I have briefly blogged about this scarf in previous posts about the Christmas scarves I knit for friends in 2006. This was my absolute favorite out of 15 scarves. I named it Blue Shoes and Happiness (Blue Shoes for short) after the book I listened to as I knit it. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith is the 7th of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series featuring South African sleuth and font of wisdom, Precious Ramotswe. I like to think that the charm of this gentle mystery (barely a mystery novel) and its narration by Lisette Lecat was communicated to the scarf.
Appropriately, as McCall Smith is a Scotsman, the design, to me, has a Scottish feel. I think it is partly in the stitch pattern, which suggests plaid, and partly in the short sideways fringe, which suggests a kilt. I gave the scarf away without writing down the pattern. But the pattern is simple enough, and the item is small enough for me to reproduce it by knitting it again (for myself of course).
Part of the reason for the Christmas scarf project was to give myself the chance to experiment with yarns that might be too expensive to risk on a whole project. A silk/wool/cashmere Japanese import, Noro Cash Iroha, is in this category. It currently retails for about $12. per 100 yd., 50 gram skein at local yarn stores, making a basic sweater cost $120, never mind cables. That is a lot for me to spend.
This yarn seduced me though. The yarn is part of the reason why this is my favorite scarf. It has a beautiful soft shine and is smooth and soft to the touch and looks luxuriously heavy, like thick silk fabric. But it is light because of its wool and nylon content. Its only drawback for this project is its thick and thinness. This feature would add a lot of interest to a plain stockinette pattern, but is not perfect for this plaid-like basket weave. Never mind. Although if you want to knit the scarf, plain Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride worsted, or Paton's Classic Merino would work well. I hope to have the pattern ready next time. Meanwhile, here is a new photo of the work in progress.