Does one ever get to the point, when it comes to knitting, where you pick up a new pattern involving something kinda new and not quietly freak out about how impossibly hard it looks, and not be able to begin to fathom ever being able to make the project yourself? Does that ever stop?!
By this point I'd say I'm a comfortable beginner knitter - I have a few basic techniques and simple projects under my belt now and the fire in my belly is roaring enough that I have a number of aspirational 'one-day' goals tucked away in my head.
And yet 90% of knitting patterns that I look up online still look to me like some kind of magical spell has been performed - the yarn conjured and enchanted my spirits to weave and wind themselves into these intricate, textural, spiderwebs. I look at them and think HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE WITH JUST STICKS AND TWINE (for some reason my brain also goes all folk-horror at this point and defaults to 'sticks and twine', rather then 'needles and yarn' - this is the spell it casts over me!).
And yet, each time, I am proved wrong and I proceed to make the said thing! WOW!
Which is what happened with my latest completed project - the Aiki Seeded Rib Scarf from Tara-Lynn Morrison's Good Night, Day collection.
If you've been following the blog, you'll know that I've been on a real chunky yarn kick of late, thanks to Outlaw Yarn's introduction of Lissy Cole's Auhua Haukura range of fabulous and fun brightly hued chunky yarns. They've been the perfect thing to help me get some significant knitting hours under my belt, to help me learn to read my knitting, and to prove to myself that I am able to make garments - installing in me a level of trepidatious confidence and enthisiasm that will lead me into my next projects, in which I will be bravely returning to DK weight yarn and smaller.
I've previously made the Kingston Sweater and Carlisle Cardigan from the original Good Night, Day collection. To round off this mini-set I wanted to make an accessory from the book, and my eyes immediately gravitated to the Aiki Seeded Rib Scarf - a deliciously textural, snuggly number that was made immensely more attractive thanks to the abrupt and shocking jolt into Full On Winter, here in Ōtautahi.
However I immediately assumed that the seeded texture and pyramid-like ribs that run the length of the scarf, meant that it was far beyond my skill level.'
And yet, guess what, are you ready for a bombshell?! It's all just knits and purls!
I swear that 'IT'S JUST KNITS AND PURLS' is my knitting catchphrase and should be the title of my craft memoir. Every singe time I wince at the apparent complexity of a project only to be told 'it's just knits and purls'. Put it on a coffee mug! On a tee! I have a slogan!
I know that as I progress in my knitting adventures, the patterns I will tackle will be far from 'just knits and purls' - but it's still incredibly heartening, as a newbie, to know that 'just knits and purls' can get you surprisingly far!
The Aiki pattern itself was a surprisingly simple knit, once I got my head around the pattern configuration and learnt the two row variation that would eventually make the scarf.
Within six or so rows I could start to see the ribbing and pattern forming and as soon as you get to that stage you're well and truly set up for success. The beauty of the chunky yarn is that you can really easily read your knitting and you can very quickly see if you've misplaced a stitch or have made a mistake. Just as long as you gaze back over your row at the end of each one, you'll be sweet, and any mistakes you do make will be quickly caught and can be undone in a jiffy. I'm learning more and more to not be afraid of mistakes and to face them head on!
This pattern took four balls of Tūranga (green) from the Auaha Haukura range. Plus I had two-thirds of a ball of the Taumata (red) left over from my Kingston Sweater, which I decided to chuck on at the end - as I thought a pop of a clashing colour would be a fun addition, and no scarf will ever be worse-off from a little extra length.
It took about a week to make, and come together very easily once I got the hang of the pattern and knew what I was doing.
Surprisingly it was the first project I've made that hasn't been in the round, so one of my biggest challenges was getting my head around starting new rows, when I began!
If you're new to knitting and want a project to get your teeth into, but also zen out with at the same time, I can highly recommend the Aiki scarf. The short rows and repetition makes it very easy to pick up for a few stolen minutes, or to get lost in for a few hours. It's texture makes it a little more interesting and impressive feeing than a flat simple knit, and the chunky yarn knits up fast, meaning you won't get bored.
The end result is a deliciously chunky, snuggly and uber warm scarf that you can wrap your cute little noggin' up in on the coldest of days, keeping it toasty warm and oh so stylish all at once!
Oh! And a final adorable bonus point - as I was talking my flat-lay photos of this project it occurred to me that with the addition of the red, I'd completely accidentally made the scarf version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Which was eerily fitting as it was the same day that we sadly lost the author of the book, Eric Carl. So may this scarf be a little tribute to that fabulous book that we all grew up with!
All I need is a couple of google eyes...hmm....
As always, if you're inspired by this post to get a little neon and funky - pop on into Outlaw Yarn HQ and see the fabulous friendly and oh so knowledgeable team, they'll be so very thrilled to get you set up with everything you need to be making your own Aiki scarf, no matter where you're at in your knitting career - and yes, that includes YOU if you are new to knitting and looking to pick up the craft! You can do it! The scarf is within reach, I promise!
Until next time, happy knitting!
Pattern: Aiki Seeded Rib Scarf by Tara-Lynn Morrison - Good Night, Day
Pattern Link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/aiki-seeded-rib-scarf
Yarn: Lissy Cole Auaha Haukura in Tūranga and Taumata
Available from: Outlaw Yarn - in-store or online
I'm Lou, an Ōtautahi based personal stylist and craft-lover, and this is Never Been Knit - my journey from complete knitting virgin to...well, let's find out together!