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So I’ve got two Christmas presents done, and I’m almost done with a third.

scholar collar

It looks all innocent, like a simple garter stitch scarf, doesn’t it? Ha ha! It is not! It is a Scholar Collar!

Well, it will be a Scholar Collar, once I get the button on. The Scholar Collar is beautiful in its simplicity–a garter stitch scarf that wraps around and buttons in the front, like an ascot. (Well, kind of. Ascots don’t button, but they’re sometimes held in place with a dapper pin.) I’m making this for my FIL for Christmas.

I started this out of my walnut dyed yarn. I showed it before, remember? But although it’s a very beautiful color and it was knitting up so nicely, I frogged it. My FIL’s favoritest color in the whole world is red. So I wanted to make his scarf red. The walnut one was very nice and all, but I want to make him something that he absolutely loves, not just something that he likes a lot. So I ordered some new yarn.

The lovely and wonderful yarn I got instead is this Morehouse Farm Merino Bulky. It’s very nice and sproingy–kind of like knitting with a sponge! (Well, the yarn is spongy. It’s not like knitting with sponges for needles. That wouldn’t be nice at all.) I ordered the burgundy color, and I was actually quite disappointed when this appeared on my doorstep.

pre dye skein

I mean, I guess that’s burgundy. But it’s not really what I was expecting. It’s kind of pinkish-grey burgundy, not the snapping dark red that I wanted. So I overdyed it.

new color

This is really, really close to the color is actually is. And it’s perfect! I do heart it so. A lovely, bright and dark snapping red! Yay!

Just for reference, here’s a bit of the old yarn on top of the new color.

old color on new color

Quite different, isn’t it? I also tried out this new ‘pour’ method when I did the overdye, so some of the original color peeps through. Not too much, but just enough to be interesting. I think that it’s the first time ever that a dye job has come out exactly how I wanted it to. I’m very, very happy with the results.

I’ve actually gotten much more done on the scarf since I snapped the above picture over the weekend. I’m up to the point where I have to make the buttonhole, where I’ve had to come to a screeching halt. Why? I don’t have the button(s) yet.

So my FIL studies Goethe. He’s one of those silly academic types. ;) So I thought it would be really cool if I got Goethe buttons to go on his Scholar Collar. Well, it was easier said (thought?) than done. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find buttons with Goethe’s image on them? Let me fill you in–it’s hard. But I did manage to find these on ebay:

goethe's farewell to frederique buttons

I know it’s kind of fuzzy, but it’s an image of Goethe up on a horse saying goodbye to his first love. According to my MIL (whom I asked about their authenticity before I bought them), Goethe left her behind when he went away to university, but without telling her he wasn’t coming back. Nice. Well, whatever. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. So I got them in the mail and everything was hunky dory until I needed them for a buttonhole size reference.

Um, I can’t find them.

I swear I put them on my desk when I first got them. The problem is, my desk is a cluttered mess. I about ripped the whole thing to pieces when the buttons weren’t where I thought I had left them, but to no avail. I think they are lost (and think they may have had some feline intervention in that respect, if you know what I mean). In all honestly, I think they might have been too small anyway. They are 9/16″ buttons, which probably would have gotten totally lost in the big bulky stitches. Sigh. So I looked around on ebay again and found this:

goethe coin

It’s a German coin, with Goethe’s image on the front. It’s exactly what I was looking for in a button–Goethe’s profile. Plus it’s clean-looking, you can actually tell it’s Goethe, and it doesn’t have that icky connotation of Goethe being an asshat about it. It’s a little bigger than a quarter, or so the seller told me. I don’t have it in hand yet.

But the problem: it’s a coin!

I figure I can make it into a button somehow, and it’s large enough that I’ll only need one button, instead of two buttons like on the original Scholar Collar. I’ve gotten this idea in my head that I can glue it into some kind of bezel-type thingie, preferably with a border around the edges so it doesn’t look so much like a coin. The only thing I can find so far it this (scroll down, it’s the gold one right after the doll buttons). I think that it might work, but it definitely isn’t ideal. I’m going to ask a woodworking friend of mine if he can make a nice one out of wood. Until then, I’m clean out of ideas. Anyone out there have any?

Holy schnikes, that was a long post. Sorry. Chocolate and starry things to you if you made it to the end. And buttons. Lots and lots of nice buttons. :)

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
November 2007