Monday, December 12, 2011

New Bosc Scarf Knitting Pattern & Recipe



I've long been intrigued with the idea of trying to capture the delicate beauty and intricacy of Japanese-style knitting stitches in a simple, approachable way. A way that would be fun for experienced and newer knitters alike, especially those who love the look of these types of stitches but are perhaps a little unsure of trying something that may appear rather scary.

With this technical concept in mind, the idea for the design of my newest knitting pattern was begun, aesthetically inspired by the beauty of ripe pears, the most elegant of which, in my opinion, are the Bosc variety.


I love their gold, green and russet hues, graceful curving shapes, and sweet but subtle flavor. 

When I found Quince and Co. Lark worsted weight yarn and saw the rich "honey" colorway I knew I had a match for my project.



The 100% wool yarn is soft enough for a scarf, with excellent drape for a yarn of this sort, but the twist still has a nice amount of body to give structure to the stitch pattern and to the scarf itself as it drapes around the neck - all details that were important to me as I selected yarn for this design, the Bosc Scarf, available here on my blog or on my designer page at Ravelry.com.


The scarf's lush texture is created with very basic stitches. Simple increases and decreases as well as easy cables shape the lines into a semblance of a pear shape and leaves (although you might very well see tulips and that is OK too!), separated by vertical lines of rippling eyelets.

Many of my testers were joking that they were getting into difficulty with their schedules because they couldn't put their knitting down, the stitch pattern was so fun to knit. I have to agree, this combination is what I call 'potato chip' knitting because you want to knit 'just one more repeat!'. 

I knit all of the cables without a cable needle; many excellent videos and tutorials for this technique can be found on Youtube or in this video from Knittinghelp.com or on the Grumperina.com or  Knitting Daily websites.

Complementary lace ends grow organically into and out of Bosc's main stitch pattern, so the the project is knit straight through from cast on to bind off with no grafting or provisional cast on necessary! The ends can be blocked either straight across or into a scallop shape as I have done in the example here. 


A sleek corded edge is built into the knitting by slipping stitches as you go. This small detail keeps an elaborate stitch combination modern and un-cluttered (I love lace and cables but wanted to avoid a fussy look).  


Large charts as well as written instructions are included, and tips for adapting the length are given, offering multiple options for knitters.

The entire project began late last summer just as the pears were coming into season and I began experimenting with recipes for this fruit. Bosc pears are excellent for cooking as they retain much of their shape and flavor when baked or poached, although many other varieties cook nicely as well. 

One of my favorite pear dishes poaches the fruit in champagne with vanilla, and I hope you will give them a try and see just how lovely they can be.


Champagne Poached Vanilla Pears



Ingredients 
1 bottle champagne (any sparkling wine will suffice, or non-alcoholic version if you prefer) 
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/4 tsp. lemon zest 
1  4" vanilla bean - split lengthwise
2 firm Bosc pears - peeled but with stems intact (slightly underripe is ideal)
Optional garnishes - dark chocolate, star anise, bay leaves

Directions
In a saucepan just large enough to hold pears and liquid, combine first four ingredients. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce to a simmer. Gently lower pears into the simmering liquid until fully submerged.

Cover pan and simmer for 15 minutes, baste with liquid occasionally, avoid stirring. Finished pears should be tender and easily pierced with a fork; very firm pears may need up to an additional 5-15 minutes of cooking time. Allow to cool in liquid for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.

Pears may be served immediately, or wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To serve, place a single pear upright on a small plate, spoon a small amount of liquid over pear. I love to garnish these pears with small squares of extra dark chocolate, or for a festive look try adding a star anise and a single bay leaf, if desired.

I hope you enjoy making this recipe, it is a light, but delicious, dish to keep in mind with Christmas and New Year's celebrations approaching. If you decide to make either the scarf or the pears, I'd love to know!

Bon appétit and happy knitting!







6 comments:

  1. Robin, it is very lovely! I like the color, the yarn and the stitch! Congratulations on the new design!

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  2. That scarf turned out gorgeous!

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  3. Gorgeous! Love the color, stitches, everything. Great job!

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  4. You have been nominated for the “Versatile Blog Award”.

    take a look:

    http://knittingmydayaway.com/2011/12/18/982/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good thought! The scarf knitting pattern really looks amazing. Thanks for sharing it…
    Accessories scarves

    ReplyDelete