Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Hooded Scarf - Finished

This was more of a marathon than a sprint.  I started it on December 21 on the way to Oregon, and finished it last night, on February 6th.  Note to self - if making a pattern with cables, don't use fuzzy yarn.  You totally can't see those cables, and they made the whole thing take about twice as long to make.  I'm also not thrilled with how it looks, stitchwise, I would have liked it to be more stockinette-y, like the hood - but it IS very soft and warm.

My original plan was to make this with yarn that I spun, but I didn't get enough yarn spun in time for the trip, so I bought yarn, and spent more on yarn alone than I would ever spend for a scarf.  I met someone recently who has made a garment with wool from sheep that she owned.  She did all the steps from birthing the sheep, shearing and preparing the wool, through spinning the yarn and weaving the garment.  Neat. 

I don't plan on ever doing that - I'm not that much of a purist.  But I wanted to understand all the steps from fiber to garment, to understand where the labor is and where the money could potentially be.  Note:  The money is not in spinning or knitting.  There may be money in yarn, but not in handspinning it (at least relative to the labor input).


  1. I think you deserve a whole lot of credit for the complicated knitting you've learned to do in such a short time.

    Yeah, taking the time to knit cables should be done with yarn that is smooth and plain so that they SHOW OFF! Reminds me of the time I made a quilted pattern using the Drunkard's Path block (lots of fussy-putzy curves) but used such wild, colorful fabric that when it was done you couldn't even FIND the difficult curves I had slaved over. (Hate those dang learning curves.)

    But no matter what you would change, your hooded scarf is going to keep your noggin toasty warm when you're out on a cold winter's morning feeding and watering your goats!

  2. So Jordan,
    Would you make this again? Sometimes you make things you'd do over and over and sometimes, once it enough. Why don't we both think of something we can do/make from home and then we don't have to leave if we don't want to, except to mail out our packages...and we can do that on the computer and have them picked up!!

  3. Karen Sue - I wouldn't make this again. I contemplated frogging this, but it was too much work to knit! What have you knitted that you'd do over and over?

    Thanks Mama Pea - you know how sometimes you get halfway through something and then realize it wouldn't be all that great? And then you finish it anyway, out of sheer cussedness? Yeah?

  4. Jordan, I think it's beautiful! You did a nice job! I'm amazed at all the things you are trying!

    I know you've mentioned wanting to learn new skills to earn a living from your homestead.... so I can see the value of experimenting.

    I bet if you start your goat weed-eating business, you can also market cheese products alongside pretty easily.

    I really enjoy hearing what you're doing!

  5. Jordan-
    I find knitting a basic hat sort of mindless and therapeutic (I think is bad spelling!) But I just wish I looked better in hats! My aunt knits many baby sweaters that zip up the back and they are wonderful, but I think my baby days are sort of gone. Not ready for the grandma days yet! I just change out the yarn on the hats and keep knitting...the brim rolls and I throw in some stripes..we did a bunch in our school colors...they're everywhere at our house...more from my over-90 knitter than from me! this one is alpaca...

  6. I'm stealing the phrase "fussy-putzy curves" and will avoid them from now on.

  7. I think it looks great! And it will definitely be warm :) Believe it or not, there can be money in handspun yarn. There are a lot of knitters out there who appreciate the value of quality handspun, and will pay reasonably well for it. Not a huge burgeoning market, but it's there. I see it going anywhere fro $20+ for 140ish yds to $70+ for some of the really funky art yarns. I think, though, that you really need to love spinning to be happy doing it on a production level.

    How well would Angora goats suit your proposed goat business? There's money in mohair - could Angoras serve for milk and fiber, as well as "lawn-mowing?"

  8. Alison - loving spinning is it exactly! I don't, so far, and it took me maybe 10 hours to get 212 yards of handspun. Now, I saw 4 oz of funky roving sold at a yarn store for, like $30. Amazing. There's money there!

    I was thinking of angoras! They only make enough milk for their chilluns, no extra, and I'd need to put jackets on them if they're weed eaters. But I was thinking that maybe I could sell sustainable "weed eating cheese" and have dairy goats - only half jokingly.