They’re having a rough winter in northern Italy.
Normally, this is something I would merely note in passing as I read the newspaper, but this year is different. My 20-year-old son Loren leaves in January to spend five months at the University of Bologna, so I have installed a gadget on my Google homepage to keep me apprised of the weather in Emilia-Romagna, the province that includes Bologna. It’s been cold—sometimes as cold as in Vermont—and snowy.
For Christmas, Loren asked for a wool pea coat and cap, and Santa dutifully delivered both under the tree. But I kept thinking something was missing, something to keep his neck warm. On Christmas Day as he happily modeled the new coat and cap, I asked him if he’d like a scarf , too. “Yes!” he answered, so I bounded upstairs to my stash and retrieved all of the odds and ends of sportweight yarn I could find (he didn’t want it too bulky).
He chose four colors of wool left over from three different sweater projects: some Dale of Norway Heilo and Falk, and a little Jaeger Matchmaker. Fortunately, I had about two skeins each of navy blue, gold, and purple, and a little bit of olive green just right for some skinny accent stripes here and there. I chose a reversible rib—not a simple 1x1 or 2x2 rib, but a slightly offset rib that produces a fully reversible accordion-like pattern, and cast on.Reversible rib, relaxed and stretched. You can see the deep accordion pleats.
Here’s the basic recipe:
Approximately 650–675 yards sportweight yarn
Cast on 47 stitches.
Row 1: knit 3, *purl 1, knit 3*, repeat between **s to end
Row 2: knit 1, *purl 1, knit 3*, repeat between **s to last 2 stitches, purl 1, knit 1
Repeat these two rows until work measures desired length or the yarn runs out, whichever comes first, striping as desired or as your yarn allows.
So, at least for this winter, when Loren is far away across the ocean, I’ll know that each time he wraps that scarf around his neck, his mama is giving him a hug.