Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Finished: Gothic Arches Scarf

At the end of September, I made a perhaps foolish decision.  I signed up for the October edition of the Geek and Nerd Swap on Ravelry.  The theme was Art and Architecture, and while that is not my area of expertise at all, I was unemployed and so in theory had lots of free time, if not a lot of money.  It seemed like a good project that would require a bit of research and give me something besides job applications to think about.

When partners were assigned at the beginning of the month, I found mine liked Gothic Architecture and Impressionist paintings, with a particular affection for Van Gogh's Starry Night.  She also lived in a warmer part of the US, so accessories had to be on the lighter side.  I ran with the Gothic Architecture theme in knitting.  This style is known for its emphasis of vertical elements, use of pointed arches, and bracing walls with flying buttresses.  Pointed arches and flying buttresses allowed the stone buildings to be built taller than had been possible before with stone, adding to the vertical emphasis of the buildings.

I spent a great deal of time staring at the facade of Notre Dame cathedral and at charts in Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia" with graph paper in hand, did a bit of knitting and ripped, and ended up with this scarf.  It has pointed arches . . .
 . . . and flying buttresses . . .

. . . and columns of faggoting to emphasis its length.

The scarf was worked in two pieces; each started at the border and contained eleven repeats of the main pattern.  I picked eleven because it was as many as I could get out of half my available yarn.  After completing the second half, I grafted the two pieces together.  The graft is not truly invisible; the lace patterning obviously switches there, and the lace elements are a half a stitch offset from one another.  I am certain this won't matter at all when the scarf is in use, and it will look nice to have all the arches pointed "up" when the scarf is worn.

The yarn used is Cascade Heritage Sock in light grey.  I really wanted to work from stash for these projects, and the grey reminded me of the stone cathedrals as well as being guaranteed to not clash with whatever colors appeared in my swap partner's wardrobe.  It is a lovely soft yarn, and with one skein I had a scarf about 10x65 inches after blocking.  It probably could have been blocked more severely, as well.
I am quite happy with how this scarf turned out, though I am annoyed at myself for shipping a bit late.  Things were going swimmingly until I caught a cold in late October.  The cold was rapidly followed by me losing my voice and picking up a horrible cough, developing multiple cold sores on my face, and then coming down with an eye infection.  Crafting had to go on hold until I was able to hold needles again, though the scarf and its fellow handmade did get finished not too far into November.  More on that next time!

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