Friday, September 28, 2012



Sometimes, plain and simple is best.  A scarf like this, nothing more than garter stitch, worked on 32 stitches with US size 6 needles (the most beautiful vintage bakelite needles you have in your collection, glossy with patina), knit until the yarn is used up, can be a companion in difficult times, soothing and meditative.  Worn, it can be the perfect foil for your beautiful face, dressed up in red lipstick, dangled with big hoop earrings.  It can be the most ordinary, most reached-for scarf in the basket.  Warm, a comfort. 


There were times in my knitting life when I felt I was way above the humble garter stitch scarf, that to wear one was the mark of a beginner, or worse yet, it seemed to me, the mark of a non-knitter.  Well, learning for me is non-linear, and I am cycling circularly back around to the beginning now, to an unabashed love affair with the plain and simple.   I’ve learned most of knitting’s fancy tricks, but this one, this back-and-forth without looking at my work, this feeling for the stitch and knowing it will be there, this intimacy I have with yarn and needles, the way we understand each other, is what drives me to it.  It feels like knitting loves me back. 


This particular scarf has its own story—it was requested of me by a sixteen year-old boy, the son of a dear friend, and he asked for it to be as simple as possible.  He chose the yarn.  He said all his friends would be jealous.  With that, there has been nothing but reward for me in making it for him.  And now I want to make one for myself, too, in Candy Apple Red, to match my lipstick. 


The cowl goes to Lynne!  Thank you all for playing.  :)


  1. congrats to lynne!!
    P.S.: simple things are the best!! And this scarf has a lovely story, too!!!
    happy weekend, xxx Ale

  2. Lovely post.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. Yes, congrats to Lynne! And about the scarf and simple things I totally agree :-). You've described it so well. Sometimes I also like something just very simple in my hands with no need to look at or even count stitches. And it looks so great in the end! I'm sure your apple red one will be gorgeous :-)

  4. How lovely to have a real-live teenage boy ASK you to knit something for him. Reward indeed. It is pretty smart looking.

  5. That is so cool having a teenage boy ask for a hand knitted scarf - I hope he enjoys wearing it.
    As perfect as it is is in the simple natural colour, it will be gorgeous in red!
    Congrats to lucky Lynne!
    Have a great weekend Kristen
    Gill xx

  6. I think I am going to make one and leave it hanging around my 17 (Oh my goodness, I still can't get my head round my baby is 17 today) boys coat in the hope that he just might, you never know pick it up on a cold day, just because it is there!!

    I have a dark grey alpaca, wound with a light grey one that would go with a jumper of his......

    Thank you x

  7. Thank goodness it's not the mark of a non-knitter!I've just finished a Color Affection done totally in garter stitch and am now on another pattern from the same designer called 'Simple Sprinkle', again done all in the humble garter stitch!You're right about it being soothing and meditative too. Good weekend to you, my friend.

  8. I've been crocheting for about 18 months and would call myself fairly accomplished :o) I've been drawn to try knitting recently and bought my first needles. I'm at the beginning and found it comforting to hear your feelings about going back to the start. I hope I'm an accomplished enough knitter someday to be able to go back to my roots as well. Thank you.

  9. Lovely, makes me want to pick up my needles ♥

  10. Ahhh, what a lovely post, and simple really can't be beaten. LOVE that this teenage young man asked you for this, and even dearer that you made it. No one forgets someone making them something by hand... Makes us feel treasured, D don't you think?

  11. My favorite has always been the garter stitch, lovely scarf and post Kristen!

  12. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on the virtues of simplicity - and I love the idea of the teenagers's friends being jealous of his handmade scarf.

  13. How wonderful that a 16 year old boy has made the request for this lovely scarf. Simple is definitely sometimes all that is needed to make a statement. And quick and easy is just what we need to feel a sense of accomplishment. I started a granny square yesterday; the repetitive motion, the ease of the stitches, makes it very soothing -- I think I almost fell asleep a time or two when I closed my eyes as I hooked along. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  14. Thank you Kristen! I know I'm going to enjoy that cowl, just as soon as the weather turns.
    I like what you said about your knitting. Your love for the needles shows in all your beautiful work. Looks like that young man has good taste!

  15. Thanks for your lovely post. It is a treat to visit you, Kristen. I am excited by all of your wonderful productivity, and now encouraged to enjoy the simple things I can do as well as challenging myself to learn more. xx from Gracie

  16. I so agree with you, I have been knitting a long time, which does not mean I am even near an expert, but sometimes simple is best. I usually have a go to simple project on hand that is in my car, I grab and go and I never have to think about it. Although garter stitch tends to grow slowly, I love the way I just knit, no looking down at the needles and yarn, just feeling every stitch move across the needles is a joy,
    Happy Weekend,

  17. The most simple things are the ones we all seem to love the most. It's wonderful that a young man would love to have such a nice scarf for the winter handmade by you. You are so sweet to make this for him. congrats to Lynne on receiving the cowl!!!


  18. I really like this. It looks very warm. I also really love the slouchy hat from two posts ago. So cute!!! :)

  19. I 100%agree ....simple is always the most elegant for me ... I want to make one for me also in a oatmeal color is just perfect :) love it .... But I always love everything you do ... You have a way to make things look elegant and Lucius !,!!
    Which yarn did u use ???

  20. Definitely a scarf to match your lipstick:)

  21. Aaaah, it brings back memories of learning to knit and making a garter stitch scarf (although back then mine was a lot more holey than yours!!!). And congrats to Lynne - what a lovely, well deserving woman she is!

    Have a fab weekend hon.