Imperial schemes

Two balls of purple yarn

I bought this intense royal purple Louet Riverstone wool (colourway “Phantom”) from Di Gilpin at last year’s Knitting and Stitching Show, intending to make it into a scarf for my mother. After much deliberation I chose a pattern – Knitty’s Elbac, version 1 – and set to work.

Have you tried Elbac? It’s breathtakingly clever, and I’m deeply in love with it. It’s a cabled scarf, right, but because the cables are worked in rib, it’s identical on both sides. Fiendish.

Anyway, I started into my mother’s scarf and got almost half-way through before realising that the yarn I’d bought had a shorter yardage than the one in the pattern. I was going to end up with a disappointingly short scarf. This sad circumstance helped me to face the other salient fact about the Louet Riverstone, which is that it really isn’t quite soft enough to wear next to the skin. Or at least, not my skin, and thus, by induction, not my mother’s.

So I did what any self-respecting knitter would have done: I stuffed the project in a bag and tried to forget. Well. Let me be more specific. Actually, what happened was that I went to This Is Knit and bought two skeins of dreamily soft Araucanía Aysén instead.

Skein of Araucanía

By dint of knitting like the clappers I managed to produce a very lovely Elbac scarf by lunchtime on the day before my mother’s birthday. Result.

[Aside: My goodness, I have a lot to learn about lighting my photos. Hmmm.]

Elbac scarf, half complete

See that total reversibility? That’s pattern genius, that is. Thank you Laura (YarnThrower).

But what of the purple (purplepurplepurple) wool, you ask? Well, a couple of weeks ago I found it again, took some deep breaths and ripped out all my beautiful cabling. (I’ll buy some softer yarn soon and make another Elbac for myself, because it rocks so very hard.) I had the germ of an idea, which I let simmer for a few days before swatching.

Purple swatch

You’ll notice I’m not telling you what I’m planning. I still don’t know exactly how it’s going to go. Watch this space.