knitting

A little experiment

You know that feeling when there’s something you’ve had your eye on for a while, but haven’t purchased it yet? And then finally, you get your hands on it, and it’s not what you were hoping for?

That’s the story of this yarn. Knitpicks Chroma laceweight, in Sandpiper.

I’d been eyeing it online for over a year, but I so seldom use laceweight that I never purchased it. Until I was placing an order for yarn, and came up $5 short of getting free shipping. Why not? I thought, and popped it in the cart.

It’s lovely. I love the gradient from tan to turquoise. Blue and brown is one of my favorite color combinations.

Even though it was a single–a laceweight single–I thought it would make a good sweater vest. But soon it became clear that the yarn just wouldn’t hold up. It fell apart just though knitting it.

So, I frogged it. I didn’t want to. It was a pain. But I ripped the whole thing out, and I plied the yarn on a drop spindle to make it stronger.

I don’t know how, but I got the color matching exact, without even trying. The gradient on the plied yarn is exactly what it was originally.

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Since I now had 50g instead of 100g, I cast on for a triangular shawl. A kerchief, really, but even though I was expecting it to be small, it still came out smaller than I thought. Too small to be a proper shawl. But also too big to be a proper cowl. The neckline was far too big (in this photo, the ends are actually hanging quite far down my back in an effort to counteract it). But not big enough to tie the ends to hold it in place. For the last few rows, I knit in the round, hoping that would solve the problem.

It didn’t.

The shawl/cowl was nice and soft after blocking at least. But when I put it on, there was another problem: even though it was softer than when I’d been knitting it, it was still too coarse for my sensitive skin. There was no way I could wear it against my neck.

I set the project aside to think about what it had done.

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Morrigan, the Death Wish kitty. Immediately after this shot was taken, she started pulling out my pins and chewing on them.

Finally, I conceded defeat. No amount of knitting was going to fix this project.

But, I also sew.

I took myself off to the craft store to look at fabric. I wanted something satiny, soft, and pretty cheap since I wouldn’t need a lot. Our local fabric store doesn’t have great selection, and neither does the semi-local fabric store, so I finally settled for a polyester lining fabric, similar to what you would find on the inside of a jacket. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was the best compromise I could find on price, texture, and color.

I cut a triangle to match the shape of the cowl, then another strip about 1.5″ wide to make casing for some elastic to hold the neckline a little closer. After using a zig zag stitch all the way around both pieces, I connected them, folding the casing in to create a tube before hemming all the way around with the smallest rolled hem I could manage on the fabric. Then I hand stitched it to the wrong side of the cowl. 20200316_11371520200316_113722

The results aren’t perfect, but I would call it a successful experiment. At least now I can wear it.

Just in time for things to start warming up, right?


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