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.