Beamish by Jennifer Leigh
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Beamish

Knitting
December 2010
DK (11 wpi) ?
31 stitches = 4 inches
in horizontal herringbone
US 8 - 5.0 mm
350 - 400 yards (320 - 366 m)
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

‘And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

--from “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll

This scarf is a tale of two knitters, a Ravelry love story, and a spat over stash.

I met David about two years ago, in the Ravelry forums. We immediately struck up a long distance friendship, soon met in person, and later fell in love. During the same period of time I went through some life changes that necessitated a move to Seattle. This summer, David decided to join me here.

As part of the moving preparations, I flew down to Texas to help him get organized: the fun part was sorting his stash! During that process he told me I could have anything I wanted, since he was approaching SABLE and felt guilty for all of the lovely yarn languishing in his care.

Moving interrupted his work on a pair of kilt hose he had promised for a wedding, so when he arrived he was too far behind to meet the deadline. I picked up one of the hose, and ended up working about half the project for him. There were many late nights. He ran out of yarn about half an inch too soon. Pawing through his stash for a substitute, I found this skein of Jabberwocky. Between remembering the earlier offer and in light of the work I was doing for his deadline, I asked for it.

It turns out this particular skein was very special, having been purchased on a trip several years before we met. Much hilarity ensued. Finally, we agreed the yarn could live in my stash, and whoever picked it up to knit first could have it, so long as they didn’t let the WIP languish.

Of course I cast on the next day.

I wanted to create a scarf that would be a quick, interesting knit and would use exactly one skein of flashy hand-painted yarn. (Don’t we all have a couple of those in our stashes?) It needed to showcase its wild colors without flashing and pooling, in a firm, thick fabric that wouldn’t roll. In other words, it had to be perfect. I looked at a lot of patterns, swatched about a dozen different stitches, and finally came up with this pattern. It’s worked longways, giving it the stripes of pattern along its length.

Every time I put down the project and worked on something else, David would threaten to rip it, or to start knitting from the other end of the skein. I talked about wearing the scarf and never letting him so much as touch it, and about giving the FO away to various people. But in the end, for David’s birthday, I gave him the finished scarf wrapped around a new skein of Jabberwocky. Love is a frabjous thing.