The scarf project I can FINALLY blog about!

I’m still processing my thoughts and feelings on the Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat, so before I attempt to re-cap the weekend in a way that does it the justice it deserves, I thought I’d write a little bit about what I’ve referred to in the past as the “scarf project that I cannot blog about.”

At last year’s Spring Knitting Retreat, I volunteered to organize a fiber to scarf exchange amongst some of the guys who attended and planned to attend again this year. Each guy participating in the exchange supplied an amount of fiber that was sent out to another guy participating in the exchange to be spun and knit (or crocheted or woven or any other manner of construction) into a scarf, cowl, neck warmer, or other “scarf like” object for the guy who supplied the fiber.

So, why the secrecy? Why was I not able to blog about the scarf project I was knitting? Well, that’s because the whole exchange was done anonymously. No one knew whose fiber they were receiving, and no one knew who received the fiber they supplied, and with the brilliant co-organizing help from my dear spouse, I didn’t know either. Many of us at the retreat who participated in the exchange are also Facebook and Ravelry friends, we read each others blogs, follow each other on Twitter, and so on. The social media blackout regarding our exchange projects meant that no one would discover their assignments until the reveal at this year’s retreat.

Each guy provided a little bit of information about the fiber they supplied and a few other non-identifying bits of information which were passed along to the spinner/knitter. The guy spinning the fiber and knitting the scarf had complete control over the project from there. Not knowing who the project is for was supposed to alleviate any anxiety we might have about our work but I’m not sure how effective that was. I was very anxious about the scarf I made, as were several other guys. I don’t know what we were all so worried about though. Every scarf made was just amazing!

The fiber I received in the exchange was a blend of alpaca and Corriedale wool. I don’t recall the percentage, but the blend was really an enjoyable spinning experience, and there was about 11 or 12 ounces of the fiber. The blend created a very rustic looking singles which I decided to leave as a two ply. After mulling over several patterns and trying a couple that didn’t work out, I chose the Meadowbrook scarf pattern from Stephen West’s Book One. The simple ribbing was perfect for the yarn that I spun. The fuzziness of it would have obscured any other stitch pattern.

The Meadowbrook scarf I made for the exchangeSince supplementing the yarn we spun with other yarn was allowed in the exchange, I used some white and black mill spun yarns from my stash for the contrasting stripes and the reversible cable. Its recipient is absolutely thrilled with it.

The contrasting stripes and reversible cableAs am I with the scarf I received. The fiber I supplied was 8 ounces of Finn, Rambouillet, Corriedale cross roving from Spinner’s Hill in a mixture of purples and black, with just a smattering of pink. I was eager to see what it would become.

The fiber I sent for the exchange – photo courtesy of Michael WadeMy spinner/knitter chose the Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf pattern. It was the perfect choice for the yarn as it lets the colors of the yarn do the talking. The colors barber pole in and out of each other in addition to creating some solid spots. The overall effect in the scarf is just beautiful!

Beautiful colors and a beautiful scarfOrganizing the fiber to scarf exchange was great fun, and now that this year’s retreat is over, we’ll soon be planning another exchange for next year. I think I may have my fiber picked out already too, and I’m already looking forward to what it’s going to become!

Have a great weekend everyone, and be sure to check in next week for a complete recap of the 2012 Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat.

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