Sunday, April 15, 2007

Peter's scarf

I made a scarf for Peter, one of the professors I work with, and it turned out even better than I thought it would.

Of all the people I know, Peter talks the most about death and mortality. Perhaps it's because he's Hungarian. Perhaps it's because he was a Jewish boy in Budapest during Nazi occupation. Perhaps it's just how he is. Here is an example of our conversations last spring (we had many little talks like this one):

Peter: Do you think I will make it through lecture today?

Me: Of course! Why not?

Peter: Well, you never know. I may open my mouth and the words may be gone.

Me: I'm sure you'll be fine.

Peter: Do you think that this problem with my voice is cancer?

Me: Your doctor said it's nodes on your vocal cords. How are you feeling otherwise?

Peter: Fine. But, we all must die. I think it's cancer.

He was right. Shortly after his diagnosis I asked Peter if he would like a scarf, but he didn't want me to knit him something until his health was better. I listened to Peter's request that I wait until he "survived" and put his scarf on a list of projects for later.

After treatment during the summer and a leave of absence in fall, Peter taught again in winter, and I was his TA again. He's recovered quite well, and I decided that his 70th birthday this month would be a good occasion to give him a scarf. He seemed very happy when I presented his gift, and was happy to model for my blog. He said, "Amanda, if I can lecture in front of 300 students, why would I worry about my picture on the internet?"

Scarf Details:

The scarf itself is made from Cascade 220. I cast on about 320 stitches and just knit, knit, knit away in the symmetrical stripe pattern.

As a design element I incorporated the "wrong side" of the garter at color changes on both sides of the scarf. Thus, it doesn't have a "wrong side."

Also, it was important to me to have both edges as similar as possible. So, I used "EZ's Sewn Bind-Off" (Elizabeth Zimmerman was a knitting genius!) to make the cast-off edge less obvious, and it worked like a charm. Several experienced knitters haven't been able to tell which edge was my cast-on and which was my cast-off!

The fringe was made by cutting the yarn and reattaching it at the end of each row, creating an instant fringe and eliminating the need to hide ends. I originally planned on trimming the ends to make a more even fringe, but several friends told me that they really liked the uneven look. So, I left it as it was.

I'm really happy with the finished scarf and will definitely use this technique again!


Jenny said...

I think that Peter is my favorite of your professors. I would like to meet him sometime. Perhapse he could come to my show in June?

I love you Panda!

quixote said...

That's such an adorable picture of Peter :-) Great-lookin' scarf. You can tell he loves it.

SmileSleep said...

Why is it that I have to climb 1,000 mountains to get to you and all you have to do is smile to get to me?

^_^ Laughter linked to health, happiness ^_^

Amanda said...

I think the comment from SmileSleep is an add. How odd. I've never gotten one before. I think I'll just leave it because it's an interesting anomaly.

elan said...

Isn't it lovely to know your work will be valued.

JulieFrick said...

Tell Peter he looks devilishly handsome in that photo. The scarf is wonderfully "manly" and professorial, to boot.

Desiknitter said...

What a lovely post! And a very handsome historian wearing a beautiful scarf. I also liked his comment about the 300 students and the internet.