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November 12, 2005

I have never cut my own bangs... for a good reason!

As soon I stepped outside to take some outdoor photos of Sharfik, tripod in hand, I stepped into a pile of dogshit. What is up with that, people?!? I am starting to have such a low opinion of dog owners in my area. Hrummphh!

Indoor photos it is!

So cute! But manly, of course. Seriously, the only thing that's stopping me from "adopting" dad's Sharfik is the color - brown is NOT for me.

An idea of length:

Pattern: a very simple combination of loosely-crossed cables and broken rib. I wrote it down, though, just for you - now go and make one of your own!

Needles: US 7 Boye (Addis didn't work for me on this project at all).

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in #1362 "kangaroo"; 4 skeins for the actual scarf, and a bit of the 5th for the fringe. I bought the yarn from Yarn Country, and I would recommend them - quick responses and very quick delivery.

Finished size: 53" long, plus 2" of fringe on each side (two strands every other stitch), and 6.5" wide (my dad ended up changing his mind about the width).

I'll be mailing Sharfik to my dad shortly, and I'll let you know if he likes it! I hope so... but then again, I would love to design and knit him another if he doesn't like this one :).

For the extremely curious, click on the extended entry link to read my thoughts on the yarn and why cutting my own bangs would have been a terrible idea!

I have really mixed feelings about the yarn for this project, Karabella Aurora 8. I loved knitting with it. It is so springy, so soft, so uniform. There wasn't a knot or a splice in a single skein, and knitting with it was a treat.

But I fell out of love after blocking. First, the yarn grew, as I told you earlier. Not just by a little bit, but by a whole 20%, from 53" to 64". I could have easily accounted for that by first knitting and washing a swatch, but isn't the whole beauty of scarves that you don't have to do that? Also, I didn't block severely at all - I just washed the scarf in a little detergent to get rid of any grime, then laid it out on a towel to dry (no pinning).

To make the story more interesting, when I woke up the next morning, I found Sharfik had shrunk to 60"! What is up with that?!? Really, I don't have time for this kind of nonsense. I would have been super pissed if this was a sweater, even if I had knit a swatch and everything.

I also felt that blocking completely deflated the yarn. It was so bouncy, so full before, and now it is limp, deflated, even without putting the scarf under any sort of tension while blocking! A little while ago I saw a woman wearing a Backyard Leaves Scarf knit out of Karabella 8, and it looked completely worn and depouffed. I thought maybe she had had the scarf for a long while... but now I think the yarn takes on this look as soon as it's wet. I hope that perhaps with a little wear it may become bouncy again; I'll have to ask my dad in a month or two.

So, the verdict is that this yarn is great to satisfy tactile cravings, but I have serious reservations about its usability for a garment, especially a sweater. How would one write a pattern for the ever-changing gauge?!?

Now, onto my bangs :)

I had bangs for about 10 years, from the time I was 12 until I was 22, and I never ever, not even once, cut them myself. Those of you with bangs will say that I'm truly insane! But I have proof why this would have been such a bad idea:

There are two things wrong with this picture. First, the fringe is attached on the wrong side (d'oh!), and second, it is completely crooked. I aimed and aimed, and it still came out completely stupid-looking. And you know my parents have serious concerns about stupid-looking stuff :).

I was smarter the second time around: I attached the fringe on the right side (incredible!), taped down the ends to indicate where I wanted to cut, and used little scissors for precision. That worked well.

Maybe you can see that the tips of the scarf are wet. Just like hair is wetted before it's cut to get every strand to line up, I decide to wet the fringe ends before cutting them. I think this assured that the whole thing came out even.

Nonetheless, I obviously wasn't meant to be a hair stylist ;).

Posted by Kathy on November 12, 2005 12:04 AM


Oh how pretty! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

Oh I guess I should have mentioned this in my last comment: when I blocked Grace, I actually PUSHED her back into the dimensions that I wanted her to be. It took a lot of patting a smoothing, but I did it. Then, I pinned.

She still seems nice and bouncy to me, but I am afraid of getting her wet again!

Sharkif is gorgeous. Thank you for the pattern and for the information on Karabella 8. I love the feel of it, have some skeins of it, had them reserved for a sweater...hmmmm. Thank you for all the great info.


I think I'll be knitting one for Grandpa soon -- but without the fringe. Grandpa no like fringe. Hehehe.

It's too bad about that Karabella, but MY GOD, what is up with that gauge???

What a nice, manly sharfik. Your dad would love it! I'd always heard such wonderful things about Aurora 8; it's good to know what happens to it after washing.

Great tip about cutting the fringe. I'll have to remember that.

Thanks so much for posting the pattern. I was going to ask you to share. This will make a great present for my dad.

Lovely scarf! I too have made Backyard Leaves with Karabella - and yes it grew just like yours and yes the definition of the pattern looks abit smushed. Will make a sharfik for my son-in-law but will look for a different yarn. Thanks for sharing the pattern - you are quite talented!

Wooot Great Scarf and thanks for sharing the pattern. I've been looking for a scarf for my F.I.L or dad for Christmas. Can I ask for a special pattern? Would you consider doing a version of your scarf that is only 2 cables? I'm kinda new to cables and reading a pattern and shortening it isn't quite up to my skill level. =) Eitherway, I know Scarfik will be in my future projects!

Of course he will LOVE it! it is the antithesis of retarded! I suspect that merino in general has wear issues. A8 is better than Merino Style in that it has loft and twist, but I would not be surprised if they wear similar. Dad won't care, unless he is a knitter himself which I suspect he isn't. It would be fun for him to send you a picture of the scarf this coming spring as he gets ready to put it away for the summer.

You have my respect and awe for all you do -- but you're cutting the fringe on top a hand-sewn quilt? This quilter says, ayyyyyyyiieee.

Oh, I was hoping you would share the pattern with us! This is such a gorgeous scarf. I'm sure he will love it.

Speaking of bangs, did you have urges while your were growing out? Like the urge to poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick? Cause I am and I do.

Off to order Sharfik yarn.

Scarf looks great! I hear you on the bang-cutting. My mom cut mine once when I was little and it was horrible. Totally uneven (like chunks out of my bangs) and I think I cried for two days.

The sharfik looks incredible. I'm sure your dad will love it. It is, afterall, exactly what he asked for. Your post brought back vivid memories of the smell of the scotch tape my mum used to use to cut my bangs straight. Weird, huh?

That is interesting info about the Aurora 8. I have only knit with it once and it was contract knitting. I was glad to see it grow a bit, but was rushed into sending it off, so I don't know how it wore. Hmmm...

A tip for cutting fringe and the like: A rotary cutter and a straight edge. I use a clear quilting ruler that has a grid so I can line up along the edge of the knitting for straight edge fringe. Then one swipe with the rotary cutter and WALA! Works great. Be sure to have a safe surface underneath, wouldn't want to slice through your coffee table.

Great scarf! Your dad will LOVE it! So sweet of you to design a scarf for him.

Thank you for the info about Aurora 8. This is why I love the internet! First hand accounts of all sorts of things. (I used to cut my own bangs but I know I did a horrible job).

I really like Sharfik. It has given me an idea.....

thanks for the pattern and especially for the feedback on the yarn!! great job, i'm sure your Dad will love it!!

I love it! Thanks for the pattern.

Oh, boyyyyyy, you know....I have had this experience before with superwash yarn (the loss of "oomph" - and getting pilly, btw - after it's washed), and others have mentioned it to me, as well. I am making a backyard leaves scarf at the moment, AND I'm making a Ribby Cardi in Mission Falls 1824, both of which I now have serious reservations about. Damn, damn, damn!

And imagine how sloppy a hat might get! Bleh.

Ah, Sharfik is fabulous! Very manly. Your father will love it.

The scarf came out beautifully, and it must be super soft and warm. I'm sure your dad will adore it. I thought the second picture with you moving your hands in the picture looked like your hands were blurred out on purpose, like on TV when someone sticks up their middle finger. It cracked me up, even though I guess you didn't mean it that way. Anyway... thanks for the pattern, and happy knitting :)

Wow it ended up looking great! I'm sure he'll love it.

The scarf is great. And thank you for making me feel better about not being able to afford Aurora 8!:)

Wow, what a beautiful piece of work there! I'm sure your dad will be ecstatic about receiving such a lovely gift.

The sharfik is beautiful! Thanks for giving us the pattern

The scarf came out great, but that bites about the yarn. I hope it springs back to life after a little while, let us know your dad's report. I wonder if the Backyard Leaves pattern accounts for the funkified gauge?

Beautiful scarf and your dad will love it, I'm sure. I really want to try the Aurora8, but it if grows and shrinks like that, not sure if I will like that or not. But it's good to know.

Love the classic, manly pattern. Think I'll knit it for my brother using Jo Sharp instead of the Karabella.

Appreciate the info on Aurora.

It's really great to know about that yarn ... everyone seems to like it so much that I have been greatly tempted to get some. Now I really have second, third or fourth thought ... LOL!

Sharfik came out so well! I'd be so surprised if your dad didn't like it. I bet he'll want more knitted items from you now.

My experience with superwash merino is that it looks much better if you dry it in the dryer. Not the whole way, just from almost-dry to dry, put it in on low with a couple of towels and a small piece of dryer sheet. Springs right back and gets nice and soft.

Very handsome scarf! Thanks for sharing and sorry about the dog pooh. That part sucks but still a great blog entry anyway!

I made a sweater for my grown son of Karabella Aurora 8 which took me all summer but looks great. However, I had the same problems about size you did - every time I measured it I had a different figure. It kept shrinking, but when I held it up, it grew! The sweater is full of cables and seed stitch so I don't know if it was the yarn or the pattern. Anyway, I finally had to gently block it to the correct measurements. In any case, I agree, the yarn is a joy to work with as far as texture, but I don't know if I would use it again for something where measurements really matter.

i am not much of a fringe cutter myself. i tend to keep trimming and then overcompensate.

i love the finished scarf though! you have done a great job on it - but then again i would expect nothing less.

Great Sharfik. Not a dorky length at all. Your Dad's gonna love it for years!!!

Wonderful looking pattern! I think its perfect and that your dad with love it :)

What a great looking scarf! I'm sure your Dad will love it. Thanks for another great pattern!!!

Awesome scarf! Makes me want to brave cables. Good info about the karabella yarn shrinking that much when wet.

I am so knitting this, as soon as I finish the current Harry Potter scarf I'm working on. The sweaters can wait.. ;][deadline for knitting = Wednesday night. deadline for fringe = thursday night.]

It's gorgeous - I can't imagine your father not liking it.

Gorgeous pattern! Thanks for sharing. Lucky Dad.

BTW I had a similar experience with Aurora 8. I made a scarf that grew, then shrunk. I'm torn because I think the new Aurora 4 would be divine for a sweater... but no way to take that much of a risk with the yarn.

Sharfik turned out great! Its crazy about the aurora 8 though.. and unfortunate because otherwise its supposed to be a great yarn.

Dad's Sharfik turned out great. Interesting about Aurora 8. I used it for Blossom's backyard leaves and didn't notice a lot of growth, but then I blocked the heck out of it to get the shape right. I did notice it wasn't as bouncy, but I read somewhere that it gets bouncy after a bit of wear. When I had bangs I never ever cut them either - for the same reason.

I love the scarf... and I might snag the pattern for my BIL's holiday gift. He'd love something like this!

I am so with you on the bangs thing, though... I had bangs the whole time I was growing up, but under no circumstances would I cut my own.

Geez, I go away for a weekend and you design a scarf. It's very manly; your dad will love it.

Dammit! I was so excited to use this yarn. Stupid yarn.

I am so printing up your pattern and starting one for my Assistant Principal and another for the Speech Therapist. Thanks for making it available!

Sharfik pattern = awestastic. Thanks!

I just wanted to let you know that I started a Sharfik for my dad last night - it's such a great pattern - completely a "Dad" scarf. I love it. Thanks so much for the pattern!!

Thanks for posting that! I think it's going to be the perfect Xmas gift for my husband...

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