Well here he is, finally, the surprise birthday present knitted for Ben's birthday last weekend. I am very happy to say that I successfully knit the whole scarf without him knowing, and I finished it the evening before so that he truly had a surprise on his birthday! The night before I was very nervous, as I have been knitting this for just over a month, and it occurred to me he might not like it. He assures me though that he loves it, and has even worn it out on a cool evening already!
As you can see, what makes this relatively simple scarf so geeky and excellently prehistoric is the dinosaur head and neck shaped on one side of the scarf. There are also two feet placed (approximately) where they ought to be, and a tail shaped at the other end. This pattern is very well suited for a beginner (it uses only simple increases, decreases, and deals exclusively in stockinette stitch) and is supposed to be worked in two flat pieces, which you then sew together. I opted to cut that out and instead knit the scarf in the round, which was very easy! I simply worked one row from each side alternately, and knit for every designated purl row.
The pattern comes from Louise of Sincerely Louise, who you may know for her wonderful Faux Taxidermy Knits. I nabbed the pattern while she was doing a free give away a few months ago, to celebrate the release of Jurassic World in cinemas. You can now buy the pattern from Ravelry.
The only problem I have with the pattern is that, the version I have at least, seems to be missing a huge section of the tail. The pattern stops after 37 rows of the final section, leaving me with a very short stub. I tried to copy the pictures from the original pattern as best I could when shaping the tail, but I can tell I didn't make the tail nearly long enough (luckily it still wraps round Ben ok!). I couldn't manage to get a hold of Louise to get the correct pattern, but she looks to be very busy with all her awesome patterns so I don't mind. I also ought to have gone down a needle size I think so the scarf was a little skinnier, but nevertheless it's all worked out pretty well.
This was also my first time knitting with the Women's Institute range of yarns, released over a year ago at Hobbycraft. I used the 100% premium acrylic DK yarn, but the quality is incredibly high and the yarn is very soft and super easy to work with! When I've made a larger dent in my stash I will certainly treat myself to many more colours (always 3 for 2 on wool and yarn at Hobbycraft - highly dangerous!).
Ben did kindly offer to model the scarf for me to share with you, but we've just not had the time to get any pictures, and I hope you will agree you can get a pretty good feel for the scarf as you see it. I am delighted with how he turned out! I wonder if Ben would mind if I gave the scarf a name ...