FO: Wayfarer

My first knit to be branded as a Sanday Spinners item – all properly swing-tagged and everything 🙂

I fell in love with this pattern shortly before receiving a phone call asking if I could knit an unfussy handspun scarf for a man. Seemed to be a marriage made in heaven, to me.

I had no suitable skeins of my own to hand but as I took the call I was actually sat looking at the skeins belonging to Jean, which we had on the stall at the Autumn Fair. Several of them seemed suitable for the task.

Gotland Lamb

I took some photographs and a brief discussion resulted in choosing the Gotland lamb yarn – not least because of its LOTR associations.

Pattern: Wayfarer by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed $5.50

Yarn: Handspun Gotland Lamb (180g) (yardage not calculated)

Notes: A commissioned knit. 7″ by 55″

The yarn was a simple handspun 2ply, giving something like a fingering weight. I tested it on 4.5mm needles, but soon swapped down to a 4mm, which gave a much better fabric.

As always with a Brooklyn Tweed product, the pattern was beautifully presented, easily read and error free. I love the clarity of Jared’s presentation — he makes my knitting life very simple. Again as always, this Brooklyn Tweed pattern was a breeze to knit and thoroughly enjoyable. It was good to knit a scarf that had a gradually emerging pattern, rather than endless mindless repeats.

Wayfarer is written for a 78″ scarf but the client wanted a shorter scarf that can be tucked into the neckline of a jacket. No problem — Jared has anticipated the need to alter the length and has provided two adaptable sections in the pattern. I simply calculated that I needed a foot less, and planned to make each of those two sections six inches shorter than called for in the pattern. In the event, I made further modifications as it became clear that the scarf would behave as stipulated at a sh9rter length.

I took Jared’s suggestion on board and used a tubular cast on. My first. I loved it and will use it again and again, particularly for scarves as I like the way that it prevents the ends from flaring out. I was less enamoured of the supposedly-matching tubular cast off. Perhaps it was me, rather than the method per se, but I managed to  achieve a rather unpleasant lean to the stitches in my final rows.

Wayfarer needs to be blocked – the pattern increases/decreases and changing proportions of garter stitch to slip stitch rib in each row cause the edge to billow quite wildly. I used wires to straighten the edges to the best of my ability. The scarf still has a slight pucker in it (which can be seen in the photo above) but this is due to my use of handspun – it lacked the elasticity needed at that point in the blocking. I am confident that with a more pliable yarn, the scarf would have blocked out wider and more neatly.

Recommended: for all sorts of reasons. Particularly good as a Bloke Scarf as it has sufficient pattern to be interesting but not enough to be soppy. I will make  it again, in a softer, cuddlier yarn that will take more blocking. Merino, maybe. And in a good strong plain colour, to allow the graphic quality of the pattern lines to show up. Red, perhaps.

I am proud of this piece of work – I believe my interpretation of the brief was a very appropriate one and that I have produced a very handsome object.

The scarf has reached the client, and she is pleased with it. Phew! I just hope that the intended recipient likes it as much as we both do.