I in a contest to see which of us can win the most contests, or what? and am I trying to see how many questions I can ask as an aside, or what?).

But pretty much every other knitting trend has obsessed me at some point, whether or not I actually followed through and knit the thing. Come to think of it, most of the trends that have obsessed me are still knocking around in my head, rather than either on or off my needles. I have spent outrageous amounts of time researching yarns, yarn colors, and yarn prices for patterns I have yet to knit and probably won't knit in the near future (Central Park Hoodie, Seamless Hybrid, Tubey, and Ribby Cardi, I'm looking at you). (Note to self: the amount of time you spend drooling over other people's FOs on Ravelry is inversely related to the amount of time you spend actually completing your own projects.) Oddly (or perhaps completely in character with my curmudgeonly attitude towards trends in general), I tend to be late in jumping on (startling exception: knitting Monkeys with a picot cuff, which I managed to both do and blog before it was cool [but I was not the one that started the trend] ).

So it should come as no surprise to me that I am late to the Chevron Scarf party, but come to the party I have. Like so many others, I got the bug as soon as I saw this one last March. Before long, they were everywhere. Funny how you can have a book on your shelf for 2 years and never once consider a particular pattern in it, and then you see other people's brilliant iterations of it and suddenly you're inspired. Before the Chevron Scarf Parade swept blogland, I never considered knitting it. But show it to me in STR Watermelon Tourmaline and Farmhouse dozens of times, and I'm hooked.

The thing is, I'm not really a bright-color-wearing person (and of course, being a selfish knitter, I have not been planning on knitting this for anyone for my own self). Dude. When you grow up as the girl with the big curly red clown hair, you really don't need anything extra making you stand out. (Please go back and tell that to my 7th grade striped-primary-color-legwarmer-wearing self). I like subtle. I like neutrals. And I love brown and pink.

brown and pink sock yarn

Enter another skein of Collette's yummy Superwash Supersock fingering weight merino.

What I had in mind was a Chevron Scarf of only soft neutrals, with a tiny bit of pink for pop. After mulling it over, and looking at Collette's past and current offerings, I went for Carrie Lyn, which she was kind enough to custom dye for me.

Carrie Lyn yarn

Inspired by a Nubian goat in Alabama (I love how Collette gets her inspiration. If you haven't already, check out her etsy shop. And big thanks to Jenelle for introducing me to this yarn).
Aren't the colors delicious? I especially love that tiny bit of grey.
I thought this colorway would be a perfect foil for the brown and pink yarn.

What is the secret behind picking out a perfect combination of colorways for the Chevron Scarf? I'm not sure. I know that I would never have thought of Watermelon Tourmaline and Farmhouse on my own. Perhaps it takes a special kind of genius to get the colors just contrasted enough without harming the eyes. But it turns out that if you pick colors that have too much overlap (in my case, each yarn had brown and cream), then you end up with a broad zigzag going up your scarf, rather than the eye-popping chevron lines you're going for.

Chevron scarf WIP

What's a girl to do?

I don't know yet. I know that I am crazy about this pattern and crazy about this yarn (and these colorways, separately). The pattern is shockingly simple - and surprisingly fast. I can't help but pick this thing up and knit on it a bit here and there, even though I shouldn't do so since I think I'm going to frog and start again. But I'm not sure how to get the effect I'm visualizing. I'm considering just trying the scarf with the brown and pink yarn alone to see if it gets what I'm going for. But I'm open (way open) to suggestions or clues about how to make a Chevron Scarf that is both neutral in colors and still contrasted enough to really show the movement of the chevron lines (in a non-zigzag way, of course).

It's a shame, though, because I really do love these colors. As they slide off my needle, they put me in mind of some of my favorite things: black coffee, coffee with cream, latte, raspberries....

Chevron scarf WIP

Er, uh, I have no idea why the photos above (imported from flickr) are all off-center....


TracyKM said...

I was totally with you. I have never knit a Clapotis or a Jaywalker or an Odessa, or a Ribbi. But I do search endlessly for yarn for many of the 'cool' projects, LOL. I like the research end of things I have realized. I like the knitting too, but I can get a pattern out of my system just by looking at others finished versions, and searching for yarn. Why should I endure the mindless boredom of most of Icarus when I can look at so many online? LOL.
I love those two yarns! I was wondering where they were headed....then I see the scarf. Sorry, I just can't make a scarf using Feather and Fan (or variations). I've seen too many afghans in it, LOL. I can't make socks in it, I can't make scarves, I can't even make an afghan with it.
I hope you find what that yarn wants to be because those are gorgeous yarns!

Dave said...

Can you play around with needle size and stitch count? Sometimes just a small change can make a big difference. (The voice of no-chevron-scarfing experience speaks out into the void.)

Melinda said...

Hmmm, I love those colors and I love your scarf -- I think it will turn out beautiful in the end. :) Melinda, maker of Clapotis, Branching out and Jaywalkers.

Christy said...

I'm thinking about the jumping on the Chevron scarf wagon myself. However, I do know that some people have really had to force the yarn into submission. Either by cutting it and re-attaching it a few times or by doing a couple rows in a needle a size larger every so often.

Also, drop me an email and I will send you the tshirt options for your prize.

Ashley said...

I second Dave's suggestion to try playing with stitch count and needle size. I knit mine on 5s, but every so often, the colors would get "stuck" and I'd have to jog them along by switching to a 6 for a row or maybe 2. I think it's be worth swatching a couple different sizes and counts if you really love the colors together!

staceyk said...

I think it looks great! I am a person who likes pooling though! I have been sorting through my stash for chevron scarf combos. Got a few in my head. Not sure yet. But if you want subtle, which I am NOT good at, what about the yummy brown and pink combo yarn (a fav of mine too!) with a solid or semi-solid. Maybe a brown or ivory. Those colors look great on redheads also! Go curly haired knitters!

C. Joshua Villines said...

Hmmm...can't remember the last time I had to Google so many different words from a blog entry - but I suspect it was when I was looking up something for Brigit regarding a veterinary procedure. :) Maybe I shouldn't learn to knit after all...

Nevertheless, I agree with everyone else that those colors are beautiful!


Teri said...

okay, so I know absolutely nothing about knitting.
I just popped over from the Preacher Party to say that you have amazing hair. I could tell even from the baby profile picture next to your blogname.
So...there you have it. You have fabulous hair. :-)
Happy almost Sunday!

Kristin said...

Wow, Stacey. I found your blog through the knit pligg (sockapalooza) and realized that I know you from KH and Ravelry. What a scary thing that happened to your family. I am SO glad for you that it had such a happy ending. And it is great that people are know educated about it too.

I like the scarf by the way!

lyca said...

I think it's really pretty! Super duper pretty, even! I love the pics on your next post, too. What great weather for knitting a fall sweater...or drinking coffee...but maybe I just feel that way because someone made me pancakes this morning...

Thanks for watching my cat...and sooo sorry about the messes she apparently left around....

Janelle said...

Sorry to chime in late on this! I also love both of those yarns, but I agree that you'd probably have the black zigzagging all the way up the scarf. It's more the black than the brown, by the look of things at the top where, even when the black is next to white, it still stands out a lot. So I would maybe try pairing the brown and pink with something else. A semi-solid tan, brown, or ivory, depending on the tone of what you're wanting to end up with. Or, you could try making it a skinnier scarf and see if that changes how the yarns match up enough to make a difference. to browse Collette's store some more... :)

Lauren said... is my chevron scarf. I am going to finish it but it isn't how I thought it would look! I want to use 3 different colors instead of 2 because I have many single skeins. I don't know what it would look like. Your scarf is FAB just as it is!!!!!!!!!