Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Novelty Yarn Bonanza

I have turned into a scarf knitting machine.

Knitting Satisfaction
One of the most satisfying components to my knitting, is having the knowledge to know what kind stitch is best suited to a specific yarn.

I've learned how to best use alpaca, and cotton and silk and different types of wool, and even blends. Now I'm learning how to best use these crazy novelty yarns, and I must admit, figuring it out and making it work has been just as satisfying as working with the natural fibers.

My current scarf is being done in Dune, by Trendsetter.

With all of my novelty scarves, the mission is to create an acceptably long scarf, that looks good, and doesn't use more than $13 worth of yarn, and doesn't take longer than 3 hours to make. With the Dune, it requires that I use a very open, lacey stitch to meet all of the criteria, and I can make one in about an hour and a half.

The "free scarf pattern" (used to get more hits on my site), for this scarf is as follows:

Cast on 13 stitches on a US13 needle.
Knit four rows.
Next row: K1, Yarn Over to last stitch, K1
Next row: K1, slip yarn over off the needle, to last stitch, K1
Next row: Knit
Next row: Knit

Repeat the last four rows till the yarn is almost gone. Knit four rows and use the remaining yarn for fringe.

For the Lana Grossa Pep and the Fee yarns, I just cast on around 18-22 stitches, and Knit two rows and Purl two rows. It makes the scarf longer than plain garter stitch.

Here's my remaining stash of about a dozen balls of novelty yarns, which include Fee, Pep and Dune.

Non Curliing Stockinette Stitch
Thuy asks me if there is a way to cast on (or off) so that stockinette stitch won't roll.

My favorite answer to this enigma was from Dani who clearly understands that the knitting is created only by selling your soul to Satan. That would explain how well J. Crew does as well.

But other than loose cast-on/cast-off, using loosely spun yarn, and blocking a lot, the tubular cast-on is the only solution that seems to have some general agreement.

Here are two links where you can read how to do tubular cast-on:


I'd be interested to hear if anyone tries it, and how well it works.

Thanks everyone for your advice and tips. The experience of the folks who read this blog are amazing.

Readers Comments/Questions
Clark is my newest favorite knitter. In a week, he got someone to teach him to knit, made a large swatch of knitting and purling, found my favorite local yarn store and bought a pattern and yarn for a hat which he's already finished.

And he found my site.

It doesn't hurt that he's one of the most attractive men I've ever seen in a yarn store either (sorry girls and boys, he's married).

Welcome to a new and fearless knitter. He also builds boats and teaches at one of the best prep schools in the country. Quite a Renaissance man.