Meet Henry ~ Charity Knitter….

A little while ago I noticed a project on Ravelry that used my Menat Scarf, with custom touches I thought were really nice. So I contacted the person who posted the project…and met a person I would like to introduce you to. Henry knits because he can, and donates his projects to charity because he wants to. A person we can all look up to and learn from.

henrys menat scarf

Here is Henry’s story…in his own words…

“Mackenroth.  Henry Mackenroth.  That’s me, a retired Civil Engineer and a bit of a knitter.  Yeah, a man that knits.  My father knitted (Physical Therapy that he picked up in the Veterans Hospital), my wife knits (She taught me), my son knits and my daughter knits (my wife taught them both.)  On Ravelry I am known as Pinch-Knitter.  A funny story about that.  I was a bit of a hanger on at my wife’s former knitting group and one of the members came up with that name.

I started knitting about 45 years ago.  Then I quit after winning a first place at the county fair.  Was off the knitting bug for a little over 40 years.  Then I got persuaded to go down to my wife’s knitting group.  Someone convinced me to pick up the needles again.  Darned if I didn’t have to beg for help to cast on some stitches.  Forgot how to do it, I did.  Then it started coming back to me.  Like riding a bicycle.

I am a jazz knitter and an arranger knitter.  Think music in that I improvise on a motif that I lift from other patterns (hence Jazz knitting).  I also tend to rearrange pattern elements to fit my idea of how it should go while generally following the intent of the pattern (hence knitting an arrangement).  I also make up some stuff from scratch.  Not a designer as such as a designer has a definite idea in mind before starting to knit.  I have no idea what will happen when I start knitting something from scratch.

Color play and stitch arrangement are my main interests, hence, Fair Isle, lace,  intarsia, cables and multi-color stuff attracts me.  And I try to do stuff only once.  So I go through a lot of patterns to get ideas.  And I have a way to unload what I make.  There is a local charity (Fill a Stocking) that delivers Christmas stockings to those that need cheering.  They gave out better than 3,000 stockings in 2015. They do want to concentrate on real needs but they do have room for items that are hand made and have a use, so I do scarves.  There is really no reason that they shouldn’t be pretty too.

My scarves tend to have a format.  A “frame” of 2 x ribbing at the ends, 2 X 2 garter stitch sides and a “soft” ribbed neck (Seaman’s neck) with about 50 stitches horizontal is the format.  That leaves about 35 stitches in the center to play with.

When I started the Menat Seaman’s Scarf I had just finished doing a Fair Isle piece from scratch (Ravelry project Fair Isle 110) and was ready for something slightly less intense.  The Menat Seaman’s scarf fit my format perfectly.  Garter stitch edges.  Check.  Takes one skein of yarn.  Neat.  Seaman’s neck.  Check.  Pattern repeat of 7 stitches.  Cool.  I can put five pattern repeats across the scarf.  And an odd number of repeats allows some “play” space to let me work the ribbing into the pattern. 

The gold yarn is recycled from a Cristina sweater and is connected to the main panels intarsia style.  The fiver content is 100% acrylic, and is close to a worsted weight.  Yip, I undo commercial sweaters that I pick up at thrift shops and yard sales so that I can reuse the yarn for my scarves.  I get about 300 grams of yarn from a typical sweater.

The center panels were made from  a gold and brown variegated sock yarn from Black Trillium Fiber Studio.  Merilon sock is the specific type and Snowy Tiger Eye is the colorway.   I paired that with a white sock yarn from Yarn 2 Dye 4.  This is a wholesale firm that supplies yarn to custom dyers.  This is one of the very few reliable sources of WHITE yarn.  The specific yarn I used is called MCN High Twist Sock Yarn.  It is 80% merino wool, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.   These two yarns, when put together, approximate the worsted weight of the gold yarn.

If I were to do it again, I would try to find a yellow or gold yarn to replace the white.  When two yarns are put together like that, the darker one lightens and the lighter one darkens.

As I was knitting this I got to thinking that the lace motif part would easily fit into a summer sweater or vest.  The the scarf would be a nice compliment.  The pattern itself is just what I was looking for.  Easy to understand, no “tricky” stitches, and well thought out.  A pleasure to work with.

When I made the scarf I did cheat a little.  Instead of working from the middle to the ends, I worked from the ends to the middle and used Kitchner to join them together.  Therefore the lace work is upside down.  (Don’t tell anyone, please).  Just to be contrary I started the lace work with the middle (3 of 5) horizontal pattern repeat.  Then with the next vertical repeat, I added a horizontal repeat on each side of center.  Then did the same thing on the next vertical repeat.  This allowed me to work the end of the center intarsia section in a v which also allowed the ribbing to “slide” away from the center of the scarf.  A similar treatment at the neck end of the intarsia section eased the transition from lace work to the neck ribbing.  I like to end lace work by mercing into stockinette anyway.”

Thank you Henry ~
Jean