A cold front roared through last night: yesterday's high temperature was 72° F (22° C), a record for December 1, but it was frosty this morning. Time to get cracking on the Manly Scarf. In the Manly Scarf poll, King Charles Brocade garnered a commanding plurality, 41% as of this writing. Accordingly, I frogged the sample swatch, cast on, and started knitting away.
(The colors aren't quite right in the photo, but they're reasonably close.)
Thanks to all who participated in the poll and especially to fans of Other: Jen, who suggested seed stitch and the Guy Scarf, and Erica, who suggested man lace in the form of Hypoteneuse by Anne Hanson (see also Carole's man lace pix). It's always great to have other options.
The King Charles Brocade stitch pattern may be found in Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. It's one of several patterns in a beautifully knit blue silk vest (to modern eyes, a tunic) worn by King Charles I of England on the day of his execution in January 1649. (It's bloodstained.) However unsuccessful he was as a sovereign, at the end Charles showed manly style, asking for warm clothes to ward off unseemly shivering: "The season is so sharp as probably may make me shake, which some observers may imagine proceeds from fear. I would have no such imputation."
A sentiment worthy of a Manly Scarf intended to ward off bitter winter winds, not to mention the name Charles means "manly." I love it when knitting and history come together.
Meanwhile, Yolanda asked if I've been spinning. Well, I've spun up almost all the hairy Blue Face Leicester from the inferior vendor who shall not be named. The resulting 3-ply is lustrous and wiry and I hope will be hard-wearing. There should be about 250 yards (228 m) of yarn from 4 ounces (113 g) hairy fiber when all is plied up.
I finished the yarn using the simmer method described in Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. It's more involved, but does seem to set the twist more effectively than blocking yarn with weights.
Also, I've been rolling thrums from the Kool-Aid dyed fiber. The process makes my wrists tingle after only a few – I'm being very careful not to over-do.
DH, bless him, has taken to singing improvised holiday lyrics: "Thrum, they told me, pa thrum-thrum-thrum-thrum!"