Always (Always always always) Wash It
December 4, 2009
So, wa-la! Here is my Lacy Scarf, made from a kit I got as a gift for subscribing to Rowan International for another fabby year of fantastically over-the-top exquisite knitting from the Yorkshire dales or moors or whatever you call their moody, suitable-for-sparkly-vampires landscape.
All that has been done to this FO is a simple soak in a tepid bath with a little fancy shampoo, followed by squeezing of excess water and an overnight rest on a ping pong table to dry. (It took up the entire length of the ping-pong table. This was impressive to the children who were playing ping-pong the next morning.)
But what a transformation. Since I don’t knit wool as often as I knit the plant-based yarns, I always forget that washing makes such a change. Wool seems so nice and stitchy and springy as you’re knitting it, that you can’t imagine that it is going to be improved by washing. But it relaxes and softens and looks 100 percent nicer after washing. So remember that, OK?
Fans of this pattern will notice that I freelanced buttonholes and buttonbands onto the ends. The design as written calls for a three-needle bindoff of the beginning and the end together, to get a long continuous loop o’ scarf. I felt this construction would limit the ways to wear it, so I did the buttonholes. This had a lot to do with the fact that I had some perfect buttons I wanted to use, but I didn’t probably need to tell anybody that. Now the wearer has Options. Button it into a continuous Rowanesque loop, or don’t button it and it’s a regular scarf.
I should also point out that I switched all the SSK decreases to K2together-through-back-loops. I believe this saved me MINUTES of time. I felt like the SSKs were messing with my rhythm. I wasn’t in the mood for that. It looks just fine to me.
Now I am at the moment of truth. I have a lovely natural dye kit (thanks Meg!) containing logwood and some kind of red powder, and a little baggie containing a Harry Potterish-sounding “mordant” of alum. I am ready to brew this scarf into a color that is less Band-Aidish (even though it photographed beautifully in southern sunset light, one really can’t limit a scarf’s wear to southern sunsets, you know?), but I hesitate at the edge of the cauldron. Should I go with the red dye, which might yield a deep salmon? Or the logwood, which will yield grey-ish or blue-ish tones? Or should I keep looking for the chestnutty brown color I was thinking of originally? Will coffee really get the color deep enough? Bueller?
I have questions. You have opinions. Please share.