Friday, August 03, 2007

Exercises In Fabric Structure


I know novelty scarves don't make for very exciting blog entries (for most knitters), but I've found the exercise of making multiple scarves very enlightening in many ways.

Gauge, Drape, Texture, Appearance, Function
It has taken quite a bit of knitting knowledge and skill to make many of the scarves I've been knitting over the past month or so, and it's been nice to be able to practice and gain lots of repetetive experience in some of these skills.

Gauge, drape and function are some of the areas where I've gained the most knowledge.

I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a new novelty yarn, or combination of yarns, and I've needed to try out a number of different size needles to get the kind of hand to my fabric that I want it to have. Deciding on whether the yarn will make a better accent scarf or a scarf that will actually be used to keep warm in the Winter is another big factor in how I decide to knit up a yarn. I have to also keep in mind that scarves need to look presentable on both sides, and keep some form or shaping, so they don't stretch to five times their length with ongoing wearing.

Finally, knitting these scarves has also been an exercise in maximizing the scarf I get for the amount of yarn I have...especially since I need to factor in the cost of the yarn when I calculate the cost I will sell the scarf for.

All-in-all, this has been a very educational period of knitting for me, and being able to experiment on a smaller scale has been quite useful.

Other Internet Oddities
Amazing what useless things can be created using the internet. Here is what I look like after being "Simpsonized".



It takes a little while to get through this process, so don't link to it unless you have a little time. Credit to Jean Miles for showing me this link.

Current Knitting
I got a few more rows done on the front of the Aran pullover, but not enough to merit a picture on the blog. Just look at the last post's picture and envision the last open diamonds at the top completed.

I did take time off from Aran to make a couple more scarves (as you may have cleverly intuited from my blog intro for today). The first one is an accent scarf, made out of multi-color ribbon.



This was once of the most challenging yarns I had to work with in my entire stash. I wanted it to come out without being too holey, but also have some drape to it. The other scarf I finished is a deep red scarf made with microfiber chenille-like yarn.




I thougth you might want to see what the yarns looked like for these two scarves, so here's a closeup.


7 comments:

JoVE said...

Interesting. I wondered, given your interest in educational projects, if you have seen the announcement on Norma's blog. Following the Red Scarf project (which produced way too many knitted goods for the intended recipients), there is now a scholarship fund for foster kids. Details here

http://nownormaknits2.typepad.com/now_norma_knits_2/2007/08/red-scarf-frida.html#comment-78280554

Donna said...

Hi Joe: This comment was meant for your previous post, but the comment screen wasn't working for me. Anyway, re: small felted items using up bits of wool. I use mostly cast-iron fry pans and have found that my favorite "pot holder" for them is a heavy felted/fulled closed-at-one-end tube that slides onto the handle. The best one has a "cuff" that I turned back before felting it. Knitted on I-cord would probably work too. I knitted mine on huge needles with doubled worsted (or heavier)weight yarn in a rectangle, sewing up the long ends and one short end. I got the idea for doing these by something I saw in a kitchen store--I've never seen another knitted one but I'd think they might sell at craft fairs (although you might have to have a demo out so people can see how it works). Mine are just black cuz that's what I had at the time, but I'd think stripes, etc. would make them more "fun." Donna

FiberQat said...

Good idea, Donna!

I never thought novelty yarns would be something educational, but it would be a good exercise in working with different textured yarns. I hope they do well at the sale.

So would Thaddeus let you put up corn cob curtains?

Andy's Crafts said...

You did a great job with the yarn, I try to avoid it or have every other row another kind of yarn lol! Yours look pretty. Your Simpsonized self looks interesting!

Cynthia said...

Hi Joe--hope you are having a wonderful vacation.

It would be great if you could talk a bit more about drape/holes when knitting with ribbon. I have tried a variety of needle sizes, but have yet to get a good drape from ribbon without it being all holes. Any insight would be appreciated (I hope this isn't a basic question that can be answered elsewhere...I try to follow the rules!).

Fredda said...

I love that you can always (well, almost always) find something to love in your knitting. I never thought of using small projects to learn more about gauge, texture and drape.

Thanks for reminding me to never take my "mindless" projects for granted.

sean said...

well that simpsonized version of you would look more accurate if it had a swatch or some needles or something!

now that i'm unemployed i expect i'll have more time to knit when i'm not in front of the mac or playing the mandolin that is.

have a great week!
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