Monday, December 12, 2011

A Knit A Long

So I am done knitting socks for a few weeks; I may start another pair sooner then I want I say here. I have started the Harvest Moon sweater and I am really pleased with the outcome so far.  Nice well-written directions are always greatly appreciated!

I work on this while watching TV
and enjoying a wonderful gin martini
But I am branching out in my knitting; trying to get that last learning process in for the year 2011!  I joined the group on Ravelry called the “24 Days until Christmas 2011.”  I am so far 10 days behind.  I have finished Day 1, spent 30 minutes reading Day 2 and have put the spacer section between Day1 and Day 2 in. Olive’s knitting group is participating in this scarf as well and I wanted to join in the fun!  I think Olive is going to kill me because I begged her to do it with me as well.  Her excuse was like all other knitters, “I have too much to knit already.”  I actually do, but didn’t stop me from joining.  I have enjoyed the friendly banter of this knit-a-long (KAL) on the emails with Olive’s knitting bee.  HINT to Olive’s knitting bee:  Get a name!

It took me 2 hours to shop for yarn for this project! I know! How crazy is that? I could have taken the train into Utrecht gone to my LYS, Modilaine!  But no I wanted to do the yarn research on Raverly and so I shopped the online yarn shops in the US.  The 2 hours was because I ran into trouble selecting a color.  I wanted pale blue.  I found the perfect one until I read the yarn comments on Ravelry.  Many contributors wrote that the yarn I wanted would felt almost instantly upon knitting; meaning the knitter’s hands would heat up on the working yarn and would begin to felt.  Not an option for me. 

So I kept hunting.  And I kept running into that word printed on knitting labels: “superwash.”  I wanted to make the scarf in wool because I never leave home with out a warm wool scarf.  (I may be throwing on my coat as I run out to the door to catch the bus, but I have my scarf in my hand!)  I emailed my college/knitting guru buddy, Christina, who works at Nine Rubies in San Mateo, California, asking her if she knew what was meant by “superwash.” 

This is Christina’s answer (with a recommendation):  Superwash wool is a treated wool that is dipped in an enzyme bath to remove all of the scales on the fleece.  Remember the hair conditioner ad that showed two magnified pics of hair pre and post conditioner?  The wool has the same kind of scales and they grip each other, which makes the wool very springy and helps to keep its shape after stretching. It is also why wool felts with heat, water agitation those scales bond to each other and pull together to cause density and shrinking.  Since superwash does not have the scales it will not felt but it also is more slippery and less grabby, that is why it is growing.  Best bet, knit down a needle size or two.

Ok, now I get it; and the recommendation for me to go down 2 needle sizes.  But I did decide on a yarn for my advent scarf.  And from what Olive’s knitting group was saying, I am really happy with my choice.  They said that for some, the yarn they choose was too thin and the ripping out process was becoming a mess.  So, for once, I have chosen wisely.  I chose Morehouse Farm’s 2-ply yarn because – please act surprised here – (1) it’s 100% wool, and (2) the color, “soft blue.” 

On to Day 2 ...

The Martini Knitter

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I am very happy that you chose wool for the scarf. If we had been knitting friends for many years, you would know that I am a 100% wool knitter
unless it is a baby or children's garment or other project. There is absolutely nothing like 100% wool. Also, you should be with me when I
smell the wool - that is the real unprocessed wool. I am the happiest person alive when I smell the lanolin in the unprocessed wool. That subject is for another day. I think I need to send you a surprise package. Or send it with Olive. :)