A Lesson Learned

I did a little experimenting with the triangle shawl from Monday and it went alright. I learned a few things and gained a shawl for myself instead of for the Etsy store. So here’s what I did.  I wanted a variegated look for the top edge of the shawl using the colors that I had already used to knit the body.  I wasn’t about to go searching for a yarn that only kind of matched up and in the end I would hate forever, so I tried making my own.  I had left over yarn from each color that I snipped into approximate yard lengths.  I then color changed until I could color change no more.  Surprisingly it worked!  I achieved the exact look I was going for in my mind, however the amount of ends to weave in was daunting.  I usually don’t mind that task but there were so many ends it looked like a thick fringe covering both sides of the edging. OMG.  If I’d been using a wool blend this wouldn’t have been a problem because you just weave it in and it sticks to itself and voila you have a lovely edge, but no, I was using 100% acrylic. You have to knot acrylic; it won’t stick to itself like wool so it just slides out after you weave it in.  On one side I took the two ends, knotted them together and snipped the extra, On the other side I wove each end in, split the yarn and knotted each end individually.

In my opinion splitting the ends and knotting them is fairly sturdy and I would be comfortable machine washing an item constructed that way.  With the two ends just knotted together, no weaving, no splitting I think I would have to go with a gentle hand wash. I just don’t trust it as much.  However, the look for splitting the ends and knotting them left stretched stitches, gaps and bunches.  No matter how careful I was the end resulted in a bit of a mess.  Knotting the two ends together was better visually but still left bumps and irregularities.

 So the lessons I learned here are

 1. don’t do this with acrylic yarn it just won’t look nice. There are other ways to make a nice edge. 

2. If I’m not using up an old stash like I was and can plan ahead maybe try this with a wool blend that doesn’t require knotting.

3. If planning ahead with acrylic yarn buy a variegated yarn with the colors you want then buy the solids to match those colors.

5 thoughts on “A Lesson Learned

  1. Interesting. I work with acrylic a lot, and I usually do a Russian join with little to no complications. Even the most well-tied knots can still develop problems (like unraveling), and I also am not too crazy about the texture of them in my work. But hey, to each their own.

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      1. That’s okay. The Russian join is basically weaving two ends of yarn in on themselves, which results in a really strong, smooth join when done properly. It can also be done with just about any fiber, including acrylic and cotton, which can’t be split-spliced (which is basically using friction to felt two ends of animal-sourced fiber together, like wool or alpaca or mohair).

        Craftsy has a step-by-step tutorial with pictures that may help, and I’m sure there are also YouTube videos that teach it, too. Here’s a link to the Craftsy tutorial: https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/12/russian-join/

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