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Brewer Burns

Monday, September 18, 2006

Critical Comparisons

So, I have two finished objects as of Sunday night (and minus blocking.) First, on Saturday afternoon I finished my mom’s long, skinny, recycled silk scarf, and then late last night I finished unraveling every last stitch and weaving in every end on my sister’s mini-clapotis. Fun times.

As a result of finishing these two projects so quickly, and back to back, I have a few observations about the yarns I used for them and about yarn in general. As I mentioned, the recycled silk yarn that I used for mom’s scarf is slubby, thick and thin, and really, really overspun in places. It was so overspun, in fact, that I would stop every so often and let the needles and the scarf hang while the yarn unwound itself partially. Because of the overspun nature and it’s general inconsistency, it was actually really hard on my hands. I felt like I was trying to force a rope through the eye of an embroidery needle, some of the time, and the rest of the time I felt like I was trying to bend copper wire (or something else that will bend, if you force it, but generally, is not all that suited to manipulation with a set of size 8 bamboo needles.) It was unpleasant. And to top it all off, I realized partway through my first project choice (the mini-clapotis that was later ripped) that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish the project. So off to the yarn store I skipped, and bought another hank of (what I thought was identical) mango moon recycled sari silk yarn. When I started this new ball of yarn I made an interesting discovery. The new yarn was very similar (in that it is recycled sari silk) but completely different from the old yarn. It is thick and thin, but not nearly as thick and not nearly as thin as the old yarn, and it is a tad overspun in places, but not bad. In addition, since the new yarn is much more evenly spun, it was a lot softer and easier to manipulate. In short, it was a dream as compared to the old yarn. The marked difference between the two yarns makes me wonder: was the old yarn manufactured by mango moon? Or was it simply recycled sari silk yarn from some unknown manufacturer? I lost the ball band for the old yarn long ago, so I can’t be sure either way. Maybe I knocked mango moon unnecessarily. When I knit up the rest of the mango moon yarn, I will let you know. Also, one other weird thing about the mango moon (new) yarn. When I was winding it (I acted as swift to Stephen’s ball winder) it broke twice. Interesting.

Once I was finished knitting my mom’s scarf I started my sister’s mini-clapotis later the same evening. I used two skeins of Noro Silk Garden (I will let you know which colorway later, after I’ve fished the ball band out of my knitting bag.) This is the same yarn that I used to knit my mini-clapotis earlier in the year and I picked this yarn for my sister’s mini because she so admired mine when she was here. Anyway, when I was knitting mine I loved the colors of the yarn, its evenness, and its general cooperative nature, but I also found it to be rather rough on my hands. Aside from the bits and pieces of twigs and other "roughage" that regularly jumped out to abraid my soft hands, there was also a roughness to the yarn itself. A coarseness which I generally associate with using a brillo pad. So I was rather surprised when the yarn felt, to me, if not as soft as butter exactly, quite soft this time around. I think this is the result of having used some incredibly unpleasant yarn in my mom’s scarf and I’m just reacting to the contrast between the two yarns. I’m not sure though. Maybe this colorway really is softer? Or something to do with the manufacture? Who knows. I will have to do more research in this area......


At 7:21 AM, Blogger Glaistig said...

Ha, this is the third or fourth time I've read about twigs and berries and roots ending up in Silk Garden! I got to get me some :)

You know, it was your previously posted mini-clapotis (from June 2006) that inspired me give it a go on a full one. But I should have used the Noro because I am now thinking about frogging it (I ran out of yarn plus I think it looks like corn niblets.)

I'm very interested to see how the silk yarn worked out.


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