Here I am, procrastinating again having done no weaving lately. My excuse is that it is hard to find the time with all the Christmas and New Year festivities going on. My resolution for the New Year is that I will get on with my Green Man weaving just as soon as I have finished the current project.
You see I have not been totally idle; amongst my other gifts Santa gave me a ball of Rico ‘Can Can Glitz’ yarn for Christmas. For those not familiar with this yarn, on the ball it looks like any other yarn (see photo) but when you open it out it has a mesh-like structure and you use it to knit a frou-frou scarf for which the instructions are printed on the inside of the label, in three languages, in small print, very brief and rather vague!
First it tells you that the yarn has a right-side and a reverse, but it doesn’t tell you which is which. Then you have to tie a knot in the end as the yarn is prone to laddering and pick up stitches along the edge with the reverse side facing you – OK but which side is that? It then tells you to carry on knitting to the required length, but it doesn’t actually tell you how to use the yarn. There are some small illustrations but I couldn’t make much sense of them either. Maybe I’m a bit thick. So I ‘googled’ Rico Can Can Glitz yarn and found an excellent U Tube video demonstrating how to proceed.
I began to knit, but at this time of year my hands are quite rough and I found I was ‘catching’ the yarn from time to time despite rubbing in lashings of hand-cream. After I had done about a quarter of the scarf I came across a hole in the mesh, about two to three inches long. I had three options: 1) Take the yarn back to shop it came from and complain – this seemed pointless as it was several miles away, I would have to start again with a new ball which might have the same fault somewhere along its length and it wasn’t the shop’s fault anyway. 2) I could try to stitch up the ladder and 3) I could cut out the length of yarn with the hole and knot the ends.
No. 3 seemed a very last resort as the knotted ends would show at the side of the scarf so I decided to try to stitch up the ladder. I thought this would show as well but if it didn’t work I could try option 3. In the event, after I had carefully stitched up the hole and knitted a few more rows I discovered I couldn’t find the repaired mesh, it didn’t show at all. A little wary now of my rough hands (not that they were the cause of this particular hole) I decided to try wearing rubber gloves, or at least one on my right hand – I hate rubber gloves, which is why I have rough hands.
After ten minutes I was feeling irritated, after fifteen minutes I just had to take a break, progress was going to be slow. I changed the rubber glove for a cotton one, better for comfort but thicker. Have you ever knitted in gloves? It’s a bit like one of those silly party games where you dress up in coat, hat, scarf and gloves and have to unwrap a parcel with a knife and fork! Gradually I got used to it and knitting was on track again. The scarf has moved on a pace since I took the photo and is now nearly finished. By the time you read this it probably will be and it will be time to act on my resolution.
Interestingly I took another look at the label illustration and gradually realised that what was depicted was Continental style knitting, which is different to how we knit in the UK. It will be familiar to ‘fairisle’ knitters as it is often used to hold a second colour so that two colours can be easily interchanged, the yarn runs through the left hand instead of the right and you sort of hook the needle through it. I can knit like this but it isn’t second nature to me.
Having solved my problems with this scarf and now being fully aware of how fragile the yarn is I’m tempted to treat myself to another ball and have another go – after I have finished my Green Man weaving of course. Meanwhile I wish you all a very Happy New Year.