Giving Way

The rain here has given way to snow, and while that’s the absolute death of autumn, I find it infinitely more cheerful.  Snow you can at least brush off, or shovel up, or look at. Snow doesn’t leak into the basement.  Snow makes me think that Christmas is coming (it is) and puts me in a fine mood to organize and buy a tree and make lists and start figuring out who gets what, and maybe even bake cookies.  Snow makes me want to go for long walks in the evening so I can look at it sparkle.  Snow at its very least, is pretty.  

This snowy day is a good day to show you the finished Fernfrost, knit out of my precious laceweight cormo from Foxhill.  

Mercy, but I do love this scarf, it’s long and gorgeous.  In the interest of full disclosure, that’s the only change I made to the pattern.  Anne calls for 11 repeats, and I did 17, because the cormo is so soft that I wanted it to be able to wrap it. 

This wonderful thing was intended to be a Christmas gift, but I think I might have made a mistake.  I knew I was attached to that cormo yarn, I knew I’ve been looking forward to knitting it, I knew that I would love anything that I made out of it, but I’m really good at giving knitting away. You can’t knit this much and not be good at giving knitting away… so I thought that somehow, I’d be able to let go of this.  The whole time I’ve been knitting it, I’ve been thinking that it was going to take some personal resolve to give it,  but I believed as long as I was making it for someone I really loved, who I thought would really adore the scarf, that everything would work out fine.  Now that it’s done it’s so absolutely delicious I find my generosity is failing me. This scarf makes me want to walk straight to The Bay where I’m sure I could get a very nice commercial scarf that would make the intended recipient very happy. It’s not like they would ever even know that this was supposed to be for them.

Sure, maybe they’re reading the blog right now, and they’re looking at that scarf and they’re wondering if it was for them, but they’ll never know for sure, not even if they open a box with a store bought scarf in it at Christmas. They might suspect that they were supposed to get Fernfrost but it’s not like anyone in my family is the sort of person who would ask.  (Actually, that’s a lie.  There are totally people in our family who would ask, they’re just not the sort of people who would expect an answer, or at least not a truthful one.) 

If I kept this  (and to do that, I would have to get it off Natalie first, which might be a little bit tricky) I would have to reconcile myself to the fact that every time I wear it,  someone in the family is going to look at me like I stole their Christmas present.

I might be okay with that. 

PS.  Every time I use Natalie as a model, someone asks me about her woollies.  I am finally thinking ahead enough to be able to tell you.  Natalie’s mittens are her Oh Deer! pattern, and Yes.

They are antlers disguised as mittens.  Yes, that is ridiculously cute.  Yes.
Natalie is like that.

PPS. Speaking of Natalie, she’s working on rounding out my teaching/speaking schedule for next year. If you were hoping I would be able to come and teach/speak at your shop or guild, now’s the time to email her.  She can be reached at 

92 thoughts on “Giving Way

  1. Wow, that is ridiculously beautiful. I can see where you’d struggle to let go of it. I expect Natalie might have the same problem, and am intensely curious to see where it lands. Keep us posted. Cheers!

  2. PERLEMOR pattern alert!
    It is in Dale of Norway Baby Book 175, it is in print and available.
    Just ordered mine – the US $12.95 price sure beats the used book price of the out of print book!

  3. So Beautiful. Natalie, and the scarf… When I saw the scarf’s name I knew immediately it had to be one of Anne’s. Perfect marriage of your yarn and her pattern.

  4. OH, and the scarf is absolutely gorgeous.
    And I think I have to go order the pattern for those mittens.
    (What do you mean I already have 6 projects OTN! That’s not so many.)

  5. I actually gasped when I saw that scarf. It really is gorgeous; I’d keep it, too!
    I look forward to snow coming here (Wisconsin). This week I see walls for the outdoor skating rinks going up in parks all over town, and it makes me look forward to winter!

  6. Ah, out in the natural light the scarf color changed to white instead of a creamy, pale butter. Either is fabulous. The scarf is drop dead gorgeous and I don’t blame you for wishing to keep it. Uhmmm… do you have TIME to knit another before Christmas? And also, Natalie is one fine model. So cute…

  7. That scarf had better be the present you give me. There – I said it before anyone else did. Now it has to be mine! Bwa-ha-ha.
    Love those mittens, too. I’m going to have to knit a pair of mittens one of these days. They all look so lovely, but we don’t need them all that often in Florida.

  8. knit a second scarf,its that have to have some yarn that is close touch and white.That way everyone is happy.
    I’m going to talk to my local yarn store about maybe inviting you.I would but then you know its kind of like over stepping AGAIN.
    How do you feel about Sask as long as its not Febuary (-40)?

  9. I’m the total opposite – I hate snow with a burning passion and much prefer rain. Rain rarely requires me to deal with it in any signficant way. You don’t have to shovel rain. Rain doesn’t make my car slide off the road or down a hill or into the neighbor’s front living room. Rain doesn’t make me worried that my room is going to collapse under the weight of it. Rain doesn’t make my old dog struggle to do her business because it’s hard to push through. Rain just rolls on its merry way.
    But it takes all kinds, right? You can have all my snow for this winter if I can have your rain.
    Keep the scarf. You made it, you like it, and you hereby have permission to be a bit selfish.

  10. That is an absolutely fabulous scarf. I had a scarf experience of my own a couple of years ago so can sympathize. Designed a pattern I enjoyed working, knit it in several colours to sell at craft sales, ended up keeping them ALL. Hmmm, so…guess I am not quite as practical as I’d thought; but have worn them, worn them, worn them for the last several winters and this very week on a frigid morning at 5 am driving my son to work, realized that they are an essential part of my winter gear here in Sunny Manitoba. Because I was able to keep my head, ears, neck and shoulders warm and toasty with just that one sumptuous length of knitting. YAY for scarves! Now I’m going to buy yarn and knit scarves for the ladies on my list. Yes, I can do this; there are really only two and I’m pretty sure I’ll have the time.

  11. Too, too gorgeous. Nowhere near snow-weather in London, but I need a scarf like that. And the mittens. Just need some snow days to have time for the knitting. Ok, a lot of snow days.

  12. Both the scarf and mittens are lovely. As beautiful as the scarf seems to be, I really like the mittens. Why? Because my car is wearing antlers and a big red nose. And those mittens would match.

  13. Steph, any lys will do for me! I would just love to have you close enough to invite you over for dinner, maybe a cup of tea, and have you sit in the living room with my not yet working fireplace, giant picture window and knit and watch the snow we were supposed to get today. The idea of sitting and knitting and sipping tea with someone as knowledgable as you sounds…relaxing. HAH!
    In my defense I was taught by someone I consider amazing and knowledgable too. You remind me alot about her only a bit younger. She was my “adopted” mom from college. I do miss her so.

  14. What you might be forgetting is that every time you see that scarf on someone else, you’ll be wishing you had kept it. Really, you’re just saving that other person from the unintended negative energy you’ll be throwing their way every time you see them in your gorgeous scarf. Keep the scarf, and buy or knit them another. It’s for their own good.

  15. I second the motion for you to come to Atlanta! There are any number of yarn shops that would love to host you I’m sure! The scarf is gorgeous – don’t think I could give it away.

  16. It is a beautiful scarf. If you were supposed to give it to me (which I know is not the case), I would have to valiantly try not to look like you stole my favoritest present ever if you wore it.
    I’m not sure I could do it, because it is just that gorgeous!

  17. Presbytera — There are seven deadly sins (and four cardinal virtues, who need a better PR agent.) Steph may be going for a hat trick here, since she’s clearly deep in Covetousness (we’ll slide over whether you can covet something you own,) and Gluttony also seems to qualify, since she says she’s usually satisfied just to knit the object. But it’s clear to me that Lust is just a’roarin’ and a’boilin’ here, so I say it’s three and I say it’s a hat trick.

  18. Hmmm…anybody else out there thinking that Natalie looks like she could be sister to your lovely daughters? Lovely scarf, lovely model…(Keep it, Steph, keep it…)

  19. I have neither a store or a guild but, if you are going to be on the West coast, PLEASE come to Oakland/San Francisco. I’m sure Piedmont Yarn in Oakland would love to host you, or Fashionknit in Walnut Creek (near Oakland)…. We’d love to see you out here where, unfortunately it rains and rarely snows. Beautiful pics.

  20. Keep the scarf! You can make another scarf (even another Fernfrost) this year or next for the person for whom you thought you were knitting this scarf. You are a very generous knitter, and it’s absolutely OK to be generous to yourself with this scarf (which is not the same as being selfish, in my book). Happy holidays!

  21. The scarf is amazing, and the mittens are adorable.
    So, how many scarves do you have? Could you keep this one (truly no one will love/appreciate it the way you do, and the person you meant it for will probably just machine wash and dry it in a callous, unfeeling fashion anyway). You could give one of your OTHER hand-knit scarves (maybe one of the fun-fur ones? 🙂 to the person you meant this one for. Just a thought. . . Or you could give that person the Dover fingerless gloves I gave you in Portland . . . I’m full of thoughts (well, full of something anyway).

  22. That is one gorgeous scarf! I wouldn’t be able to give it away either. Surely you could knit something simpler to give away this Christmas and then knit the Fernfrost again for next year?

  23. Love the scarf it’s so beautiful! Those mittens are to die for too! Keep the good stuff coming and as a fellow knitter sometimes it’s nice to keep your knitting for yourself! 99% of my knitting goes to other people, once in a while i keep the good stuff for myself.

  24. It is exquisite! i love the color immensely more than yesterday’s picture(even though that was lovely too). Maybe it’s just the snow reference….

  25. I think you should KEEP THE SCARF! It’s cormo for crying out loud! You’re in love with it. Keep it…. you can always knit another one for someone else. Give yourself the gift. You deserve it!

  26. The scarf is so beautiful! And I’m sure I saw your name knitted within the pattern so you have to keep it. C’mon, you’re worth it.
    Love, love, love the mittens. I will have to get the pattern. You enabler you. 😉

  27. KEEP IT!! There, you have my permission. Give everyone else fruitcakes with a knitted cozy.
    PSD: Natalie and her mittens are adorable.

  28. The scarf is gorgeous. OK, something’s bugging me. Aren’t Natalie’s antlers on the wrong side of her head? Or is it me?

  29. I was lucky enough to be given some handspun cormo in a swap last year. I know what you mean about soft! I can imagine how beautifully squishy your Fernfrost is.

  30. Snow doesn’t leak into the basement YET. (Fixed that for you.)
    I love your fernfrost. I’ve got a pair of mittens I don’t think I can part with this Christmas, and it is indeed a problem.

  31. You must keep the scarf! It is meant for you. You could always make another one for the “intended recipient” for another occasion.

  32. Keep it…guilt-free. It was totally yours from the moment you fell in love with the Cormo, no matter what your original intentions were.

  33. Not that you shouldn’t keep it, but you could give it to a member of your family and that would give you an opportunity to “borrow” it.

  34. I thought that scarf was for me!!
    i made a lovely scarf out of noro years ago that was supposed to be a gift…i’m still wearing it. never did that before or since.

  35. I’m a terrible commenter. I noticed the mittens, thought they were awesome, saw the reveal at the end, clapped my hands with giddy delight, then thought “Hey, wait: they’re backwards.”
    *hangs head*
    (They’re still going on my Ravelry queue, I’ll just need to remember to flip the palms or my OCD might kill me. Because putting the mittens up to the forehead like that are what MAKE that pattern. 🙂

  36. Right on, Georgia!!! I thought that Natalie could have been a ‘member of the family’ right from day one…so similar!!! Then…I went & browsed to the Leeleetea site with the adorable ‘deer mittens’ & proceed to click on the BEAUTIFUL patterns there & I say…wait a minute!! That model looks a LOT like Natalie…hmmm…click on the home tab & OMG…it IS ‘our’ Natalie!! Duh…I reallllly need to get out more….luv YOUR scarf Stephanie…(:

  37. What a stunning pattern! I don’t agree about snow. At least rain won’t melt by day, refreeze overnight,melt again, turn icy, etc., creating hazardous walking and driving conditions; rain doesn’t need to be shoveled, nor turns into slush. (but I will concede that snow is prettier—from inside)!

  38. KEEP IT! Think of all the reasons that you deserve it–you can make another beautiful scarf in no time at all that would still be appreciated!

  39. Presbytera, she says she wouldn’t be able to stand to see it on someone else, so that gets us Envy. (Can she get the complete set? )

  40. I hear ya! I have to give everything away and I only keep something for myself now and again, and only if I think it’s not perfect. BTW, I just downloaded those mittens. Perfect for cold weather knitting.

  41. I totally understand wanting to keep things for yourself. I have encountered that several times. And you know what? This time I am doing just that. Well, I haven’t actually knit the item yet, but I was planning to knit my sister some Norwegian mittens, but the more I looked at the pattern the more I fell in love with it, so now I am going to knit them for myself and never tell her I was going to knit them for her. So go for it, keep the scarf for yourself.
    And those mittens are awesome. I would totally knit them if I hadn’t already planned to make some other mittens for myself. And I only have time for one pair of mittens (well, I don’t even have time for that, but somehow I am going to find the time).
    I also would choose rain over snow…sorry. It IS pretty, I’ll give you that. But my house is on the corner of a block, so we have twice as much snow to shovel, AND a corner that the plow blocks up that we have to shovel…and plowed snow is HARD to shovel through.

  42. hahaha, that is SO freakin’ pretty; if you don’t keep it, i will personally punish you by wearing (and flaunting) mine whenever i know i’ll see you (mine is cashmere).
    of course if it was *natalie* that you were thinking of giving it to, i would totally support that. but i think she’d be the only exception.
    thank you for giving fernfrost such a nice showing and for all of your readers who came to purchase a pattern this week!

  43. We’d love to have you in ND.
    The scarf is lovely. Would they really have to know you kept it? 🙂
    I’d claim insanity. What scarf?

  44. Of course its a christmas gift- from you to you. Who else is going to knit you a gorgeous scarf in your favorite wool? Its only November. You’ve got lots of time for xmas knits. Keep the scarf. You’ve earned it after the schedule you’ve kept the last couple of months. Enjoy- Makes me want to get out that cormo top I’ve been saving. Hmm. Maybe the cashmere.

  45. Wow. That is gorgeous. You should keep it and not look back. Thanks for introducing me to a great pattern.

  46. Dude… I so love that scarf!!!!!!!!!! And the mittens make me wanna learn/teach myself how to make them!

  47. This scarf is beautiful in a spiritually perfect way. The snowy color and flowy lace just make me think of the lightness of a snow day. Gorgeous!

  48. Keep the scarf. It’s gorgeous and you absoloutely deserve it. You can make the intended recipient another…

  49. You do realise that if you keep it it’s not just ONE family member who will glare, but all of them…

  50. I don’t have a store or guild either but PLEASE come to Indianapolis, Indiana! We don’t have much, and it would be a 2+ hour drive for me but I’d find a way!

  51. Love the scarf! So soft and elegant looking. I am also quite a fan of Nathalie’s mittens. Thank you for telling us what the pattern is!

  52. KEEP IT!!!!! I just adore Anne’s patterns and this scarf is one of my favorites. I like that you made it longer so that it could wrap. Is it as soft as it looks? Natalie is adorable and I love her mittens!
    Well Done!!!!

  53. The scarf is amazing! and you are actually considering giving it away? Wow! One of the many nicest things about discovering your blog, is that in many ways you think similar to me. Often I will read your muse and think, “she gets me.” In my circle of loved ones and friends, many people shake their heads at my (perfectly rational) comments and perspective and say things like, “only you,” or “you would (with italics) think or say that.” It makes me wonder, really? only me? Now, I know that there is a bunch of people, including a best selling author, who often thinks just like me. HAH!

  54. KEEP IT!!! It is GORGEOUS and some things are meant for ourselves – this is one of those things! And while you’re at it, you should steal Natalie’s mittens too. They look fantastic with it!

  55. Don’t you love that pattern! I think it just beautiful. I too knit a very long version in a chartreuse Aslan Royal Alpaca that I swear feels like cashmere. It is one of my favorites of my oh-so-many knitted items. I also love that it looks great on both sides of the scarf. Yours is heavenly. You can find a picture of mine under wenknitting on Ravelry.

  56. Ha Steph, you crack me up. As the thought was forming in my head to ask about the mittens, you answered as if you could hear me! And yes, I think you should keep the scarf.

  57. The scarf is lovely! I have been eyeing the yarn you used since you first pictured it!
    But those mitten!! OMG, I LOVE them! OMG! I really need mittens. lol.

  58. The best thing about snow is that it reflects what little sunlight there is the winter. It’s always disorienting at first that the light is coming from below instead of above, but it’s sooooo welcome in the cold, dark, short days around the solstice!

  59. Natalie is RIDICULOUSLY CUTE! I trekked from NJ to Toronto, just to shop at Lettuce Knit and have some poutine. She was at the shop when we were there and is possibly the cutest (and most helpful) human being ever 🙂

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