A couple of weeks ago I mentioned working on a little project for my grandmother-in-law (is that even a word?), D’s beloved grandmother. Or properly speaking in Friesian, his Beppe. She is ill and recently celebrated what may be her last birthday, so I wanted it to be a special birthday gift. And of course in many cases making a gift with your own hands is probably much nicer than something store-bought, especially if you want to express your love for and appreciation of the recipient.
I wanted this one to be a little frivolous (because life is serious enough as it is), something sweet and lovely to look at.
My daughters picked a skein of Malabrigo silky merino from my stash. I have no idea what colourway – could it be Arco Iris? I spent an enjoyable hour trolling Ravelry for a suitable pattern and finally picked Grace Mcewen’s Leafy Cabled Neck Warmer as suitably frivolous. It is one pattern from the Tangled Leaves e-book, which contains 10 patterns inspired by nature. You can also find Grace’s patterns in her KnitChicGrace shop Etsy here.
The leafy neck warmer is a quick yet challenging knit (the leaves in particular require a bit of undistracted attention), especially for a beginner like me. It is knit in two halves, which are then grafted together.
Since I blocked the first half I had to do the other one as well, but I think I preferred the unblocked version. It had more body and the leaves really stood out in relief. Unfortunately I cannot show you any pictures of my own (because I forgot to make some) but I think Grace’s pattern on Ravelry shows an unblocked version.
Also I could not figure out how it was supposed to be worn. None of the yarnovers created holes big enough to pass the other end through, so in the end I crocheted a little loop that does the job perfectly. To be honest I’m not sure how wearable it really is as a scarf or how warm it is as a neck warmer but it certainly looks pretty. Especially in this beautiful yarn.
All in all I was pretty happy with the result. I would knit this pattern again and experiment with yarns and gauges, as well as blocking intensity (the Malabrigo silky merino did a ‘whoosh’ relaxation act when blocked, it flattened out rather a lot).
The girls decorated a bag and were very excited to present our gift to Beppe, who is their great-grandmother of course. It must be such a privilege to live long enough to see your children’s children’s children…