Going to great lengths for him
Thursday January 31st 2013, 12:06 am
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift,To dye for

It’s become a joke by now.

Is it done yet?

I model it for him, past my knees, towards my ankles.

He grins, tries it on, it’s shorter than fingertip-to-fingertip, and looks at me not quite laughing–but he hasn’t sung Short People at me. Yet.

This is the man who never in his life had had the luxury of a sweater with sleeves long enough to fold back the cuffs, so I’d made him one with an 86″ wingspan. Fits him perfectly.

I knit some more. The scarf is at 82″ now, surely…? But there is more of this fingering weight baby alpaca, I can keep going. It has fond memories: anyone else out there remember Russ of Robin and Russ Handweaving? He bought a truckload of this stuff back when nobody had ever heard of baby alpaca yarns. Sold it in natural colors at a buck a ball, 40 grams each, not on cones, not his usual stuff but oh so very soft. Mine started out a soft fawn.

I dyed several pounds of it ten years ago, the skeins presoaked for an attempt at color evenness and shoved in that suddenly small-looking pot as best I could. I didn’t take the time to hank and then rewind all those skeins for the dye process; I had just gotten out of the hospital a few weeks before. I lifted that pot.  It felt heroic enough. An afghan for the doctor who’d saved my life–and it had cashmere I dyed to match knitted into it, too, and my mother-in-law played a part in that, and I so wish I could find the rest of that yarn in time for this project because of that connection to her.

But. I have the baby alpaca. The leftovers seem to be the skeins that were the most felted and tangled and the least matching and oh well.

But I am knitting three strands crammed together on size 9s for softness and warmth and the shades can waver  between themselves all they want. One browner, one lighter, one redder, repeat at the 35″ mark.

My husband has never had a scarf long enough that it doesn’t look like a tall man trying to fit into normal people’s sizes. Partly too because we live where you don’t need one. This, though, is going to be long enough. I had to ice my hands several times today (the seed stitch part of that pattern is a bear to work) but I’m. Almost. There.


10 Comments so far
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Ooooo! Baby Alpaca is the best fiber! That looks beautiful.

Comment by Jody 01.31.13 @ 5:05 am

Don’t forget the finger stretches, after the ice,helps prevent the cramps. and baby Alpaca mmm soft.Can’t wait for spring!!

Comment by kris 01.31.13 @ 6:42 am

Beautiful. I know he’ll treasure it and everyone will admire it!

Comment by Channon 01.31.13 @ 7:32 am

Knitting is love made visible.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 01.31.13 @ 8:08 am

Richard is so lucky to have a wife who will knit him things that FIT!

Comment by Don Meyer 01.31.13 @ 9:50 am

I do love a scarf that goes fingertip to fingertip; it just feels so perfect somehow. Glad Richard will have one.

Comment by robinm 01.31.13 @ 11:27 am

Such a smart man to have chosen You for his wife! He’ll look fab in the scarf when it IS cold enough to wear it…like when you visit back East. :-)

Comment by Ruth 01.31.13 @ 6:18 pm

It is looking so handsome, and I bet the uneven color actually improves it, makes it richer and more interesting than one flat color.

Such a joy!

Comment by twinsetellen 01.31.13 @ 9:32 pm

I agree with Ellen. The color will have depth and uniqueness. And I know about making things long enough. While my guy’s wing span is only 74 inches, for his size that’s adding 4 inches to the sleeves of the flannel shirts I make him.

Comment by DebbieR 02.01.13 @ 6:47 am

I remember Robin and Russ. Spent many an hour in their shop.

Comment by Susan 02.03.13 @ 11:34 pm



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