DSCN4150 Last night I completed this lovely frothy scarf. I saw one like it in the Local Yarn Shop when I went there with my daughters last weekend, and the nice ladies there showed me how to make it.

I found it a little hard to believe, but sure enough, I knitted the whole thing up in a couple of evenings and it’s just as pretty and fluffy as the one in the shop.

I’ll tell you how to make it, but first a song for today. Clearly, having completed my first Christmas present, I need to present a song about Christmas presents, and I have a gem for you: I Got a Cheese Log. The song is by Trout Fishing in America, from their Grammy-nominated Christmas album, Merry Fishes to All.

Trout Fishing is the duo of Ezra Idlet and Keith Grisham. I’m doing some work for them, and had the pleasure of having them over at my house a few weeks ago. Keith is a man after my own heart, though I’ve spoken more to Ezra. Keith is a classically trained musician, while Ezra is a basketball player/ folk musician, and they live and work in rural Arkansas. They are very nice, very smart, and among my favorite clients. “I Got a Cheese Log” is a funny song, as are most of the songs on that album, but there are also some very pretty ones.

DSCN4139 You make the scarf from an open-weave braid. It’s not yarn and you can’t knit it like yarn, but you can just put your knitting needle through the top loop of the braid and pull another loop through. The braid forms smooth ruffles as you do this.

Begin by pushing your needle through seven successive top loops in a sort of parody of casting on seven stitches. Push your needle through the first loop, skip a loop or two (about an inch of braid), catch the next top loop and pull it through the first loop.

Ignore how strange it feels and keep going. You will end up pretty quickly with a scarf.

The yarn shop had lots of different braids and tapes and ribbns and stuff, even strips of chiffon with holes in the top. While it’s new to me, this might be something all the knitters are doing now.

DSCN4145 The braid was in 33 yard lengths, and that is a perfect amount for a scarf. I might mosey down to the fabric store and pick up 33 yards of something and see if I can make more of these before Christmas, once I have the sweaters finished.

You can also make a cheese log if you want to. Grate up some cheese, mix it with cream cheese or Boursin, and form a log. This is not an attractive object, so you should roll it in something: chopped nuts, minced herbs, paprika, something like that. Serve it with crackers. I have actually made this, but I like to form an oval and carefully place sliced almonds like pine cone scales. This is quite pretty. The quality of the cheese determines the quality of your cheese log. It’s okay to use the leftovers from a previous party’s cheese board, but don’t think you can do this with inferior cheese and get something nice.

No matter how nice your cheese log, it will not be a welcome present for kids. The Trouts are right about that.