Not Martha

to make: my first scarf

fuzz up close
fuzzy

single strands with quarter for scale
single strands with quarter for scale

first version knitted with hand
hand to show just how fuzzy it is

backlit over computer screen to show open stitches
scarf backlit over the computer screen to (attempt to) show how open the stitches are – check out my four-finger alien hand!

in process showing how connected colors
in process to show how I connected the colors, this is the first version

me wearing it back
back

This is the first thing I have knitted ever! For my first project I wanted something I would like to own. This yarn is named Zap and it’s made by Berroco. It is mostly demonstrated as a fake fur collar or hat, but I thought the brighter colors would be fun to make a super fuzzy christmas-y scarf, wha-la. This is also nicknamed The Dr. Seuss Scarf.

stats:

yarn
Zap by Berroco
50 yds
on label:
recommended needles #8 US (5mm)
4.75 stitches = 1″
100% polyester
~$10 per skein (expensive scarf)
care: Handwash in cool water with mild soap (no detergent). Lay flat to dry. Or dry clean.

needles
Bryspun Flexible
size 15 US
10″ length

final pattern I used
size 15 US needles
use single strand
cast on 30 stitches
knit each row
knit 12 rows per color
very easy eh?

I bought 4 skeins – 2 cool red and 2 crema from Patternworks (the colors work well together but I would have preferred red and white, I knew it was cream when I ordered it however), the skeins came as a loop twisted around itself. I decided to wash the skeins before I did anything to see if the colors would run. I immersed them one by one in a bowl of tepid soapy water, I used peppermint liquid dr. bronners. I then immersed them in clean water, squeezed a bit between paper towels and laid them flat to dry. They dried quickly into the same condition, and the colors didn’t run at all.

I wound them into balls, the yarn doesn’t stretch so I didn’t have to be very careful. I tried swatches with a few different needles. First I tried a single strand on #10 US needles, the eyelashes tucked into the stitches and looked like loops, they were hard to coax out. Next I tried 2 strands of the same color on size #15 US needles – Bryspun Flexible. I like the needles, the concave point is nice to work with, but I think I’d prefer shorter tapers. This yarn seemed difficult on these needles, a review of Fluff (a similar, more expensive yarn by The Great Adirondack Yarn Company) found that bamboo needles were easier, but I am to lazy to get new needles, and too poor. I garter stitched (knit stitch only) the entire thing because it kept as much yarn on the outside as possible and was easy. I really really didn’t want to cut any yarn until I was absolutely certain so I looped the yarn into the next section, as you can see in the fifth picture. Good thing too because I started and took it apart about six times total, only one of those times did I make it very far into the scarf. When I was ready to finish it I cut the loops in half, square knotted them to the other color strand, then wove them into the appropriate color block. Someone told me chenille is hard to keep in knots so I thought keeping the ends long and weaving them in would keep the scarf from falling apart later on, we’ll see. I also found that the eyelashes were stuck less in the stitch when the yarn coming onto the needle was going against the knap of the strand, does that make sense?

So, the first version I almost finished was doubled strands on size 15 needles, fifteen stitches across, eight rows per color section. Because the stitches are so big the scarf pulled itself very thin, making it look more like a boa. This scarf you can see in the fifth picture to the left. And because the stripes were thin, the overlapping of the color transitions was very prominent (as there is that little row color overlap with garter stitch), rather than the blocks of color themselves, in this case I didn’t like the marled look. And the double strands were excessively thick and heavy – if I just slung it around my neck it felt like it was choking me. So I ripped it all out (took a while) and tried again. This time I used a single strand, 30 stitches, and 12 rows per block of color, which is what you see in the pictures of me wearing it. It still pulls very thin. Even with the big needles and single strand it is still almost ridiculously fuzzy, more so than I expected, but I love it. I was surprised by how little this yarn shed, I’m pretty sure the few eyelashes which came off were from the cut ends of the yarn. It also wore very well considering what I put it through, constantly ripping it out and rewinding it so that the knap of the strands faced the other way. The scarf is soft, but isn’t make-a-sweater-out-of-it soft, there are tinges of tickling.

Consensus? Good yarn, not difficult to work with once you figure out how to distinguish what is strand and what is eyelash, a tad expensive, but very fun.

6 Comments

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jill // Dec 12, 2006 at 5:47 am

    Hi M,

    I was just wondering about this scarf. Has it held up well? Would you change anything about it? I am a beginning knitter and I am thinking of making this as a Christmas gift. Thanks!

  • 2 megan // Dec 12, 2006 at 7:59 am

    Jill – it was fun but not warm. I wouldn’t recommend it for a gift item unless the person in question would appreciate the cartoon-y look. For a gift, a simple garter stitch scarf in a soft chunky boucle or slubby yarn would be more useful all around.

  • 3 Knitting under the influence by cruciverb () | LjSEEK.COM // Jan 9, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    [...] I really want to make this scarf. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Hee! It’s kind of impractical, but so cute. [...]

  • 4 Andrea // Jan 11, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Cute scarf. I just about died laughing at your “alien hand” after realizing I didn’t even notice it. I was studying your scarf way too closely ;-)

  • 5 society for knitters who can spell // Nov 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Oh sweet lord, it’s spelled voila, not wha-la.

  • 6 megan // Nov 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Yup, I know. I was being intentionally phonetical.

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