Sky Scarf

I finally spent the time to learn to knit last year, and over the last 6 months, I have been knitting and crocheting more than I have been sewing.  I’ve been missing my sewing machine though, so I’m sure I will be making some things soon.  I have some home decorating projects in my short-term action plan.  Kimara over at Wee Folk Art posted about this Sky Scarf in December as she had given her granddaughter a knitting Christmas gift of all the yarn to make this sky scarf and they were going to work on it together.  I think it’s a lovely idea to give a gift that is not just “something” but the gift of dedicated time spent together.

The idea behind the Sky Scarf is that you choose a selection of sky colors of yarn (blues, grays, whites, etc.), and you note the color of the sky every day.  You knit two rows of your scarf in the colors of the sky per day.  Theoretically, after a year of knitting, you would have 730 rows of knitting (732 in Leap Year!).  I had also seen the sky scarf making the rounds on Pinterest, but hadn’t really thought about making one for myself.

Then I came across the Conceptual Knitters forum on Ravelry, which was started by Lea Redmond who designed the idea behind the scarf (see also pattern page on Ravelry).  Seeing the works in progress, I got inspired and decided to start one of my own!  Looking through the projects that people had in progress on Ravelry helped me decide on the type of yarn to use, size of needles, design of the scarf, etc.  I love Ravelry!  Not everyone has decided to do the color of the sky every day.  Some people decided to make a weight loss scarf with different colors representing losses/gains/etc.  Others are doing temperature changes because their sky color doesn’t change very often.  Some are adding beads to represent different things like snow or rain.  It is fun to read about all of the different interpretations.

I chose to use Knit Picks Palette in Sky, Blue, White, Silver, Mist and Ash.  Palette is 100% wool in a fingering weight.  I am using two strands of colors per day, so for example, if it’s a light blue sky day with puffy white clouds, I will use Sky and White.  For a snowy, overcast day, I am using Silver and White.  Dark stormy clouds?  Perhaps Silver and Ash, or Blue and Ash, depending on how the sky has changed throughout the day.  It’s been a lot of fun to remember to note down the sky each day.  I’m trying to keep to around the noon-time hour, but I’m not going to stress about it.  Here is my Ravelry project page which I’m keeping updated with my progress.  For Blue, Sky and Silver, I divided the yarn in half, so that I could do two strands of the same color if the day’s weather warranted it.

I started out using size 4 needles which is what the pattern called for.  However, the pattern is for lace weight, and I’m using fingering weight.  It wasn’t turning out too well (I’m a new knitter, so have to learn these things through trial and error!), so I took it out, and am now using a size 7 needle.  It’s working much better!  Lots of people are doing standard garter stitch scarves, but I decided I wanted to try a pattern.  I saw someone was using the Favorite Scarf Ever pattern by Lisa Bruce (SunshineWalks), and as that pattern (Ravelry link) had been in my queue for quite some time, I decided this was a perfect opportunity to try it out.  I had to watch several You Tube videos to figure out all the stitches (there aren’t really very many, I’m just new to them).  The 3-4 times that I started over were good practice for figuring out the pattern.  But now I’m moving along, and I’m so happy with it!  I probably won’t go for a whole year.  That would make a pretty long scarf.  I’ll probably just keep going until it’s a length that I like.  The scarf pattern actually calls for doing it in two halves, and then seaming them in the middle so that the chevron pattern is symmetrical when it’s draped over your neck.  I’m not sure I will do that with this daily weather concept, but we’ll see how it goes as I get further along.  I absolutely love the Favorite Scarf Ever pattern though and am already starting another one in a variegated yarn.

Now I just need to figure out how to keep all my yarn from tangling as I knit the daily rows.  You keep the yarn going and carry it up along the edge in a twist pattern.  So, my scarf has 9 strands coming off of it at all times, even though I’m only knitting with two at a time.  It’s already getting a little out of control.  I’m thinking I need a cloth basket with little partitions for each ball of yarn.  So perhaps my sewing machine WILL get some use this week!

Bread Baking

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.  We had family visiting for about three weeks, which was wonderful, but kept us pretty busy.  Things have finally settled down with the New Year, and we have been enjoying settling into a winter routine (sans the feet of snow that we usually have).  We only have about 6 inches (or less) of snow down on the ground which is making enjoying our normal winter outdoor activities a bit difficult!  I haven’t even pulled out my snow shoes yet this year.

We finally got some snow (about 6in) last Thursday!

I bought Hubby a sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour for Christmas.  He has been having a great time experimenting with all the things that you can do with it!  And I have been enjoying the taste-testing.  We really enjoyed the Classic Sourdough Waffle recipe from KAF (made with no modifications except for using powdered buttermilk).  The kids even loved them!  And they froze well.  (Re-heat on a light setting in your toaster.)

What Hubby has most been working on however is his perfect sourdough bread.  He wanted a crunchy exterior, a nice interior with a good crumb/texture.  He tried the Rustic Sourdough Bread recipe from KAF, and while the kids and I really liked it, he didn’t like the crumb.  It was too “sandwich bread-y”, if you know what I mean.  So, he thinks he finally settled on a favorite recipe.  (Although I’m sure he will keep tweaking it.)  He’s going to share it on his blog in the next few days, but here’s a little teaser….

He had me make it by myself yesterday so he could test the recipe and make sure the instructions were clear.  It is so yummy!!

UPDATE: Here is a direct link to his recipe.  He continues to tweak it, and I’m sure he’ll be posting some new ones over time.  He made a great one with rye flour the other day that the kids loved.