Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ressurection of a UFO

October seems like a good time for the resurrection of the dead, that is to say, a UFO (UnFinished Object), right? I was packing up to head to San Francisco, thinking about how the weather has turned all autumnal in the last few days, and wondering what I should take to wear that was dressy but still warm. While hunting for my belt, I came across this unfinished scarf hanging in my closet.

I started this waaaaay back when I learned to knit (the second time, 5 years or so ago). I went to a fancy yarn store for the first time and was overwhelmed by the variety of yarns that were available... having only been to craft stores with Red Heart and Lion Brand, the variety and luxuriousness of the fibers overwhelmed me. I immediately conceived of a scarf made of a variety of different textures, all in the same color, and bought a handful of different yarns. I set to work, and created what you see there. The variety of textures are indeed striking - it manages to be soft and flashy at the same time. However. I had not yet learned the glory of swatching, and in my haste to get started, I simply threw some stiches on and went at it. It ended up a tiny thing, both skinny (the chenille had way less yardage than anything else) and short.

I've been unable to bring myself to do anything with this - the yarns are all cut, so pulling it out to start over wouldn't put me much ahead (though admittedly, my technique has improved quite a bit). Weaving in the ends - many, many ends - seemed to be admitting that it was finished, and unable to be improved.

Today, as I was looking at it, I realized what it really needed was tassels. I have long been anti-tassel, some think strangely so. But. In this case, it would flesh out the length of the scarf and make it wearable, at least for a short person like me. Digging through my stash, I found that most of the yarn that went into making this scarf was used up (in the case of the chenille) or had long since been appropriated to other projects. But I have a secret stash of spare ends, where I keep the leftover balls that are too small to make even wristwarmers with, but large enough to maybe be incorporated into some sort of stash busting project some day. Or... for an occasion like this. I dug through it looking for red.

Ah ha! I found one yarn from the original project (the burgundy ball pictured above) and two others that had different textures, which would blend in with the yarns from the original project. I would make tassels out of these yarns, and as I knotted them on, incorporate the dangling ends from the original project, thus not only saving myself the trouble of weaving them in, but blending the tassel yarn with the yarn from the original project. I apologize for the bad photo quality (laziness dictated the use of my webcam instead of a real camera), but you can somewhat see that the density of fiber hanging from the end makes the difference between "unfinished" and "I did this on purpose."

And here is the finished project. Now you can see both how short it was, and that the tassel solves that problem and makes it look more finished. If you saw it in person, you'd see how the varied texture of the original scarf made subbing in new yarns an acceptable solution, and that the dangling ends help bridge everything together.

I'm quite happy with the way this turned out. It didn't even cost me anything, other than the original sunk cost of the yarn, from 5 years ago. The other yarn I used was waste yarn from other projects. And now, I have a dressy yet warm scarf to wear this winter. I think it will be perfect for the holiday season.

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