Monday, September 11, 2006

UFO sightings

(First of all, I wonder how many hits I'll get from alien-hunters because of this post's title ?)

Actually, it's not an accurate title anyway, as what I'll be sharing here are finished (!!), rather than UnFinished Objects. W00t!

I got a bee in my bonnet this weekend and decided to finish a couple of things that have been laying around collecting dust for months and months.

First of all, there's this scarf. I've had it piled in a bag since March, finished. It just needed its ends woven in and then it needed to be felted. So after I wove in all seven thousand ends, (seemingly), I measured it before felting:

Yarn: Plymouth "Sinsation" rayon chenille in aqua, 10 balls
Needles: Crystal Palace US size #11 bamboo straights
Gauge: Who cares? But for history's sake, ~3.15 spi
: Cast-on 28 stitches, knit every row

Width, unfelted: ~9 inches
Length, unfelted: 60" + 27" = 87 inches = 7'3"
(my tape measure is only 60" long)
Total scarf acreage, unfelted: 783 square inches or ~5.5 square feet.

Here it is post-felting:

Width, felted: 5 inches
(a reduction of 44%)

Length, felted: 44.5" x 2 (folded scarf in half to measure) = 89" = ~ 7'5"
(How did I GAIN two inches???)
Total scarf acreage, felted: 445 inches squared, or ~3.1 square feet.
An overall reduction in acreage of ~44%.

Extreme close up of fabric, post-felting.
It really is as cool and silky and slinky feeling as it appears here.

Okay, this scarf sure feels really nice to the touch, but it is HEAVY. And way too long. 7+ feet of a heavy scarf is a LOT of scarf. Lesson learned -- felted things shrink in width but not length, apparently! In the future, I would have cast on maybe 60 stitches and used circular needles. But I don't think I'll knit with this stuff again for awhile, if ever. Besides the expense of this yarn and the tiny amount of yardage per ball, chenille, especially this slippery rayon chenille, makes a horribly wormy garter stitch fabric which can be just a royal pain to knit. Its saving grace is the wool core which allows for felting and makes that stunning final fabric.

On the other end of the beautiful fabric spectrum, (i.e., the ugly end), I give you the butt-ugly scarf:

Can someone, somewhere love me?

(Conveniently meeting another description of "UFO", i.e., Ugly Finished Object).

I started this thing almost a year ago, and never finished it because it was just so, so bad. In my defense, I was a fairly new knitter at the time and like many new knitters, I thought gold dripped from my knitting needles. More like fool's gold. If You Knit What? were still up and running, I'd submit it to them. So, why finish it? Because it took almost no time and I felt sorry for it.

My sister-in-law thinks that I should make this scarf a booby prize in a contest of some sort. I'm open to suggestions as to the type of contest!

Knitted Fug. I'm just so proud.


lemmie said...

hi mary - i love the colors of the second scarf - tis not butt-ugly :)

emmy said...

Looks like "Hokie" colors to me Mary. I am sure that there are many Hokie fans that would lovelovelove it.
Congrats on the finishing.

Krista said...

We all have projects we wouldn't do over, which is what the learning process is all about!

LaurieM said...

That blue scarf is lovely. Since it's felted, why don't you cut it in half? It shouldn't unravel, but if you are worried that it might, you could button hole stitch the end. You could keep one scarf for yourself and give the other to your best freind.

Vickie said...

I actually like the orange/brown scarf!! It looks like the trees here in Alabama in the fall.

Sangeeta said...'s certainly one of a kind! An d think of it in a practical sense...I am sure it will keep someone v. warm.

knitfriendly said...

I love the blue scarf Mary! I am pretty sure that when you felt wool, it shrinks in both length and width. What was this yarn made out of? I didn't realize that rayon would felt...

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

Hey Mary,
Finishing anything is an accomplishment as far as I am concerned! The blue felted scarf is very lovely and although the brown/orange scarf may not be feeling YOUR love, obviously others do love it. Scarves are the perfect item to break a streak of UFO's (something I can personally attest to) Congrats!