Please do not worry
That’s what it says in the instructions for my Habu Kit- a Kusha Kusha Scarf.
It also says: Must make gauge swatch for this Kit. Yes, that’s right, bold letters.
But then it says: Please do not be too concerned or worried getting the gauge perfectly. There should always be an extra amount of yarn to finish the project.
So, if there’s more than enough yarn and if the gauge isn’t all that important why is making a gauge swatch so important? That alone is enough to make me worry.
I decided not to worry about gauge. If it’s really off I will be able to tell after a few inches and I can just start over. Plus the gauge listed is after felting. No way am I going to knit up 4 inches, felt it, and measure it – it’s a scarf.
Of course, the instructions also inform me: The yarn is also a living creature. I can now attest to this and furthermore it let me know right off the bat who was calling the shots.
First off, it’s not really yarn but thread. Really fine thread. 2 pieces of it held together. I tried a long tale cast on. The loops were so tight I could not have gotten the needle into them to start knitting and I ran out of tail at what I think was stitch 38. I tried again on a bigger needle. My eyes began to cross trying to distinguish the stitches in order to count them. The smallest sound- the cat walking across the floor or my neighbors in the hall jarred my concentration and I had to start over. Several tries later I decided backward loop might be easier. Couldn’t distinguish which orange thread went to which gray thread as they were all sort of looped on top of each other and still too tight. Knitted cast on, I thought, that will do the trick. I was able to get 3 stitches kinda sorta on the needle before it all slid off in a tangle of loops and snarls. I now understand why some scientists believe string is the fundamental structure of the universe- this stuff certainly had more mass tangled than it did coming off the spool in a straight line. I think it might have been an improvement though because the loops I actually got on the needle weren’t too tight.
A day later after some deep breathing, I cleared my mind. I removed all extraneous matters and banished the cats to the bedroom. I picked up the needles and cast on- slowly, counting each stitch as I went an leaving about 1/4 of an inch between the stitches. I put all of my attention on the yarn and the needles and knitted the first row as carefully as a Zen Master preparing for a Tea Ceremony. I expect it will go faster once I get a couple of inches in length but right now knitting it takes the same amount concentration as casting on did. That is to say about the same amount as Kitchner stitch.
Turns out the Japanese esthetic applies to the whole project not just the finished scarf.
And I sure hope they are right about having plenty of yarn to finish because what is supposed to measure about 8″ currently is this:
I could be worried about this. I just don’t think I can knit this string yarn and worry at the same time.
I have the first Finished Object of 2009: Stork’s Nest Scarf
I wore it today and the yarn is very cozy and comforting and makes me happy. Who could be worried after that? Aummmmmmmmmmmmm…………………