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?"
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!