I have joined Pam Allen's Scarf Style knitalong, but it's a bit of a cheat because I have already finished the turtleneck shrug scarf by Teva Durham. However it's an easy pattern so I may do another one as a gift, but I have used up all my Rowan kid classic so it will have to be in another yarn. I like the multi-color concept so if I do another it will also be multi-colored. I also like the stripes and bobbles scarf, it looks fun.
The other scarf knitalong I will join is Clapotis, which looks set to be another knitting blog world classic, like the Bucket hats, the Booga/Sophie/French market bags, the multidirectional scarf and the Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl. I actually cast on yesterday and am now starting the straight rows. The yarn I am using is Cherry Tree Hills Possum Paints worsted. I bought 6 skeins to make my husband a Christmas multi-directional scarf and hat set, but on second thoughts, the colorway is what I would call either Mirkwood or Mossy Bog ... and I don't know exactly what I was thinking when I bought it, because while the colorway is rather masculine it is definitely not his favourite colors, remember my husband is probably the only heterosexual man I know who likes (to wear) bright colors. So, I decided to set this yarn aside and buy some more yarn :> for my husband's scarf and hat set. This time in 100% cashmere sports/worsted-weight 200yds/2oz (or 175yds/5og) in his colors of yellow (earth) red (fire) and green (wood). This is from an ebay seller, at I think a rather good price, about US$10-$15 for a 2 oz skein, which is cheaper than Possum Paints at $16 for 1.75oz skein. I can't decide which is butterier , though, cashmere, possum or angora. Cashmere feels buttery but smooth, possum feels furrier, like angora, but doesn't shed as much.
Clapotis did catch my eye when I was looking through Knitty's winter 04 issue, but the yarn required, both the amount and the type, made me think it was too much yarn (cost) for one scarf. Normally, 2 to 3 50g balls would be enough for a scarf, like the multi-directional scarf, which takes about 200-300yds of sports/worsted weight yarn. But now that the Possum Paints has become stash yarn ...
Unfortunately, flipping randomly through the blog world yesterday, I found yet another source for scrumptious hand painted Italian cashmere (plus silk and merino) yarns. Two Pointy Sticks at http://www.mothheaven.com/
has the most declicious colors I have seen yet. I am especially drawn by Rivendell and Highland Heather, but at US$34 for 1.5 (fingering) to 2 oz (Aran) it is more expensive than alyval
(US$15/2oz/worsted200yds and aran75yds, Chinese cashmere but the color palette is limited to 2-3 different colors per colorway), rpascal
(US$19/1.8oz/fine 430yds, mostly pastels), danette_taylor
(US$21-28/2oz /fingering200yds to bulky80yds, most colors spectrum from pastels to earths and brights). Arugably, this is still cheaper than more commercial companies like Cherry Tree Hill, Mountain Colors, Fleece Artist etc. which also carries handpainted cashmere yarns. But, US$34 x 3 would be US$102 for a Clapotis? No ... not right now. A better bet would be Over the Rainbow yarns merino/silk, or maybe even the Handpaint Heaven's Annual New Year Sale starting in a few hours.