WIP Wednesday: Andrea’s Santa Fe Turquoise Trail Scarf
My favorite thing about knitting is the way it connects me to the vast family of knitters that exists across space and especially time. For this reason, PieceWork is my favorite of Interweave’s magazines to read. However, I sometimes struggle to find projects in PieceWork that I actually want to knit. I was thrilled, therefore, when I took one look at the cover of the March/April 2017 issue and was already itching to cast on the Santa Fe Turquoise Trail Scarf.
As a history-loving knitter with modern fashion sensibilities, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how a Victorian lace scarf or a knitted nightingale shawl would ever pair with my wardrobe of flannel tops, graphic tees, and jeans. But Mara Bishop Statnekov’s gorgeous cover project truly is the best of both worlds: steeped in tradition, yet adorned with modern-looking geometric lace.
I probably am so drawn to this design because Mara herself, like me, revels in combining traditions, the old with the new, and the old with a different old (if that makes sense). In the Santa Fe Turquoise Trail Scarf, she combines common design elements from the rich textile designs of the American Southwest with the tradition of Orenburg lace she has been studying for over a decade.
Mara first started her journey in the Orenburg lace tradition in a workshop taught by knitting legend Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva at the annual Estes Park Wool Market. I didn’t know this when I attended the Estes Park Wool Market myself for the first time this year. Near the end of my browsing, I stopped by Skaska Designs’ booth, which was showcasing the most gorgeous laceweight yarn I’d ever seen, and I grabbed a skein to use in my own Santa Fe Trail Scarf without thinking much of it.
Later, when I was researching my yarn, I discovered that Skaska Designs was founded by Galina Khmeleva herself. I also learned about the true impact that Galina has had upon the Orenburg tradition, not only in terms of popularizing and documenting it, but also empowering Russian Orenburg lace knitters as business owners. I encourage you to learn more about Galina’s story on her website.
The yarn I’m using in my version (Skaska Designs Lace in Aqua) is very similar to the Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 used in the original design. Both are 50/50 blends of merino and silk, and they’re about the same put-up. If you like the original color, you can get a great deal on pattern and yarn together by purchasing the Santa Fe Scarf Kit.
As far as the actual knitting goes…it’s been such a treat. If the lace edging scares you (as it did me), fear not! You will conquer it with no trouble if you read the instructions carefully. Just don’t forget to look online for the updated charts, as there are some errors in the print issue of the magazine.
I have turned my short-row corners and I’m smoothly knitting away at the body of the scarf. I’m a relatively experienced lace-knitter, and I while I have to check the charts each row, I don’t have to squint and stare at them. The geometric design and straight lines of the pattern make it very easy to follow. Can’t recommend this project highly enough!
Yours in Stitches,
Start Your Own Journey on the Turquoise Trail!