Friday, 2 November 2007

Obsevations about scarf knitting and skeins

So, I've been moaning about knitting scarves. Scarves are generally a beginner knitter type of project, but I have never actually knitted a scarf before. My very first project was a cushion cover, and then I jumped in at the deep end with eeyore.

I was getting very fed up of eyelash yarn, but took a break and knitted the mobius strip pattern and now I'm knitting a drop stitch scarf with some lovely Collinette yarn.

One thing that these two scarves have given me is the chance to learn a couple of new techniques. The first (from Moibus) was some basic lace stitches, which were very cool. Plus the challenge of figuring out the cast-on. then with Hayley's scarf its the drop stitches. So simple, but as with everything there are a couple of tricks that have meant my technique has improved over the length of the scarf.

Usually when I knit he first stitch of a row I pull it much tighter than for the rest of the row - otherwise I end up with flabby bits of yarn making my edges look messy. Not so much of a problem where the edges become seems, but important in a scarf. However, you can't do this with a drop stitch, otherwise you distort the knitting too much. I found after a while that if I put my finger on the yarn when I had it how I wanted it while I knit the next stitch, just for the first 3 stitches, then the fabric stabilised and I could pull as tight as I wanted and it wouldn't change the stitches (if that makes sense - its hard to describe).

So this is only the third lot of yarn I've used where its in skeins. I have a chair I can hang them over now while I wind them into balls - but I am intrigued by talk about "swifts" and "yarn winders". They seem terribly expensive to me (swifts at least) and I'm not sure it would be worth the investment. I've also seen no clear explanation about how they work anywhere. I wonder if yarn is sold in skeins more int eh US, as its Americans I see talking about them more. Maybe I have just been knitting with crap yarn?!

I'm glad I'm knitting a scarf with this Collinette, the skeins had been attacked by the cats a bit, and as I wound it into a ball it broke in a number of places so I've had to keep joining new bits in. I hate hiding ends though. HATE IT!

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post :-)

No comments: