Monday, 11 June 2007

A Landscaped Tale of Underembellishment

Is that even a word? It is now!

Some time ago I blocked my Landscape Scarf. I loved the way that its colours transitioned quietly into one another but I was worried about it - it was a bit short, very plain and it had a definite, front and back.

It was intended as a present for a colleague, who as it happens, is pretty damn cool and straight talking. If she didn't like it, I suspected that I would know.

Actually, she is one of those people who does not take any nonsense from anyone - I admire that.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that the scarf wasn't happening enough for her, so I decided to embellish it with velvet ribbon and beads.

I got my colleague to pick out the beads for it on the pretext that I needed her 'to help me look for beads for a birthday present I am making my sister'.

However, when I got home, I looked at the beads and the ribbon.

I looked at the scarf.

I practiced laying out the beads and the ribbon onto the scarf - I simply could not find something that worked.

So I put it to one side on the basis that there was no deadline so I could wait until inspiration hit me between the eyes. You see, this was a present to thank my colleague for being so kind to me when I first started my new job and we sat together.

She often wears browns and had admired the scarf I knitted my brother in the same colourway, so I resolved to knit her one too - however, as it was Spring - it wasn't an urgent knit!

That is, until last week. Three weeks ago my colleague, handed in her notice to move onto a new job. Suddenly she was leaving. Suddenly, I needed to finish the scarf.

In a panic, I took the beads, ribbon and scarf around to my partner in knitting crime, Mel. She was polite, admired the components but queried why I was thinking of embellishing it - surely it was alright as a simple scarf?

"It's just not funky enough!" I wailed. "Please look at all of these bits and pieces again, how can I make it work?"

Mel wisely said nothing more and went to put some coffee on while I sat and scratched my head with a knitting needle. I took the components home with the problem unsolved.

I later spent a further three hours pinning, arranging ribbon and beads in various ways all over the scarf.

In the end I gave up, having convinced myself that the scarf was a lifeless thing that my colleague would hate. By this time, it was about 1am and my colleague was leaving later that day.

I quietly folded the scarf, wrapped it in tissue paper and used the beads to embellish the parcel instead!
Sorry that these pictures are not the was late at night!

I shlepped bone tired into work that morning and handed over my present, packaged with some other bits and pieces - then I begged a camera from another collegue so that I could get a photo of my colleague in her scarf for my project records.

Okay, now look at this!

The moral of the story is that if you lucky enough to have a friend or colleague who is this cool, then nothing you give them requires embellishment.

Hand on heart, my colleague opened the package, flipped the scarf on just like so in the office and said, "No one's ever made anything for me before. [That comment alone made every minute of the making worthwhile] - right, where would you like the photo?"

"How about outside?"

My colleague sailed out of the office, leaving me trailing in her wake - scarf perched just as it is in the pictures.

Naturally, she was oblivious to the background drama and completely unaware of the fact that when she put her scarf on, it completely brought it to life, as simple as it is. So yes, Mel, you were right - it didn't need anything!

PS. Afterwards my colleague made me rewrap her present exactly as I had first time around, so that she could take it home intact- somehow, I suspect that it will stay firmly wrapped until the weather turns in the autumn.


Robynn said...

That is very cool. I know we've talked about this before but I can't remember, what is the yarn? It looks just wonderful.

Gabrielle said...

Just a little find that I picked up one day at Stash...on one of our Red Cafe expeditions!

It is Skacel Felting (Colour 06) and more information about it can be found here:

Roobeedoo said...

None of your previous pics would have led me to believe this scarf was so lovely! And it suits your colleague SO well!

Tina - omme i London said...

That is the exact reason why I love knitting things for people. Their reaction!
Well done you, and what a beautifully wrapped present. (",)

Mel said...

It does look absolutely fantastic Gabrielle. You should be really proud of this one, especially with all the blocking you did with it too! Still yet to try that tequnique. It may be something to do with leaving out yarn projects with those two cats of mine.