Monday, April 21, 2008

Knitting with Brillo

A little back story here. I wanted to swatch just a bit of the Sandburg scarf in the version with plain ends (no edging), just to have an example. So I went digging around in the bottom of the stash and pulled out this.

It's a cone of Shetland two ply that I bought years and years ago from Webs as part of a mixed lot of mill ends. I noticed that this is a ton of yarn, more than enough, I'm sure, for a full sized square shawl. And I noticed that it's a nice deep charcoal heathery color, with some little flecks of red. Hmmm, possibilities?

I also noticed, as soon as I cast on, that it's a bit ..... stiff. "Well," I thought, "It still has the spinning oils in it. It will probably soften up some with washing. Let's give it a go for the swatch."

Four pattern repeats later, my fingers refused to go any farther. "Rough and scratchy" doesn't begin to describe the sensation. This yarn was clearly intended for weaving rugged tweed jackets, the kind you would wear for a day of shooting out on the moors. I expect it would serve that purpose admirably. But it is not, and never will be, anything you would want to wear next to your skin. Sigh.

It did "soften with washing" to the point of having a somewhat reasonable drape, but it's still itchy, itchy, itchy.

I thought about re-washing it with hair softener in the rinse water. And then thought again, about the words of that great country classic The Gambler: "You have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em..." It's time to "fold em".

Anyone want some itchy wool?


P.S to Tracy - Nice to hear from another edging enthusiast. I love them on little girl's dresses, too.


magnusmog said...

can you cut it into little pieces and give it to the birds for nesting material? :)

Grace Yaskovic said...

I am working on a spring mystery shawl with Trekking ProNatura, its very stiff and scratch (and its supposed to be sock Yarn) i really hope when its done a good soak will help!! Love the socks on your most recent post too!!