Pattern: Unbiased by Jody Pirello
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Mushishi (95% wool, 5% silk), colorway 03
Needles: U.S. 8 Signature Needle Arts straights for scarf body, Zephyr acrylic Options 24″ circular for edgings
Every knitter who has become serious enough — or obsessive enough — about the craft will recognize this scarf. Not because you’ve knit it, but because you’re knitting something like it right now. You see, it’s been my Anywhere Project for the past two months.
The Anywhere Project is the one you keep in a bag and grab whenever you’re heading out the door. It’s a project that’s so easily memorized that you can pick it up and put it down at a moment’s notice without ever losing your place. It’s a project that is large enough to reliably need plenty of work any time you have a spare second to knit, but not one that is so large it’s difficult to tote. Small, light, easy, endless.
The body of this scarf is a four-row pattern that produces striking diagonal lines. It’s perfect for this subtly striped, rustic yarn, producing airy impressions of shifting color rather than bold blocks. There’s lace on every row. God help you if you have to fix a mistake — ripping is not an option when both right side and wrong side rows feature yarn-overs. I tinked back a row or two several times, eight or nine rows a few times. But you want it to be endless. That’s why it’s an Anywhere Project. Anything that makes it longer just postpones the moment you have to find a new Anywhere Project.
Is there a better yarn for an Anywhere Project than one that comes in hanks of 491 yards? Only one ball of yarn to take with you; only four ends to weave in (provisional cast on, bind-off on other end, starting the edging at the cast-on edge, bind-off on the cast-on end). I stopped when I had about as much yarn left as a fist covered by my other hand — no more than 150 yards, I reckoned, probably closer to 100. When I couldn’t make sense of the directions for the ninety-degree turn required to start the knitted-on perpendicular lace edging, I shot Jody Pirello (savannahchik on Ravelry) a PM. She set me straight, and I was off to the races. Ended to my surprise with 25 yards still left.
That’s nine feet of scarf in length, ten inches wide. It’s an extravagant wrap, the kind an operatic diva might sport while sweeping in the stage door. But it’s not the finished object I value most. It’s the two months of Anytime, Anywhere Knitting — digging in my bag, pulling out my gorgeous precision needles, reeling off a row or a repeat or even an hour or two of knitting, without diminishing by any appreciable amount what was left to do. My Anywhere Project has become an Any Day Scarf, as rare as a black-tie ball, as exotic as a celebrity sighting, as ordinary as a breezy walk to work. Luckily a new Anywhere Project is already in progress, with hours upon hours of pleasure and productivity still to come.