Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Choices, Choices

My very charming cousin Daniel is currently serving the United States in Afghanistan. He learned of my little knitting obsession and did not hesitate to ask for a handknit scarf. See, it's this kind of bold decisiveness that makes for excellent Army personnel. Now I need to decide on a pattern and a yarn.*

Here are the pertinent considerations:
1. It gets very, very, very cold there and he needs to be warm.

2. I do not want to get bored to tears knitting this scarf. So an interesting pattern would be nice.

3. But nothing that could be considered even slightly "girly." He is engaged in acts of bravery and general bad-assness, in the best possible way. So no bobbles, for example. It just wouldn't be right.**

4. He has expressed an interest in cashmere or a cashmere blend. (Did I mention he has excellent taste?)

5. Any masculine-looking color is fine, but I'm leaning toward dark (not olive) green. So the yarn should come in that sort of color.

I am now opening the floor to suggestions. Thanks!

* Dan, if you are reading this, I felt the element of surprise was unnecessary. You did ask for it.
** See, I thought about Forbes Forest, which I'd love to knit. But I just couldn't see him over there defending us from terrorists whilst clad in bobbles.


Blogger jillian said...

Hmmm...the first patterns that come to mind are some in the Scarf Style book. Especially here and there cables. That would be veautiful, manly, and really pop in cashmere yarn. School Products has some great cashmere and cashmere-blends, but sometimes their color selection is limited.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Um, the balloons one....what's it called. That's interesting and has no bobbles. Shoot! What's it's name? Interlocking Balloons?

7:32 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

The first thing that came to my mind was a simple diagonal rib scarf that I saw in a Creative Knititng magazine. It was called the Unisex Scarf in the Sept. 05 issue, but I thought it was quite handsome and masculine. Now, after all that hype, I can't find any online pictures of it! Hmph. A basketweave pattern would also be very textural, but not frilly. :)
And, it's not a scarf, but an idea for a later date might be one of the helmetliners. . . . it's quick and small (so something interesting is always going on). :)

8:03 PM  
Blogger Jaimi said...

What about an Irish Hiking scarf? I made one last year and it was just gorgeous--all cabley and not girly at all. I made mine in olive green, but dark green would be lovely.


8:05 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

I have no particular suggestions on scarf patterns - but that is a great post.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Acornbud said...

Hah! The thought of our armed one looking fierce in bobbles cracked me up!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous kathy in juneau said...

I can see I'm not the first to suggest this one, but I've had my eye on "Interlocking Balloons" since acquiring "Scarf Style" a week ago.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Erica said...

I like that waffle-looking men's cashmere scarf from Last-minute Knitted Gifts, but even a waffle-look might be too frou-frou for a soldier. I second the idea of a helmet liner, though. Surely that is a manly thing.

9:59 PM  
Blogger mary said...

I like the Irish Hiking Scarf from helloyarn.com. I knitted a variation of it for my nephew using KnitPicks Panache. It's a mixture of Baby Alpaca, Cashmere, Silk, and Extrafine Merino. Great masculine colors and extra squishy!

12:28 AM  
Anonymous anna said...

the here and there cables scarf from scarf style is wonderfully warm because the cables give it extra 'depth', and it's a fun knit. i made it in lorna's laces worsted (in a handpainted 'almost solid' charcoal colour) for my stepfather and there is absolutely nothing girlie about it.

4:23 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

A Seaman's Scarf might be a good idea, would tuck in well against the desert winds, although you maybe shouldn't tell him what it's called - you know what the Army can be like about the Navy. Or what about the Herringbone Rib Stitch Scarf from http://lifesastitch.typepad.com/ ? That would be nice and manly in a plain but luxurious yarn.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous kris said...

here and there cables is a fantastic pattern; the texture is great for a scarf; so warm and substantial. just a tip, though: make it narrower than in the book or you will want to top yourself.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

I think the irish hiking scarf would be nice - not horrible to knit and very very manly. Not sure about yarn, though!

Great post!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm in agreement about either interlocking ballons from scarfstyle or the irish hiking scarf. As far as color, what about DB cashmerino? It comes in a lot of colors.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

I was going to suggest that cashmere scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts but Erica beat me to the punch!

10:00 AM  
Anonymous k. said...

While I admire any man that even knows what cashmere is, what are his options for washing? If you made a cashmere scarf, is he going to throw the thing in the base washing machine and felt the bejebus out of it?

As for yarn, Webs has a good selection of cashmere yarns, and are few are on sale. Elen cashmere by Filatura de Crosa is on closeout--not 100% cashmere, but close.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Lyricc said...

I was deployed to Iraq, where it was a bit warmer, but let me PLEASE offer my two cents.

First and formost, it needs to be durable and washable. I had to hand wash everything in one small bucket (including me!).. things NEVER EVER get clean.

Also, look towards neutral colors that wont' stand out against his camoflauge clothing.

If he really wants the cashmere, make him a nice soft one in a nice color for when he's not on duty, or sleeping, and then a rugged dark one for when he's out and about. that is what i would have prefered when i was deployed.

Another really nice thing would be a helmet liner.. there are many places that have free patterens for this, but anything soft, not to thick, and not scratchy would work great, but if it's too thick, the helmet won't fit right, or could give you a headache...

if you have any other questions I could answer from a soldier's (rather than a knitter's) standpoint, just shoot me an email.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Claire-Alyce said...

Ah the choices, but my I suggest a neckwarmer rather than a scarf. The army issues these nasty scratchie ugly greenish-brownish things and calls then "gators". Something blended, maybe an angora, or camel because there fur is more suited to the climate. I have debated for sometime about knitting my dearest, who is away in the general area a soft and happy gator to wear, but he said he was plenty warm in his country. Good luck.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I was just eyeing the brioche scarf on KnitPicks this morning. It seems manly yet won't bore you to tears knitting it.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

What? Bobbles are incredibly manly! Take it from me. Also beads and sequins. :)

I don't have anything useful to contribute -- I just tuned in to be flippant. But I will say that if a handknit scarf can make your cousin's difficult job one bit easier, then hooray!

9:42 PM  
Blogger Glaistig said...

Another person for the Irish Hiking Scarf!

My brother in law got back safely from Iraq last year. I send my best wishes for Daniel's continued safety and my heartfelt thanks to both him and Lyricc (above) . . . .

9:34 AM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

malabrigo, that stuff is super warm and soft to the touch... he just has to hand wash it...might be hard.... and i would suggest it in a cable pattern....its thick soft and affordable!.did someone already suggest that?

1:36 PM  

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