Yarn - Stylecraft Special DK (shades used; graphite and cream)
Ravelry project page - here
Here is one of the 2 really big hand made gifts that I decided to undertake for Christmas - Neil's (big brother) Lord of the Rings scarf. You may remember, if you cast way back, that I cast this scarf on in mid-September, and in my usual crazy knitting methodology I finished the tassels on Christmas morning!
I wanted to do something special for Neil, along the lines of what I did for Katy last year, and with Rebecca's help (his girlfriend) I decided on a variation of this scarf.
I started with the elvish script at one end, knit using the stranded knitting method, in the round on my trusty circular knitting needles. Once that chart was complete, then came at least 2 months of plain stocking stitch, in the round, on the bus, on the train, watching TV, wherever I could fit it in alongside other things! It was a long process, but it felt good to have a go-to plain project for commuting to work. I do have a story to tell with this however; one weekend I was getting a train(or 4) to visit university besties in South London. It took a few hours and there were significant delays, but I was in a very good mood, drank plenty of coffee and got lots of knitting done ... until ... I SNAPPED ONE OF THE NEEDLES! Clearly I was angry at the delays on the inside and couldn't take any more! 3.5mm needles, snapped clean in half!! Luckily I was able to replace it the next day, but man I was livid.
Back to knitting. Once I reached the other end of the scarf it was time to tackle the Tree of Gondor. This I knit using this chart and using the intarsia in the round technique. How was I to manage this? Luckily lot's of Googling made it possible, and I would recommend watching videos like this before you attempt it. It's not a very neat finish along one edge unfortunately, due to turning the work and picking up yarn overs, but when it is all completed it's so satisfying and not so bad that it is totally worth the difficulty!
Neil had no idea that I was knitting this for him and I managed to keep my work on it secret, even when he came home from Durham for 2 weeks over Christmas. When he opened it on Christmas day he was really so delighted to receive it, and he assured me it might possibly be the best gift he has ever had. I couldn't ask for more! I'm so so happy he loves the scarf so much as he didn't even know I was making it for him, and of course the time it took to make.
Really though, this has to be the last fair isle/colour work scarf I ever knit ever again (which I'm pretty sure is what I said last year when I finished Katy's sheep scarf - and I'm sure I will want one one day).