On a trip to Edinburgh I found a lovely little yarn store called k1 yarns knitting boutique and spent a happy hour or so admiring (and buying) yarn and planning projects. The owner was really helpful and when I explained I was new to knitting she offered advice on what sort of projects I might want to try next. She convinced me to give sock knitting a go (that's for another blog post!), and flicked through some recent magazines. One had a scarf in which I loved, and I really regretting not buying the magazine. But a few days later I discovered I could get an electronic copy for the iPad which actually worked out cheaper than the paper copy and much more convenient. Then it was just a small matter of learning new skills – it looked like a really complicated pattern.
I wanted to do it in a similar colour and found a yarn on special offer in Loop Knitting in London (another lovely yarn store!). The staff there helped me out and I got enough yarn to do the scarf. I still wasn't sure I'd be able to manage the pattern but decided to take it on the plane with me when I went to California in June – it was a 10.5hrs flight so I had plenty of time to try it out. It was my first time using a chart so that took a bit of figuring out, but the pattern was actually pretty straight forward once I'd got the hang of yarn overs and ssk (slip slip knit) – and starting using stitch markers to make it even easier.
I'd been alternating the scarf and other projects over summer but when I was on annual leave at the end of August I decided to try to get it finished. And I did! You knit the scarf to the end, and then drop the required stitches after you have finished – here's the scarf before the stitches were dropped:
Dropping the stitches is a bit terrifying (I was convinced I would have made a mistake somewhere along the 180cm of knitting which would create a big hole!), but thankfully it all worked out OK, and I love the final product. Here's a close up of the pattern with the stitches dropped:
The project was really enjoyable once I'd got the hang of the pattern, and really helped give me confidence in trying more challenging patterns. I won't be so scared of dropped stitches now!