Younger readers might not know this, but in the 1980s we liked fluff and frizz. Our hair was poodle-permed and we wore a lot of mohair. (I know, the past is another country …) I’m ashamed to say that I even knitted a few sweaters in brushed acrylic.
I have my own personal legacy from this period in the shape of several part balls of mohair yarn. I used up one a few months ago by knitting a small scarf in a classic Shetland all-over lace pattern, Cat’s Paw.
The other day I came across the remains of my 30-year-old mohair stash and decided it was time it went. To that end I have been knitting more small scarves and using them to try out different Shetland stitches. I’m restricting myself to all-over patterns to use up as much of the yarn as possible.
The first of this new batch of scarves is a lilac version of Mrs Montague’s Pattern from Barbara Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns“. Ms Walker tells us that Mrs Montague was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria who knitted her monarch a pair of stockings in this pattern.
I chose to knit a garter stitch version because I like scarves to be reversible, as far as possible. I simply don’t have the patience to have to think about whether a scarf is right side out when I tie it around my neck. There wasn’t much of the lilac mohair and the end result is more of a neck-warmer than a scarf. I’m planning to make a shawl pin with some amethyst beads to fasten it, something like the one I made to wear with my green Nanook cardigan.
These scarves are really quick to knit on big needles – 6 or 6.5mm – and each one is only taking me a couple of evenings. The next one was also from Barbara Walker’s “Treasury” – she gives three variations of Miniature Leaf.
At present I’m knitting a red scarf in a diamond and bead pattern – like diamonds, but with a “bead” in the middle of each. Unlike the other three scarves, this pattern involves working lace on every row rather than every other row, and I am purling on the reverse side rows. It’s taking longer as a result, and I have more of the red yarn than the other colours so this will be a full length scarf.