Living la vida lockdown: the knit that keeps on giving

When I was 16 I fell in love with a scarf. A red scarf. A chunky red scarf. Oh it was so chunky and so red. It was nearly two metres long with tassels down both sides and cost about £200. Needless to say, my neck went unadorned as I left the shop. Ridiculous though such an accessory may have seemed to her, my mother had nevertheless taken a look at it and concluded that it would be simple enough of me to knit one myself and she would happily purchase the necessary materials – a pair of 20mm needles and five balls of wool at the time came to under £30. We decided on blue rather than red, ( I believe my dear mother found the scarf to be ostentatious enough without the bold colour and also advised only a single side of tassels), but otherwise this was going to be my dream scarf. And so it was, for many years. The end.

*scarf too long to fit in photo

Don’t worry, this story has a sequel, because a few years ago I made my sister a hat, in a chunky red wool which reminded me of the beloved scarf. My train of thought led me to the idea of making a hat to match my existing scarf and I immediately got to work using up the last of the yarn which I still had amongst my supplies. Obviously, I ran out of yarn almost before finishing the ribbing, naively hoping that 15 years later Rowan might still be producing that exact shade. They were not. Undeterred, I considered unravelling part of my extraordinarily long scarf to use the yarn for my hat. It was a somewhat delicate manoeuvre as the fibres had become entangled over so many years of wear, though this actually worked to my benefit because I was in no danger of unravelling too much at once. My scarf-to-beanie-graft was now complete, with the scarf making an admirable recovery despite a loss of 50cm. I was even able to use the spare tassels to fashion a pom-pom for the top of the hat. Talk about waste not want not!

I am now planning all sorts of reincarnation (reincarknits?) from old projects with which I am dissatisfied. Watch this space..!

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