So, this time - ONE SKEIN PHASE – THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE
Or ONE-SKEIN MARATHON.
This is how the story begins- about a month ago, I managed to “kill” my last functional tapestry needle and had to buy a new set. The tapestry needles are sold in a yarn shop. And there’s plenty of yarn in a yarn shop (as you can imagine)! And this knitter is not allowed to buy any more yarn this winter unless SHE intends to eat it. So, I tied my hands and took a few friends with me (heavy weight category friends - who could easily «remove me from the shelf» if necessary) and off to tapestry needles shopping we went. Why didn't I simply leave my credit cards at home? Well, obviously because the nice lady in my favourite yarn shop is very cool and she wouldn't mind waiting a day or two to get the money (she is quite useless, isn’t she ?!!!).
I was cool in there but I did let two or three people to go in front of me so that I could look around a bit (looking is free!!!) and just when I was about to pay for my needles, I saw a skein of pale grey yarn on the floor. My clumsiness, again. But, there wasn't a single yarn in the same colour on the shelf so I had to ask the shop owner where to put it! She said- «Oh, just leave it anywhere, it's the last one, anyway!» . Suddenly, my eyes were THIS big!!!! I was looking at that skein in my hand… the skein was smiling back at me....it was an instant attraction! YOU'RE MINE!!!!
I didn't care that it was grey… I didn’t know what it was made of… nothing! The adrenaline was already pumping! The great thing about this «ultimate challenge» was that – there really was only ONE skein. No more in the shop, or in my home…the only skein in town! Now- that is a REAL one-skein project! What a thrill!
I mean- I could go bungee- jumping but...what's the point? I can always ask that nice lady to call me when she finds another «last skein» in her shop!
OK- so, the next thing to do was to examine the characteristics of the yarn and decide what to do with it. Not a brilliant situation, at all! Pure acrylic (no wonder no one wanted the poor one)! How do they make pure acrylic yarn, anyway? Do they spin it like wool? I can't even imagine it on a spinning wheel- the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word «acrylic», is a beautiful painting. I like acrylic paintings!
But, it didn't really matter it was 100% unnatural, after all. It was yet another challenge- what can be made from a SINGLE skein of ACRYLIC yarn? It's not really skin-friendly so gloves were out of the question. A hat- same problem! And there was absolutely not enough yarn for a scarf or a wrap....I didn't need a pale grey purse (though- I did think of Norah Gaughan’s modular purses)...BUT, it's the turtleneck time and I love turtlenecks. I always wear them in January. If I make a neck warmer- it will basically never touch my skin and there's plenty of yarn for one in this skein. (Finally, it was all about the excitement of making something- I'll probably give it as a gift to someone later)!
I knew I should use an «economical» pattern but eyelet-holes didn’t seem like a good choice for a neck warmer! I needed something slip-stich-ish! k1, s1 wyif – bingo! Knitting only every second stitch in odd numbered rows spares a lot of yarn.
So, this is how this process looked like...
It was a sport-ish yarn, about 11wpi and 5mm needles seemed like the best choice. The result -puffy but not too loose! I got the gauge of 17 sts / 17rows=10 cm(4inches) – just what I wanted – and there was no need to cast on more than 28 stitches (I was thinking of working with 30 but...adding these two extra stitches was just calling for a trouble!). 70 rows and it was almost 0.5 m (20 inches) long- enough! Bind off, break the yarn!
I have recently been looking at some pictures in «Knitting on the Edge» and «Knitting Beyond the Edge» and that is exactly where I think the I-cord idea came from so, I gave this garment a working title «On the Edge Neck Warmer». But when it was finished, that shape looked somehow familiar!
Do you know what it reminded me of? THIS!
Remember this silly hat Greta Garbo wore in “Ninotchka” ? (You haven't seen Ninotchka??? I won't even comment that! :))) ) . It was, definitely, a Ninotchka neck warmer!!!
But, the excitement continues! After finishing the neck warmer, there was only 1/3 of my magical skein left. Though it looks much bigger in the picture, it was a very skinny skein at this point.
That's the yarn tail after finishing the first cuff! And look at the length of the CO tail! My CO tails are usually ten times longer but working on an ultimate-challenge project can really turn your perception upside-down, can't it? It seemed like such a waste of yarn!
I, didn't have to break the yarn this time, of course! :))) (Did you know that a grey acrylic yarn - literally - turns green when it starts burning? I knew there was something extraterrestrial about that yarn the moment I saw it on the floor!)
The good thing was- I knew that there was still just enough yarn for the second cuff.
And, here it is- the ultimate 'Ninotchka neck warmer and wrist cuffs’ set!
Though, that Ninotchka hat was probably not grey at all! It was the film that was made in b&w technology! Doesn't really matter- I'll turn my Ninotchka into b&w too! No problem!
I quite like the fact that this neck warmer resembles this hat, actually. But- I didn’t know it was going to happen so, I think I should now start paying more attention to what I do. Especially if I decide to make a dress! I’d be in a huge problem if it would turn out to look like THIS ONE!