Friday, November 05, 2010

My Old Nemesis, We Meet Again

In the fall of 2005, I knitted a scarf with KidSilk Haze.

The idea was that since I had a winter coat that was fairly... err... bold in its patterning, I needed black accessories to go with it.

It may well have been the single most miserable knitting experience of my life.


The post I wrote back then seriously undersells the pain I suffered. I refrained from grumbling about how many times I changed needles to find ones that worked well with the yarn. I never did find a needle that made it an enjoyable experience.

It was so awful I remember it well. Bitterly. I shudder at the thought.

And I was desperately unhappy with the finished result - it wasn't wide enough, I'd stopped short of the intended length, and the cast off was too tight. I put it away, and swore never to use the yarn again.

I had such a miserable time that I regularly warn people away from the yarn.

I nearly staged an intervention once when I saw a mother teaching her daughter to knit with this yarn.

But then, oh then... I found the scarf again this fall. And I wore it for the first time since the fall of 2005.

Oh dear god, it's gorgeous. It's light, and ethereal and warm and actually very nice. It's still too narrow to wear as I had intended, but it looks really rather great as a little cravat sort of thing.

So... as I'm noodling on a project I need to demonstrate the use of biasing to a newer knitter, I ponder again my garter stitch scarf. Am I crazy to think I should recommend this (with firm notes on appropriate needle choice and pointers on how not to lose your mind) to new-ish knitters?


Anonymous said...

As a newer knitter some years ago, I knitted a scarf holding the kidsilk haze together with a railroad track novelty yarn (talk about the sublime to the ridiculous). It was a simple garter stitch scarf and it actually looked, and still looks lovely. I placed the ball of kidsilk in a sandwich baggie which kept it from tangling. I had no trouble with needles or yarn while making it. Only after wearing it for the first time did I discover that the mohair in the kidsilk caused intense itching on my neck and drove me crazy. Lesson-- there is more than one way that kidsilk can drive you crazy.
Wendy S

KarenJ said...

Just made the mouse! KItten (well, sort of - seven months old and nearly ten pounds!) started playing with it while I was trying to braid the tail and only stopped when he pulled a towel down on it and "lost" it. Changes I made. "Three-in-one" and "one-in-three" to make little ear nubs. A few crushed catnip seeds since catnip was unavailable - although I have absolutely no idea if this has any effect whatsoever. I also used a DK weight cotton (Sushi seems to be a little too fond of my wool yarn as it is!) which worked out nicely although my mouse came out more like two and a half inches long. I'm not sure this would be the best pattern for a beginner though. The need to work tight and close to get a very tight knit might defeat the purpose of a quick, easy knit. I think something that can be done a bit looser might be more suitable for a beginner. I've been knitting 40 some years and I find a really tight gauge is fussy to do. Maybe if they (your studnts) were to stuff the mouse with the same yarn it was knit with? Also, I wrapped some of the yarn around the catnip package like a mini ball to be sure none of it got scattered. Excuse me, I'm going to go make some more now!