Obsessed? Maybe….but am I having FUN?! YES!!!

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018

Yet another shawl! This time it’s 874 yards of lace weight yumminess in 100% superwash merino wool by Manos Del Uruguay Marina in the colour Petrol.

O.K., so I’m going to be giving my age away with this post! Does anyone else remember those scarf rings from the 1970’s? My Mother had one that she absolutely loved and wore all the time with her large collection of scarves. I always liked the idea of the scarf ring, but never really got the aesthetic of the mass-produced ones. They were always so tacky and made out of “white” metal, or what most of us know as costume jewellery material.

I thought knitting 798 yards of lace weight (see September’s blog post) was a massive job, but the last 76 yards of this lace weight yarn really pushed me to my “am I EVER going to finish this” limit. I got there with the help of an interesting 8 stitch bind off technique, followed by switching tools – replacing my 2.5 mm knitting needles with a 2.5 mm crochet hook and single chaining the last rows until I ran out of yarn.

So, after finally finishing this behemoth, I blocked it. Then the real fun started as got to play around with all that knitted yardage. As I was draping it around one of my blouse forms, the memory of my Mother’s scarf ring crept back into my head. I ended up having to Google it to remember exactly what she had, but as soon as I saw an example, it all came flooding back.

The “tube” is a great shape to use as a scarf/shawl accessory. And the ease with which you can add it to your knitted fabric in different ways makes it perfect for giving your outfit that finishing touch.

The picture above shows the scarf ring used horizontally with each end of the scarf pulled through from either side. You can pull it tighter to your neck or leave it looser depending on how you want it look, and how you have wrapped the scarf/shawl around you.

The picture below shows it turned vertically, with a knot tied underneath the ring, just to secure the ring/tube into place.

Scarf/Shawl Ring Shown Vertically, with both ends of the shawl pulled through from the same direction and then a knot tied in the knitted fabric below the ring.

Figuring out the scarf ring took a fair bit of experimenting in the workshop: making this thing, that thing, and then this other thing; plus a few others, just to get it right. It amazed me how long it took to get the size and the weight of the tube just right.

I was pretty sure this prototype would be too heavy, although I loved the width of the tube and the thickness of the wire I used. When it weighed in at almost 50 grams of sterling silver, I thought I was sunk!  But it actually works really well – hooray – and  it totally suits the gauge of the fabric and large yardage I got out of the yarn.

Here are some closer shots:

Close up of sterling Bauhaus Scarf Ring: yes that’s what I am going to call it, as it is a continuation of my Bauhaus designs. Now I have a Bauhaus Shawl Pin and a Bauhaus Scarf Ring.

I have doubled wrapped the tube. The inside tube (that you pull the material through) is a “smooth” row of rings, so your scarf material won’t get caught. Then I “overwrapped” it again, with purpose and at random. To give it more structure and strength, I melted both ends of the wire into “balls” and then soldered the balled ends and the outside rings on both ends. As a finish, I oxidized the sterling silver, stripped off some of the “black” oxidation, flame melted “conservator’s wax” over it and then buffed the surface to a soft sheen finish. The wax helps to preserve the oxidized finish.

Shown vertically. There are many ways you can wear it. I am just showing a couple of ideas.

As to the shawl pattern, I am proud to say it is my own creation. After seeing a pattern called “Hitchhiker” and all the buzz it created, I was inspired. I realized I didn’t need a pattern – with all the knitting I have done, I could create my own. And I set about to figure it out myself.

I decided to use a lace weight yarn because you get way more yardage/skein. I found the skein with the most yardage at my local yarn store and away I went. Here’s the thing about shawls: even though they are a labour of love, the resulting piece is something that you wear a lot. They’re great to travel with because they don’t take up much space, but are large enough to keep you warm. And the cost of the yarn won’t break the bank. This skein cost me about $35.00. I am now knitting another one in the same yarn but a different colour, hoping it will be done and on display, along with this one, at The Winter One of a Kind Show that runs from November 22nd – December 2nd.

I have also decided to write up my pattern and will be releasing it on Ravelry shortly. Yep, I’m soon to be a published knitting designer!! And if you purchase of one of my shawl pins or scarf rings at the One of a Kind Show, you will receive a promotional code to go and download my pattern for free from my Ravelry page.

Oh, and speaking of shawl pins, here’s another picture of my progress on the Love Knot Shawl Pins in all the different combinations of metals I have come up with so far.