Little Nothing Scarves

Little Nothing Scarves

Lace is everywhere.

These ghostly leaf shadows left behind by wet, molding oak leaves are not only beautiful, but the kind of imprint my brain obsesses over when I think about lace scarves.

A little while back I was rattling on here about doing a series of Little Nothings—lace scarves that look as if they could be torn from the remaining good parts of a lace curtain or coverlet, with almost-raggedy edges, and knit in the lightest of fabrics.

Sometimes, these sorts of ideas vanish quickly and I never think about them again. But this one sticks and has been nagging at me. Not only that, but forces from outside myself are feeding it.

Then, when we did our photoshoot for Irtfa’a Faroese Lace Shawl and I did not have a turtleneck in off-white. I grabbed That Little Scarf at the last minute to wrap around my neck.

(Really, I was just trying to hide the fact that I’d gotten mascara on my old cream wool undershirt) I couldn’t believe how many inquiries I received about that little nothing.

About six or seven years ago, when I still worked in a corporate office and commuted daily by train or bus, I bought an extremely expensive black cashmere coat. In the city, I needed something long and warm for walking to the train (over a mile away) or waiting for the bus (let’s face it, it could be an hour some days.)

Since moving to Ohio, I’ve only had a few occasions to wear this beautiful coat; mostly to funerals, but I know it will last a lifetime.

Anyway, I was pretty proud of this purchase and I wanted a little scarf to show off the neckline. I had 2 balls of K1C2 Richesse in Butterscotch burning a hole in my stash. Not only that, but the yarn was an exact match for a little leather purse I also owned. (So sad—I actually have a very nice work wardrobe, but no place to wear it.)

I knit the cashmere/merino/silk yumminess up in a stitch I had always dreamed of using. I named it That Little Scarf.

Recognize it? I remember I had to restart it several times because I flirted with a few edgings, then finally decided the best thing was to just knit it in the one stitch and let the edges do what they will.

The payoff was exactly what I wanted . . a little rustic, a little raggedy, and plenty of contrast to the smooth, rich black fabric of the coat.

And it's simple; I just grab it when I need a little extra something at my neck and i’m good. No draping or elaborate wrapping, no long ends—it’s small enough that I could tuck it into my purse or pocket if I don’t need it, and light enough to wear inside a cardigan in place of a blouse.

This is the inspiration for the Little Nothings series. It reminds me of the kind of project I used to knit while commuting; always a good conversation starter with seatmates. Since I don’t commute that way any more, this kind of knitting has fallen by the wayside, but I think it’s time to revisit it.

Now that my instinct is prodded though, all I can think about are these scarves. I have so may single skeins of lace and fingering weight yarn that would be perfect. Or, if not single skeins, amounts that cannot be knit into anything more substantial. Perfect for necklines or to keep the draft off or for a nice little gift, they will make good on-the-go projects if one is tired of socks.

12 beautiful lace scarves and shawls have been compiled to create The Lace Lessons: New Little Nothings & Variations. It is the perfect read for aspiring lace knitters to expand their skills and enjoy a new adventure. 





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