Winter demands a thick handmade neck-warmer and I needed one in a hurry to avoid freezing.  There was no time to go shopping for black wollen yarn (my defacto safe colour match mantra) and out of 4 colours, only two (hideous) colours were available in the same 4-ply in sufficient quantities at home -- copious bundles of electric blue and baby pink wollen yarn, leftovers from an earlier knitting project. Being pressed for time (48 hours from start to finish) I had no choice but to use them for my neck-warmer. When I see unused yarn, it is like a blank sheet of paper and I always want to own yarns of all shades and dimensions. *sigh*.

Stoles and scarves are my favorites (unlike socks) as I could let my imagination go wild and dont have to depend on a written pattern. Earlier I had crocheted two stoles out of cotton thread and this time I would be faster as I knew what mistakes to avoid. Earlier, I had to unravel both stoles measuring 2.5 meters by 12 inches, as I was not happy with the outcome. The funny thing about unravelling a finished craft pattern is that onlookers tend to gasp and murmur over the lost labour of love. I tend to be less emotional and more concerned with the perfect product. I'd be more annoyed if I knew where the mistake in the pattern lay and would probably quibble about it every time I wore it. Ho hum, I digress! 

So I had managed to find sufficient quantities of wool but a new problem arose. I had lost the larger aluminium hooks for wollen yarn and without a larger hook for proper tension, (as I planned on combining both blue and pink yarns around) my end product would not look good. Desperate, I grabbed the largest steel hook for threads -- a size zero hook (see this picture) and started out with a basic chain, returned with a double crochet (hdc also looks good) and a treble and slowly crocheted this scarf out of two contrasting colours. Keeping the tension was still a challenge, especially when you are using the wrong hook type, the guage gets all wrong whilst juggling with two 4-ply wollen yarns with no dimensions to compare with.

Yet, I managed and was warmly surprised that the colors didnt look as gaudy as I thought it would. Here is the finished scarf with tassels, which is 2.75 meters long (including the fringe) by 12 inches.  Usually fringe/tassels are long strips of cut yarn knotted together, but I was worried that the edges of the 4-ply yarn would unravel after two washes. That looks ugly, so I decided to use crochet a fringe with a knitting stitch for longer durability. The next project is a head warmer ...yeah, a hat!!