Friday, September 11, 2009

Some info for traveling scarves on HPKCHC

So this is a circle? • Exactly. You will always be sending the scarves to the same person (the person “downstream” from you) and you will always receive from the same person (the person “upstream” from you). The order of the list remains the same all the way through. After your scarf has been all the way around the circle, it will come home to you, where it stays.

Do I have to buy new yarn for each person’s scarf? • Not at all! This is a good opportunity to reduce your stash. You might use the same yarn on several different scarves, or you might have different stash yarn you can use for each scarf, or you might use this as an opportunity to go out and yarn shop. Whatever works best for you, but you are not required to purchase any yarn.

How wide should my scarf be? • Approximately 3-5 inches (8-13 cm) wide. Between 25 and 35 stitches, but that depends on needle size and type of yarn. If you want a longer skinnier scarf cast on less and do more and let your downstream partner know in your scarf note

How many rows do I add to each scarf? • Work the scarf for about 3-4 inches (10 cm). Be sure to check for notes from the scarf’s owner, they may have noted that longer sections are just fine.
Do I just go ahead and start my pattern, or am I supposed to do something else first? • Before you start, be sure to check which side of the scarf is the Right Side and which is the Wrong Side. Check your pattern, Row 1 may not be the Right Side row. If this is the case, do a row of plain stitches before you start your pattern. This will keep the Right Side in the correct place. Also, when you’re at the end of your section, if you’re a knitter and you’ve had a fancy pattern with yarnovers or stitches passed over or similar, add two last rows of stockinette, so that it’s easier for your downstream to move your stitches onto their needle and work them without dropping any stitches.

Can I increase or decrease on someone else’s scarf? • Most groups are ok with some minor increases or decreases (one or two stitches either way) as long as it doesn’t change the overall width of the scarf noticeably. This is very important, don’t make your section an obviously different width from the others. As an example, sometimes you find the perfect pattern to use but it requires multiples of 6 and there’s 35 stitches. You can increase to 36 stitches in order to use your pattern. If you do increase or decrease, make sure to include a note to that effect with the scarf as it continues. If every participant increases one stitch on the same scarf, it’ll come out with a noticeable slant. You can also consider returning the stitch count to the original amount in your last row (if you increased one at the beginning, then decrease one at the end, or vice versa). Keep in mind that a lace pattern will be wider, and a cable or rib pattern will also change the width, regardless of how many stitches you have.

If 11 people each knit or crochet 5 inches, that’ll be a 55” scarf. I like longer or shorter scarves; can I ask everyone to do more or less? • You can always start your scarf with a longer/shorter section, and when it comes home to you add another section onto the end, to make it the length you’d like. You can include a note with your scarf that people can work more/less than 5 inches, but remember that most people are working on other projects, too, and may not have time to work a larger section in the two week time period.

I’m in a knit/crochet combo group, how does that work? • All participants have several options. If it’s ok with the scarf owner, these scarves may be growing off both ends! In that case, crocheters can work off any bound off edge they find, even if that means their section isn’t after their upstream’s section. For crocheters, the other option is to crochet into the live knit stitches the same way you would work into the loops of a SC stitch. Knitters can either work off any live stitches, or pick up stitches from a bound-off edge. The best matches for knit & crochet are either lace or ribbing/stretchy stitches. Those are NOT your only options, just they fit well together in the two related fibercrafts.

I don’t like xyz type of yarn/such-and-such colours/this-or-that pattern. Can I instruct people not to use those in my scarf? • You can be somewhat specific about colours and yarn content, but keep in mind that not everyone in your group will have an extensive stash, so we should try to keep the requirements as basic as possible. There have been members who sent a pattern with their scarf and requested that everyone work the same pattern in different yarns, or preferred a lengthwise scarf, or sent their yarn in the package and requested different patterns in the same yarn. If you want to do something different like that, check with the other members of your group beforehand. Some members are just sending their scarves out into the world and saying “surprise me”, so they’ll get back a very individualized piece of wearable art. Please, please take a moment to think before listing your requirements. If a member of your group is on a tight budget and you have narrowed their options down to only a few colours and a particular fiber content, it may be difficult for them these scarves are intended as an experience, not a professional finished product. If you don’t like the looks of the scarves that have already been completed, then send your yarn with your scarf and let everyone use it with different stitches. To sum up, having some preferences is just fine—“no fun fur”, “I love bright colours”,”I am allergic to wool” etc—but don’t get carried away with restrictions.

What about the ends, do I leave them hanging? • When you receive a scarf, weave in your upstream’s working yarn, and the tail from the beginning of your section. Leave the tail at the end of your section for your downstream’s use. This way, when the owner gets their scarf back home, it’ll be ready for them, without them having to waste time weaving in a bunch of ends.

What information should I include with my scarf when I send it out? • Make sure it’s clear to whom the scarf belongs. You should Include some or all of the following: size of needles used, weight of yarn, content of yarn. If there is a definite right side/wrong side to your scarf, pin something to your scarf to indicate it. (Remember when scarves arrive, be sure to check which side of the scarf is the Right Side and which is the Wrong Side. Keep them correct!) If you have allergies to smoke, pets, or wool, please note that. The other members of your group will do their best with that. I think it would be nice to include a note from each person who has knitted so that when you get your scarf back you have a note from each person who has knitted/crocheted on it

If you’re going to be late in shipping, please pm the moderator for your specific group and your downstream scarf (person your sending to) person to keep everyone updated.