On street after street, in bar after bar


Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Regia Hand-dye Effect (70% wool, 25% nylon, 5% acrylic), colorway 06552
Needles: U.S. 5 Zephyr acrylic Options 32″ circulars (knit flat)

Two stitches. That’s where it started, on October 20, in a hotel ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona, at a debate about immigration. Knitted throughout the conference, this scarf was measured not as much in terms of length from its starting point, as in the stitches added on every single row.


By the end of the conference four days later, it was already impressive, and the yarn that remained had lost its skein-shape and become the deflated pile that signals the approaching end. I took the scarf to my next conference, a month later, but had another project ready to start. Sure enough, I bound off as my four-hour board meeting neared its end on the very first day.


I could write a book about conference knitting. Garter stitch is good. Lace is nice if easily memorized, but the simple repetition of increases and the anticipation of the slightly different seventh and eighth rows, when the sawtooth edge is created. Add the magic of Noro-esque stripes changing gradually before your eyes, and you can’t ask for more while you listen to people talking about voluntary certification of honors programs.


A scarf is a record of the time and distance over which it was knitted. This one crisscrossed the country twice in its process of coming to be. The yarn came from Montreal, the stitches were formed in Phoenix and San Francisco and 30,000 feet in the air in between. It’s not only beautiful, unique, stylish, and striking — it’s got a story to tell.

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