Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oregon Pink Scarf is Born

Knitted or crochet scarves to wear in the summer? Why not?

If you're lucky enough to live close to the ocean or a lake, or if you work in an overly air-conditioned office, you need some summertime scarves. I keep one in my desk drawer at the office along with extra socks, leg-warmers, hand-warmers, and a heating pad. When that air conditioning kicks in at full blast, it's preparation that counts. (A colleague even keeps a blanket and a hat in her cubicle.) And at the beach, you want to look stylish when you layer up.

Good fibers for warmer weather include cotton, linen, flax, bamboo, and rayon. They breathe better than the cold weather fibers and they have a nice drape. You can block them or not depending on the effect that you want. I like unblocked or mildly blocked summer scarves so I can stuff them in a beach bag or briefcase without feeling guilty.

On June 8 of this year, my partner, Mr. ChaCha, & I decided to go on a day trip to get out of the house and celebrate some long-awaited nice weather and blue skies. We decided to drive up to Mt. Hood to have dinner at Timberline Lodge, where part of the movie, The Shining, was filmed. (City slickers that we are, we didn't much consider that it would be COLDER at 6,000 feet elevation than it was on that balmy day in Portland.)

Since Mr. ChaCha was kind enough to drive, I was able to start knitting from a cone of yarn I had gotten from a fun store in Portland called Yarnia which allows you to custom select multiple thin fibers to be wound onto a single cone for knitting together. The strands are not plied, so the end result gives a mottled effect similar to that of a knitted marled yarn.

These are the fibers I had chosen at Yarnia: (1) the top strand is a pale pink linen/cotton blend, (2) the middle one is a variegated rayon/cotton blend of pinks and burgundy, and (3) the bottom strand is a medium pink of raw silk and polyester. They were intended to become a beach scarf--something you can use in Oregon even in the middle of summer.

While Mr. ChaCha merrily drove I happily cast on . After a couple of inches of scarf were knitted and many miles were driven, we both realized that it had become noticeably cooler and observed that, silly us, we had each worn a light spring jacket. This is not so much an issue for him because he's a warm-blooded hunk of a guy, but I run cold. Naturally, then, I immediately thought of knitting by the fire in the lodge while Mr. ChaCha hiked around outside taking photos with the camera he had brought along.

As we got closer to Timberline, we were additionally surprised at how much snow was on the ground--and freshly fallen snow, at that--in June! To get some idea of the accumulation of snow, observe the people walking down the front stairs of the lodge. It had snowed the previous evening and more snow was expected that night. Now it was downright cold outside!

After a great meal I settled in for knitting in the lodge while Mr. ChaCha took photos. One of my favorites is this shot of Mt. Jefferson shot from the rear of Timberline Lodge.

The time passed quickly and the sky started getting dark. Unknown to me, I had been candidly photographed working busily in the lodge.

It was time to hightail it out of that neck of the woods, before more snow started to fall. On the drive back to Portland, it was too dark to knit!

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