Yes, I've heard all of the criticisms: the twist is backwards, not the right offset between the two coils, not enough base pairs per twist... But really this trumps all objections - you recognize instantly what it is.
Huh, it actually looks better than life in the photo. Knit in Araucania Nature Wool on size 8 needles. It was very wide, almost 7". And the purled bonds were blending into one large sea of reverse stockinette. The fabric was also stiffer than I wanted. I could have gone up to size 9 needles, but it was already wider than I wanted. At that point, I bailed and went for the Twisted Sister's Jazz. Thought I should document it for my growing DNA yarn substitution infopost.
I get about 20-30 hits a day from searches (the background level when life takes over from blogging). I am always curious to see what people are searching for, and whether they have a hope of actually finding it here. Sometimes I know the answer, but it is not in the blog, and there is no way to communicate the knowledge. I could write a new entry with the information, but there is very little chance of the person finding it. That's just not how things work.
There was a person searching for yarn substitutions for the DNA scarf today. It is too bad that they didn't wait a day, since I've found my favorite yarn yet. My first scarf, the Plymouth Baby Alpaca, didn't have enough stitch definition - it was warm with beautiful drape, but the cables were mushy. The second one in Silky Wool had incredible stitch definition, but was too light to make a good scarf. Jamieson's DKdidn't work at all - the cables didn't pop. My swatch in Araucania Nature Wool was also abandoned - I think it would have worked if I had gone up in needle size (from an 8 to a 9) to give the cable elements enough room, but then the scarf would have been too wide.
But the Twisted Sisters Jazz 100% merino in Argent! Heaven! And knitting on 7s gave the perfect size. Soft, drape, warm, beautiful cables. I did four repeats on both sides and extended the ribbing section a bit to display the panels better. I've finally figured out that the pattern, which calls for five repeats, is too long unless you are 6'4" and wear greatcoats. The scarf took two skeins (167 yds each) and had a couple yards left over.
Further news on the DNA knitting front? I think the Classic Elite Yarns Miracle (50% Alpaca, 50% Tencel, #6 needles) comes very close to the original yarn used in the pattern, from Haneke Exotics (25% alpaca, 25% merino, 50% Tencel). So soft and shiny, I could pet it all night long. I'm thinking a DNA cabled hat.
I did make it to the state fair, on the final weekend. Carrie was nice enough to alleviate some of the suspense by mailing me photos a couple days before. Um, we don't usually wear our scarves over our heads here...
But at least it was displayed prominently, unlike most of the works that were crammed into a tiny display case. It broke my heart to see all of the work that went into the sweaters and shawls, which were all folded up into tiny squares. It was nearly impossible to see the stitchwork, let alone shaping. I thought I was going to be able to get a beautiful shot of my Highland Triangle Shawl, but instead I got this: Yup. It's that tiny pinkish-rusty square in the center.
I just found out that the DNA scarf won first place at the state fair. Wow. I really have to credit the designer, June Oshiro, though. She designed an extremely elegant scarf, which she was generous enough to share freely with the knitting and scientific community.
The lighting on the finished scarf wasn't the best, so I'm re-running the photo with the best lighting - you get the idea.
This has to be the project that was hanging out on the sidebar the longest. Even more painful than weaving in the infinite ends for the St. John's Cross scarf was the change in gauge while knitting this. My knitting got a lot looser on the second side - probably a good thing in the abstract, but horrible for the project. It was about 10% wider and 15% longer, which looked horrible with the cables. It was so bad that I didn't think blocking would help, so I avoided it. But the blocking - it is like magic! I stretched the shorter side out, and made sure not to stretch the larger size at all, and came up with good results.
Now, to deal with the cat hair; love the silky wool, but it is a magnet for cat hair.
I bound off two projects at the Tuesday group knitting at Borealis Yarns. First off the needles was the DNA scarf in silky wool. It really needs to be blocked; as I've become a faster knitter, my stitches have loosened up some. This is probably good overall, since I was knitting at about 75% of recommended gauge before. But blocking had better fix this, or I will cry and cry after all the time I've put into this; I probably should have switched down to a #5 on the second panel. I've woven in the ends, so now I just need to acquire a checkered tablecloth to put over the cardboard to have a guide to block to. I have 100 blocking pins, so hopefully that will be enough.
Road trip to Madison, WI tomorrow to view the oldest terrestrial object in the world, which happens to be a 4.404 billion-year-old zircon from Australia. Oh yes, there is also a jazz concert that was commissioned to convey the sense of deep time.
I will also be hitting as many not-so-LYS as possible; it looks like there is a lot of fibery goodness, as well as a lot of weaving and spinning supplies. I will be taking the DNA scarf as a road trip project, in case anyone wants to play "find the moving target."
I miscrossed a side mini-cable over an early morning beverage at the local coffee shop. Of course, once I had started, the obsessive cabling desire took over. I originally wanted to get half-way down the side of the scarf, but continued on to complete the repeat. So 1.75 repeats done today, which means two repeats are left.
The new skill of laddering down and re-knitting is wonderful. I've fixed one main cable cross and three miscrossed minicables. The minicables are reversed in direction going down the scarf, so it is easy to miscross even when paying attention. (I also failed to fix the edge of the seed stitch border, and had to cry uncle for that part). So even though this is like comfort knitting -- I really like the cables and I have the pattern memorized -- I'm still learning from it.
2) figured out the cast-on and first 10 rows for the chevron shadow shawl, which is my self-imposed limit for asking for help, since apparently the instructions are clear until that point.
3) on the charity scarf, figured out how to incorporate a different color into the cables, and how to increase the cables in that special Elsebeth Lavold Viking way.
But as you can see by the photograph (and the lack of "learning experience" catagorization), instead I had a lazy day and worked a good deal of the first repeat on the DNA scarf. I can see the cabling obsession starting anew.
 I did try to figure out if the knitted cast-on was the same as the cabled cast-on before falling asleep, and woke up to the vision of different topologic means of wrapping string around sticks, and visualizing whether they were equivalent -- a bad sign, no?