It arrived! It arrived! Yesterday afternoon I logged onto Ravelry for the umpteenth time and found my swap recipient had left thanks for the parcel I’d sent her.
Deciding what to knit my swap recipient took a bit more ‘stalking’ and guess work than my previous one, as she has a very new blog. She requested mittens or a scarf, and I decided that I would knit the first and weave the second. I noted that her favourite colour was pink, and she also liked red and grey.
My first thought was to weave a wide, long scarf in some natural wool/cashmere and then dye it pink, so I warped up the loom and started weaving. Then I searched Ravelry’s database of mitten patterns. The Knitty pattern Corazon caught my eye. Since I was already making something pink, I decided to knit these in red and white instead:
Comments by other knitters who had made these gloves indicated they often come out too long, so I decided to ask my recipient how long her hands were. (Just as well, as I did need to shorten them.) But to conceal which project I was making – or rather, that I was making both – I also asked how long she preferred her scarves.
She said she liked her scarves short. Very short – more like neckties or cowls. Oops. So I had to knuckle down and get the wide, long scarf off the loom so I could start something more suitable. I wasn’t sure there was time to go ordering yarn, so I turned to the stash and found some Nundle yarn that couldn’t have been pinker. But I had only one ball so I had to calculate carefully the width of the scarf so it would still end up long enough to wrap around a neck.
I worked out a method not unlike how you calculate wraps per inch – winding the yarn around a piece of wood about the width I thought the scarf would be. Then I warped up and started weaving. And it turned out just big enough to fold over itself around my neck.
Small scarves seem more like decoration than something to keep you warm, so I decided this was more like jewellery than knitwear. It needed a bit of glitter or shine, so I added some beads to the fringe. Then I added a button and an adjustable loop for fastening.
Both of these projects were entirely new to me. I’d never made a short scarf or fair isle mittens. The mittens got me addicted to fair isle knitting, and the scarf has me considering taking the weaving all the way to the jewellery side by using wire and beads. That’s one of the great benefits of swaps. They can challenge you to try something new.
For extra goodies I looked to my recipient’s Ravelry profile again. I saw she liked spinning, so I added some red-pink roving. Her pic showed her drinking wine which got me thinking of the Ravelry ‘ripped’ and ‘frogged’ shot glasses. Considering how to fasten the scarf had me thinking about pins, and when I went to order the glasses I saw the Ravelry buttons and had one of those ‘aha!’ moments. (Of course, I had to order some shot glasses and buttons for myself at the same time.) I reused the box the glasses and buttons arrived in, with the Ravelry sticker on the side, to post it all.
All in all, it was a fun swap to participate in, made all the better by hearing how much my recipient loved her gifts. Turns out she’s heading to the snow next week, and was madly knitting mittens and hats for herself and her companions, so this meant one less item to knit!