FO: Vintage Velvet scarf
I’m pretty sure if I make this scarf again, it’ll be for someone who pays for the yarn. At $15 a ball, it’s pretty pricey. I managed to find some older yarn in a store in Brooklyn when I was there this summer, and it was about $8 a ball, so that helped, but I ended up ordering extra from Jimmy Beans Wool, and three balls from there cost me as much as 5 balls from B.E. Yarns. The only problem is that the older yarn was, well, pretty old, and rather than being fluffy, it was basically squished flat, almost ribbon-like. The difference between the two yarns is visible in the scarf – the smoother part in the middle is the newer yarn, the sides are the older one. I noticed this right away, but hoped the felting would take care of it and kept going, because, well, there wasn’t really any choice.
Pattern: “Vintage Velvet” by Lisa Daniels, from Scarf Style [Ravel it!]
Yarn: Muench Touch Me in #3620 (Vintage Red? Maroon? there’s no official color name)
Needles: 5mm Knit Picks Options circular needles
Size before felting: 90″ long, 5″ wide
Size after felting: 84″ long, 5″ wide
Start date: August 31, 2009.
Finish date: September 27, 2009.
Eek! Felting is scary! The scarf was stiff and all felt more like a lump of plastic or something than yarn. But you can see that it is, in fact, felted. Still, if I hadn’t seen comments about this particular turn of events on Ravelry, this is where I would have started freaking out. I’ve never felted anything before, so I really had no idea what to expect. But I took a deep breath and threw it in the dryer, as per the instructions, and then took it out when it was still damp. I would have left it in the dryer longer, but I had to get going to work, and I didn’t want to leave it in the dryer overnight.
When I got home in the morning, the scarf was still wet and stiff, pretty much as it had been the night before, so I tossed it in the dryer for a while longer, and it softened up fabulously. I’d been worried that I overfelted it—I put it in the washer for a pretty long washing cycle—but apparently the stiffness was just the way the yarn behaves when it’s wet. It’ll be good to know for future washings of the scarf.
I absolutely love the way felting changes the yarn—from the individual stitches being visible to smooth, crushed velvet-like texture. I’ll add my voice to the lament of all the people who’ve knit with it—I wish it wasn’t so expensive. It if was more affordable, I’d seriously make multiples of this scarf to give to people as presents. As it is, I’m totally keeping this one for myself, because no way could I part with it.
You definitely need to take care while knitting this—I didn’t have too much trouble with worming, but because the yarn is kinda slippery, maintaining even tension is important. Paradoxically, the yarn is slippery enough that rather slick needles are necessary—I started with bamboo needles and they were far too sticky, so I switched to my nickel-plated Options and they were perfect.
I think I’ll definitely knit this again. Whether it’ll be from the same yarn or something a little less expensive remains to be seen. There are projects on Ravelry made from different, non-chenille yarns, and they look fabulous.