Knitted striped scarf with color code

A month of knitting and hockey

I live in an area where every other person is a massive hockey fan, and more specifically they are fans of the San Jose Sharks. Personally, I am not much of a sports fan. The wins and losses of 12 people on the ice does not make or break my day. I do enjoy watching a live game at the arena, and it can be fun to go watch a game at a bar with friends and a beer or two, but that has been the extent of my interest. The NHL hockey season 2019-2020 began a month ago, and this year it will be different – I found a way to care, and I am already reaping the benefits of being able to small talk about the latest Sharks game when I run into a neighbor or chat with a colleague at the water cooler.

So what changed? Well, if you have followed what’s “On my needles“, you will know that I am knitting a season scarf for the San Jose Sharks. It’s a conceptual knitting piece which means that instead of following a set pattern, you let your knitting be decided by events or circumstances, internal or in your environment. The most famous conceptual knitting project is the Sky Scarf by Lea Redmond at LeafCutterDesigns. I’ve developed a concept that works great for any major league sports game.

The idea is simple. Knit a striped scarf in the team colors, where the stripes are determined by the outcome of the games. At the end of the season you will have a beautiful fan scarf that you can either give away to a beloved sports fan, or you can wear it yourself for games the following season. Before beginning, you will want to choose the color code, as well as how many rows to knit per game. I have written about my own planning process in great detail in a previous post, and you can easily adapt the concept to fit your favorite team and sport.

The Sharks are having a rough season so far – it’s lucky I like black

A month into the hockey season, I am really enjoying the project. I find myself looking forward to the Sharks games, and even though I don’t watch all of them (13 games this month), I’ve enjoyed getting updates during the games. Often I will knit, while a game is running on a TV in the background. I have gained a lot of plus points with my friends who are Sharks fans, and all of a sudden they think knitting is cool. Unexpected bonus.

I keep track of the season and my knitting progress in a little Moleskine Monthly Notebook. They are quite cheap when you buy them out of season. I have written in all the games on the pages with the overview of the month, so I always know when a game is coming up. On the note pages, I write the results for each game, and keep track of how many rows I have knitted already.

An October full of Sharks games
I keep track of the game results in case I fall behind with the knitting

Conceptual knitting is a fun way to knit a scarf

Scarfs are ideal beginner projects, and they make wonderful gifts. But let’s be honest, they can be a little boring due to their repetitive nature. Conceptual knitting makes it super fun, because you never know which color you will be knitting the next day. And when you are done, your scarf will have a story to tell. In my case, it’s the story of the Sharks anno 2019/20, but you can choose anything that has meaning to you.

I will work on a post with inspiration for conceptual knitting, so if you have any ideas to help me out, please put them in the comments! In the meanwhile, check out the Pinterest board in the sidebar with conceptual knitting projects from the web.

What are your ideas for a conceptual knitting project?