Can you make me a wookie puppet? asks my boyfriend, knowing I’m knitting for him.

Well yes, I probably could. But no, at the moment, I’m making him a scarf. I’m not quite at wookie-puppet-level yet, when it comes to knitting skills.

This scarf has been challenge enough because I had to figure out what kind of yarn to use. This is an important question, no matter who you’re knitting for. But I found this choice particularly challenging because Mike doesn’t define his style with color – it is easier to pick for a friend who has a “look” or a favorite color palette. For Mike, it’s not cut and dry. Despite that, color is probably the most important factor when it comes to a scarf for him — he’s not going to wear certain colors of blue or green or red — then once we get past the color question, texture and warmth are most important.

You might think any of these colors would make an excellent scarf (I was looking at Lion’s Brand because it was on sale at Joann’s this weekend), but nothing seemed quite right for Mike. What I really wanted was a nuanced grey or cream color, but instead the neutral yarns lacked depth of color.

Since color alone couldn’t solve my dilemma, I turned to the next two criteria: texture and warmth. Mike asked for something fairly soft and not too warm. Once I ruled out the Lion’s Brand by color, I looked at some wool blends. These tend to be softer yarns with a little more warmth that acrylic or cotton alone.

I settled on Bernat Alpaca in Ebony. It’s a bulky yarn, 70% acrylic, 30% alpaca.

It is also a salt and pepper gray, which is closer to the color I originally had in mind. I also took some of this yarn for my sisters, who’s colors were far easier to pick.

Is there another person in your life who’s hard to shop for when it comes to color and style? Or do you choose yarn based on other factors?