half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

FO: Serpentina

I’m very suspicious.


The Incense scarf is done, and it turned out just the way I wanted, and I didn’t have to change anything in my original pattern notes, and this never happens. Why is my knitting suddenly well-behaved? I don’t know what to make of this.


I guess I should just shut up and be happy.

Pattern: Serpentina (look how good I’m getting at writing up patterns before I blog them!)
Yarn: Elann Incense in Brick, 4 balls
Needles: US 7

It really did turn out just the way I wanted and I’m happy with it. And I’d recommend the pattern to anyone feeling some scarf lust – it’s a totally headache-free pattern. I know. But it seriously is! The lace rib is easy and just interesting enough that you won’t die of boredom, and as soon as you start to suffer from Repetitive Stitch Syndrome there’s that little bit of stockinette to break things up. I like this pattern a lot. Wow. This is weird. I am totally, completely, 100% satisfied with a pattern. Either I’m getting better at designing, or I’ve just lowered my standards. (Pick option A! PICK OPTION A!)

It’s not reversible, but the wrong side looks fairly nice anyway.


It is a Very Long Scarf. You know that guideline that the ideal scarf length should be about your height? Um. I am… not so much obeying that guideline. Unless I’m nine feet tall. But I’m not.


Can’t sleep, scarf’ll eat me.

Yeah, so that was a bit unexpected, but I like long scarves. I’ve made a few scarves with yarn yardage in the 200-300 range, and find that they often come out a bit short. So I bought 4 balls of Incense – 456 yards – and decided to feed them all to the scarf and see what happened. This pattern? Not so much a yarn-eating pattern, because those 4 balls got me 110 inches of scarf.

And I mean exactly 4 balls. This is what I had left over:


Not so much “left over” as “clipped off after weaving in the ends”. That’s all there is. I spit-spliced balls together (yup, Incense does spit-splice, w00t!). I had a foot or so of yarn that I snipped off because of a knot, and I had to splice in that measly foot of yarn at the end just to finish the bind-off row. Yeesh. That yarn messed with my head towards the end.

Oh look, there’s lots of yarn left, maybe I can even do another repeat after this one.
Okay, not so much yarn left, I guess I’ll just do this last repeat.
Huh, that yarn is running a bit low, good thing I’m almost done.
Ooh, I’m really going to use up all of this yarn, aren’t I.

FYI: Knitting faster does not stop you from running out of yarn.

I don’t know, it seemed logical at the time.

But I made it (with inches to spare!) and got me a nice Very Long Scarf. Don’t knock Very Long Scarves. You can wrap ’em around your neck seven billion times.


Or do neat crazy loopy things!


Yes, I love me some nine foot scarves.

(There has to be some sort of phallus-related scarf-length joke here, but I’m not going to make it. See how classy I am?)

Now let’s talk yarn, shall we? I know people want to hear about the Incense – in fact, I know that I have already lured several people into buying some Incense – muhahahahaha! If I’m going to Yarn Lust Hell, I’m taking you down with me!

I reported a potential knot situation earlier, and I’m happy to say that it wasn’t a problem. The two knots that I spied turned out to be the only two knots in all four balls. The first ball had a few weird rough spots in the yarn – I don’t know how else to describe them – but only one of those spots was bad enough to have to cut the yarn. The rest I could just roll between my fingers and they pretty much went away. Given the price of the yarn (cheap!), I’ll put up with two knots and a rough spot.


Knitting with it was lovely – it feels like wool, nice and sproingy, the silk and bamboo don’t kill the elasticity at all. It definitely has that silk sheen, and great stitch definition, and nothing weird happened to it after a wash and block. It’s quite soft. Not Malabrigo soft, or alpaca soft, but softer than Cascade 220 or Patons Merino.

Oh – there is one thing – it’s kind of bleedy. I soaked it in cold water and a little Eucalan, and the water went quite pink. So if you plan to mix colours, test for colourfastness first. (Is that a word? That’s a word, right?)

I would definitely use it again – in fact, next time I have some spare cash I’ll probably buy a sweater’s worth of it. I hope Elann keeps it around for a while. I hope it doesn’t sell out before I have a chance to get my sweater’s worth. Don’t buy my yarn, people. I’ll get you if you buy my yarn. I’ll send fun fur to your house.


I’m still rather wary of this problem-free knit. Maybe I should get started on Cursebreaker while this good knitting behaviour lasts. Surely nothing can go wrong! I’m on a knitting roll!

Huh… I hear something that sounds suspiciously like six skeins of Cascade 220 laughing at me.


  1. marianne says:

    Definitely Option A!
    Gorgeous scarf!!! and no, NOT too long!… seriously, that’s some kind of delicious on colour and very pretty stitch pattern going on!

  2. Floderten says:

    I’d be suspicious too, but it looks like it turned out perfect this time! Congrats! :) It looks really nice! As I’ve said before, I really like the ripply lace rib thing. I might use it to inspire me for the bottom part of a sweater I’m planning…
    Okay, so the chances of this sweater actually happening are next to none, but still. I’m keeping it in mind!

    By the way, where did you get the animated Ravelry button??

  3. Beverly says:

    I don’t want to hear that knitting faster does not mean I won’t run out of yarn. There has to be a direct relationship between speed of kitting and number of yards of yarn left. The physics and chemistry and biology and whatever other ologies of knitting prove it. Lie to me.

    Fab scarf by the way. Love the color.

  4. Sarah R says:

    Oooh, so pretty. I want that pattern, though I’m not sure that that’s the pattern that my Incense wants to be. But I have some Malabrigo that might be amenable to being that pattern.

    And yes, long is good.

  5. Lindsay says:

    another pattern to add to my “patterns to try… eventually” favorites folder

  6. Kristin says:

    I love it! I “raveled it” right away and made it a favorite. It is so unique and the wrong side looks great.

  7. lisa says:

    Very nice!

  8. jamie says:

    There is a direct correlation to how fast I knit with how much yarn is left. I am shocked that you would try to say otherwise!

    When I only have a little bit left at the end, it is totally because I was able to knit at the speed of light and beat the end of the skein.

  9. amanda says:

    I’ve been there with the running out of yarn fear, checking the strand as you pray to reach the end of the row. The scarf looks fab!!

  10. becca says:

    Option A!
    It’s so pretty!!! I want! It looks so lovely on you too!
    And, yeah, knitting faster definitely doesn’t save you from yarn run-outtage. Something about the physics just doesn’t math out.

  11. Jamie says:

    Newbie to Ravelry, found you in a list of designers, brought me to this blog post, laughing my half-ass off. Can I start a “half-ass-lovers” rav group so that I can have the button on my radar close at hand? Of course, having that button is why I join groups in the first place. Is there one already?

  12. Jamie says:

    P.S. I will be ordering this yarn and knitting this scarf. Certainly.

  13. errs says:

    The scarf is gorgeous. You need to come to Chicago where you want to wrap the entire scarf around your body to stay warm. Perhaps it was the goat cable that fiked things.

  14. MonkeyGurrl says:

    Serpentina is beeeyooootiful, as are you. I wonder if you’d look better if you smiled. (hint, hint) I may have to copy. . . except for the 9′ part. Four balls, nine feet long, there is DEFINITELY a joke in there somewhere.

  15. April says:

    I LOVE it…I hearted it and I queued it and now I will find some yarn for it.

    Also, knitting faster does make the yarn last longer, I just know it does!

    Thanks for the pattern.

  16. Sarah R says:

    I’ve started not just one, but two Serpentinas. One of them in the Malabrigo as we talked about. The post about ’em is here. (You have to read some yarn slobber first. It may force you to order another Happy Fun Box.)


  17. Hilary says:

    That is one beautiful scarf! FYI, I’ve nominated you for a You Make My Day Award. I’m always thrilled when Google Reader tells me there’s a new post on your blog because I know I’ll either be rolling on the floor laughing or totally inspired by what you’re making. Or both!

  18. Less wussy, more sassy « Sassy does it - a knitting blog says:

    […] on her, and I end up inspired to be funky and adventurous and frankly, as cool as she is.  This is the first blog entry of hers I read; my favorite quote from which was, “Yes, I love me some nine foot scarves.”  That was […]

  19. renee says:

    I am so glad I came across this site. I’ve been looking for a project for a certain yarn I just ordered, and it looks like this is it. Thanks!

  20. Shauna says:

    it’s the most loverly scarf i’ve ever seen that i could possibly do myself……… if i knew what ssk meant. that’s my only problem. could somebody explain that one to me please?

  21. SecretAgent says:

    So gorgeous! And I have to say thank you. You have found THE YARN I’ve been hunting for for (does a quick calculation) about a year! I wanted a worsted weight yarn with 50% wool, 25% silk, and 25% bamboo. Y’know, I could find worsted weight in *any other combination* and I could find that combination in *any other weight*? Yeesh!

    So thank you so much! (Not like you’re wondering, but in case you were, I wanted the yarn to make Fetchings. For my grandma. Important, much? I think so!)