Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Yarn Project

Some time ago I was given some stash items from a friend who was moving away, and in those items there was this sock yarn from dkKnits called Technicolor Dream Toes, that looks like it's black and gray until you get it into strong light were it turns green. There are also a fair amount of longer coarse hairs in it so it tends to halo a bit.

Well I'm not much of a sock knitter but since there was quite a bit of it I thought I could double strand it and make some accessories. Originally I'd intended to make a hat, scarf, & mitten set with it, but after I'd handled it a bit I decided that it was too rough to use for a scarf. I thought though that it would still work for the hat & mittens.

I started with one of my favorite mitten patterns, the Peekaboo from Pensive Frog and to make it fingerless I used the rib for the finger opening all the way around and then cast it off. I also modified the thumb so it would match by casting off at the knuckle, and I think it worked out pretty well.


For the hat I decided on the Jacques Cousteau hat by Typy, and I'd gotten pretty far on the hat before it occurred to me to try on the mittens. At first they were just a little scratchy, but I'd expected that, but after they'd been on for a few minutes as I continued to work on the hat, I REALLY started to itch where they were touching me.

Even after I took them off I was itchy for a bit, this hadn't ever happend to me before, not even mohair bothered me like this. A few days later I was talking to a freind who recommended using conditioner to try and soften up the fiber, and I thought it was worth a shot.

So I gathered my supplies, washed them,

and used a VERY healthy dollop to make sure...

they were completely saturated in the goo. I let them sit in the goo for about 20 minutes and rinsed them thoroughly because they REALLY smelled like coconut. After I'd gotten them all cleaned out I laid them flat to dry.

Once they were I tried them on again, and while the fiber was noticeably softer, after a few minutes though I started itching again. I posted my results in a knitting forum to see if anyone else had had the same experience or possibly had other suggestions, and lo and behold I was contacted by the gal who is dkKnits.

She said that because wool is an in demand product, her supplier uses fiber from a variety of breeds. This means that in theory you could purchase the product several times and like the feel of it and not have a reaction to it, and then get a batch that is a different texture and have it be too rough for socks and/or have a reaction to it. She offered to replace it, and suggested that I try her Smoosh line because it's designated as merino.