Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yarny stuff

Progress on my Swallowtail Shawl. It's nearly done! I think I have about 10 rows left. With each row taking about 20 minutes (in a quiet, still place), that's only a few hours of knitting left! Then there's the blocking, of course, but I actually don't mind that process. I'm so excited about this shawl.
This is the massive hank of yarn I bought in Dongdaemun around a week ago. I've never bought a hank like this to wind myself, so this is a new experience for me.I got some good advice from some Ravelers in the Korea group who have done this before. Using two big bottles was a great tip, because if strands start to get crossed and the loop gets deformed, it will start to tangle and then it's all over.Winding, though, is not easy. My ball is looking fine, but I think it's going to take an eternity to wind all this yarn. If I continue to buy yarn in this form, a ball winder might be a good investment. I wound yarn for around half an hour today and I did not even make a dent in the hank.

I'm still not sure of this yarn's fibre content. I fell in love with the colour immediately, and all I could get out of the vendor was that it was a wool/acrylic mix and 6000 won ($6), and I was sold. Again, great tips from Ravelers in the Korea group who have done this kind of thing before. They advised me to knit a sizable swatch and block it to make sure it blocks nicely before I invest a lot of time in a big project. Sounds like common sense, but knowing how excited I am, I probably would have just dove into a huge lace project only to find out later that the yarn was not suitable for the project. So, I'm going to take their advice and knit a nice sized sample, first.

Also, I was informed about the "burn test" to help figure out a yarn's fibre content. Basically, acrylic (plastic) burns bright and hot, and leaves behind a stinky residue. Wool is like hair, so it burns a little, fizzles out and turns to ash. Now, I think mine is a blend, but perhaps with the burn test I can tell if it's mostly wool or acrylic.

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