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.


      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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