I just unpacked my woolen winter things.
I’ve gotten rid of, or ripped out, a few of my early knitting projects, but I kept my first scarf.
It was also my very first actual project after practicing with a few useless squares of nasty acrylic yarn in a pleasing shade of grey.
I bought the yarn for this scarf in a long since closed LYS in the Midwest. It is 100% alpaca, in probably a light worsted or sport weight, yet I’m positive I used size US7 needles since they were all I had. After knitting a few decadently smooth rows, I convinced myself that my life had to become that of an alpaca farmer. I joined mailing lists for breeders associations and farms, I read up on the fleece colors and textures, I learned that they don’t need as much land as sheep and could even be transported in a minivan, and I may have even looked at acreage for sale. However, at that time I was in graduate school and living in a squirrel-infested apartment and eating from bulk bags of dried beans and rice (I cooked them first, of course). But I thought that perhaps the fiber-bearing-animal-farmer would be a possible life for me in at least five years or so.
(It’s now fifteen and even less possible).
The color of the yarn is bit of a dated 1990s sage green, but the drape and softness are lovely, and I still wear it. It has a couple of mistakes, but nothing that overtly advertises it as rookie work. And despite alpaca being less elastic than wool, it has not become misshapen, nor has it become full of pills.
It’s strange to think in person terms, this scarf could now be licensed to drive. After its journey from the back of a warm animal in Peru, it has lived in a few apartments and houses, been seen and touched by many people – yet only been worn by me, survived the devastating moth attack of 2002, been crumpled into plastic bags at the end of every season since, traveled around the country yet not left it again, worn willingly on odorous public buses and dim slushy streets, accepted accidental nasal drips, held ice crystals on its finest fibers from my breath, blown and flapped against several coats – some puffy and some wooly cousins, and has remained loyal and comforting to the slowly loosening neck underneath it.
2 responses to “In praise of first things…”
This is great – what a fitting tribute to your first scarf! I’ll tell you, it is way prettier than my first scarf, which was really my first knitting at all.