A student from one of my recent project class, Will, has shared with me the photos of his finished project.
He was a new knitter when he started the class, and had a very specific project in mind: a scarf for his girlfriend, themed for the country of her birth, Finland.
Specifically, he wanted to knit a scarf with the Finnish flag and "a few bars of the Finnish national anthem" on it. He even had a chart, carefully prepared in MS Excel.
Now, I'm not a good poker player, so I suspect I might have blanched a little when he told me this. I immediately envisioned a lot of very complex Fair Isle and Intarsia.
I asked a couple of questions about his knitting skill level, and his tolerance for insanity, and we landed very quickly on duplicate stitch as the solution. To knit a plain white scarf, and duplicate stitching the rest.
He tackled the project with aplomb, skill, and a careful hand, and the result is absolutely stunning.
I believe this is a birthday gift, but I, frankly, would say that this is engagement-worthy. I know that she's a knitter, and I certainly would accept something like this in lieu of a ring. If this lovely lady doesn't spend the rest of her life with Will, I (and I suspect he) will be sorely disappointed.