What can you do in five months?

Basket weave scarf bigger than me

Look! It’s taller than me! Check out the log burner next to it. Nature’s TV, right there.

A lot can be achieved in the space of five months, but apparently I can just about manage to knit a scarf. At about 5′ 6″ it’s bigger than me, but man, that’s some slow, slow knitting on my part. It wasn’t even particularly hard! Here are some other things I could do in five months:

1. Learn basic Chinese
2. Conceive and carry a baby halfway to term
3. Cultivate and harvest some delicious vegetables
4. Train for, and compete in, a marathon
5. Finally sit down and tackle War and Peace
6. Order a sofa from DFS and have it delivered
7. Commission my own portrait and see the finished product hanging in my home

So I’ve been plugging away at this scarf since September. I’ve been picking it up every now and again, but never dedicated any real time to completing it. All I can say is it’s a good job it hasn’t been that cold this winter and I haven’t been in desperate need of a neck warmer.

The wool I used is Rowan Aran from my stash. I bought it a couple of years ago with good intentions of making it into a different scarf knitted entirely in stockinette – not a good idea on straight needles due to some major curling, plus I would frequently forget whether I was supposed to be doing a knit row or a purl row which was very obvious. I quickly gave up on that idea and forgot about the yarn for a while.

When I found it again, I reasoned that I’d need a design that would lie flat. My friend Karen had a lovely chunky cardigan where the entire back panel was knitted in basket weave – I looked it up on the internet, decided it looked pretty easy and went on my merry way. In September 2013.

Basket weave scarf close up

Here’s a close up of that basket weave.

It’s now February, I’m on holiday in France and I’ve just finished the scarf, having reminded myself how to cast off via the internet (thank you knitting.about.com!). Despite the amount of time it’s taken me to finish it, I’m pretty pleased with the result. It’s long enough, it’s certainly warm and I managed it with relatively few mistakes. There are a couple of rows where I’ve forgotten what I was doing, but the beauty of a scarf that’s so long and worked in such a busy pattern is that you can’t really tell where I’ve messed up. Winner.

Basket weave scarf model

And here’s me wearing it.

I still have a ball of this lovely purple wool left so I am thinking it may end up as a hat to go with it. I’m thinking some sort of beret or maybe a beanie. I reckon I need a relatively quick and easy project that’ll teach me how to use circular needles, because I reckon I need to learn me some new knitting skills – shapes and everything! Who knows, maybe I’ll get it done in time for the next snowfall?

Anyway, here’s what I used and what I did:

3x balls Rowan Aran wool
4.5 mm needles

48 stitches cast on
16 rows of 4×4 rib
Basket weave stitch (p4, k4 six times for six rows, then p4, k4 six times for six rows) repeat ad infinitum
16 rows of 4×4 rib
Cast off


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