Trellis Scarf Completed, or, A Pointed Problem

It’s done! It’s done! Trellis Scarf was fun to knit; the pattern (Interweave Knits, March 2006) created by Evelyn A. Clark offered just enough stitch variation to keep it entertaining, but not so much that it could not be memorized. The yarn, a prize from Tiennie last year, was one skein of hand-dyed machine washable merino, Lace Wing Sock, in Crimson from Angora Valley and was a perfect knitting companion and behaved itself well. Ironically, and this was not planned, Tiennie announced the winners of her yarn giveaway on April 14, 2007 and I finished it on April 9, almost one year later. Thank you, Tiennie! Of course, it didn’t take that long to make, it’s just that I don’t have a lot of knitting time since my son stopped taking naps a year ago.

The only thing I did not like about the way the scarf ended, and I mean this as no criticism of the designer, but it just bugged me the way the end did not exactly mirror the beginning. The way the pattern ends is without the points that it started with at the beginning, and although blocking would probably have created the points, I was a obsessed about it and just had to have points knitted into the end of the scarf. So even though I’d technically finished the scarf on April 7, I ripped the end out numerous times as I sought a solution. I researched numerous books in my substantial library, but found no solution, all in search of pointers on making points. Finally, to achieve that end I found Stephanie on Ravelry, and visited her website for her solution to these points. Poignantly, Stephanie was apparently equally obsessed with this pointed problem, and she went to great pains to solve it. She even created a chart and has made it available to others in search of the Holy Grail of Trellis Scarf endpoints. Blessings upon you Stephanie!

In a nutshell, what Stephanie did was where there should be a point on the end, she knit into the front, then the back, and then the front of a stitch, but when I did that with my yarn it created a big whole with the one stitch from which three were created. So I did something really weird: I knit into the stitch below the next live stitch on the left needle (making st 1), then knit into the live stitch itself (making st 2), and then again into the same stitch below but on the other side of the stitch 2 (making st 3). Finally, when blocked, the end sufficiently mimics the points at the beginning to satisfy my need for perfection. Whew! So, without further adieu, I present to you, Trellis Scarf:

The third picture is the beginning of the whole thing, with its lovely points, and the fifth picture is the end with its mimicked points. For a comparison, the picture below shows the mimicked endpoints on the left and the beginnging endpoints on the right.


Noodles To Make Nana Proud

It’s been a long time coming, but over the past 7 years my husband and I have been on a quest to recreate my Italian grandmother’s pasta. In truth, I started the whole challenge on my own, as part of an attempt to enjoy a slice of the memorable cooking I never learned from Nana, as we grandkids referred to her. My husband (the resident Alton Brown) soon took over the project and tried as he might, he came close but never quite hit the mark. That is, until tonight. Tonight he found the right ratio of flour and egg to create the pasta that Nana made: so light that you can eat it and not feel weighted-down. I have not enjoyed her pasta since 1995, but tonight, Nana’s pasta was resurrected. The even more amazing thing is that my husband never met Nana and never experienced her pasta, he just went by my description. Pasta by Husband; marinara sauce by Rao’s Homemade; inspiration by Nana. Simply amazing. Even the Parmigiano-Reggiano from Trader Joe’s that topped the pasta was unusually fresh and smooth.  Perfection!

Now if I could just recreate Nana’s bagel-like anise seed ciamella (sorry, I don’t know how to spell it), but I’ll just have to wait.

Trellis and Wisp are on a fast race to finish first, and here is Trellis hanging around in an unlikely location, the kitchen. Approximately, 60% done.

7-into-5 Cluster

Working on Evelyn Clark’s Trellis Scarf (Interweave Knits Magazine, Spring 2006), early on you will come across the 7-into-5 cluster step. Some people dread it and for others it’s not that big of a deal. For me, I misplaced my instructions while out of town and had nothing to go on, so I looked online; that was a mistake, because by reading other’s accounts, it sounded much worse than it really is. In reality, it just amounts to a minor speed bump in the whole project, and if anything, it makes the project more interesting. Although I found the instructions for the cluster hard to visualize, once I understood it, it was easy. As the instructions suggest, I highly recommend using a small crochet hook to accomplish it.

Here are some step-by-step pictures of the 7-into-5 cluster (pictures taken with one hand on the camera!):

1) Insert the crochet hook into the 7 stitches on the left needle.

2) Hook the yarn and pull it through the 7 stitches.

3) Place the new stitch on the right needle while leaving the 7 stitches on the left needle.

4) Make one yarn-over (yo) stitch on the right needle.

5) Place the crochet hook through the 7 stitches again, hook the yarn and pull it through the 7 stitches. Although not pictured, this new stitch is then placed on the right needle, along with the preceding 2 stitches (that’s 1 hooked st and 1 yo st).

6) At this point, it’s just a matter of repeating steps 1-5 until there are 5 new stitches on the right needle (that’s 3 hooked sts and 2 yo sts, alternating), while you still have the original 7 on the left needle.

7) The original 7 sts can be removed from the left needle, and the rest of the pattern chart can be followed. Here is the row with the new 5-sts clusters that replaced the 7-sts.

Trailing Trellis

Trellis Scarf is finally beginning to take shape after a year of trying to get it going. Caught-up with other projects, I had barely started Trellis when it went on hold for the holidays. I had the chance this past week to really get some progress on the pattern and get used to it, and now it’s flowing along nicely. I hit a minor road block though with the one tricky step in: 7-stitches-into-5. I researched it on Ravelry and on a couple of blogs, and really didn’t find much help, but with the help of Lauren at So Much Yarn, I was able understand the maneuver. You really do need a small crochet hook to make it work best and, hopefully, I can post pictures of the process soon, but for now the above picture of the point of intersection will have to serve as an example.

On the home front, we were supposed to go to a friend’s daughter’s wedding today, that is, my son (G-man) and I, since my husband was running the sound system for the wedding and he had to be there an hour ahead, but we never made it because G-man fell into the toilet just as we were getting ready! He was pretty mad as he sat there with his backside in the toilet bowl and his arms and legs sticking out; an indignant look on his face. I had a good laugh, but it soon became obvious that the dress and full make-up (I rarely wear more than mascara, concealer, and lipstick) I was wearing were all for naught as he needed a quick bath. Oh well.