Thursday, July 12, 2007

Saving the Amazing Technicolor Disaster

Hopefully, I have turned a total disaster into something... interesting.

Once upon a time, about a year and a half ago, I discovered Recycled Sari Silk on E-Bay and I fell in love with it. I decided to make a nice comfy jacket out of it and I ended up buying an obscene amount of it. (In my defense, I ended up paying less than $3 per skein for yarn that retails in the $15 per skein neighborhood.)

I borrowed my Mom's copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Around" and decided to make the bog coat. An Amazing Technicolor Bog Coat. (Knit and Tonic has a nice explanation of it here.)

However, this whole project was ill conceived. For starters I didn't account for how saggy, bulky and heavy the knitted fabric would be. Combined with a coat pattern with no shaping and a small gauge (even with my loose gauge, size six needles were way too small) it was shaping up to be a complete disaster.

This project has been long languishing, getting pulled out in between projects for a couple of those long rows. The yarn itself, while beautiful, is very demanding. I probably spent as much time picking out vegetation and un-kinking the stuff as I did knitting. Sometimes, I could hold the yarn taut and pluck it and see a little cloud of dust. Recycled Sari Silk is made in Nepal. The threads are swept off the floor of sari factories and are spun into yarn. (There is a more in-depth explanation is here.) I still say it was worth it. The yarn is so beautiful. And it is supposed to get much softer after washing.

I started coming to my senses when I pulled it out at a knitting group and started getting compliments on my beautiful throw. I started thinking that maybe I should make it a throw. I had knitted some waste yarn (the lime green) where I was supposed to form the sleeves. I just have to weave in some matching (and matching is relative when you knit recycled sari silk) yarn where the lime green was.

So today I was back at Chicks with Sticks at Bluebonnet, between projects, with my giant sari silk rectangle. I was asking the throw or jacket question, when someone mentioned that it would make a great shawl. That's when everything clicked. It was the perfect size for a shawl just as it was. After a bit of discussion, I started binding off.

After I bound off, I did a little photo (please excuse the poor lighting.) I'm not calling it an FO yet. I started removing that waste yarn (which is difficult when the yarn keeps breaking) and I have more ends to weave in. Also, I want to wash it. (This time I'll probably have to clean the bathtub instead of the bathroom sink.)

At any rate, I think I made the right decision. Even on me, even with generous ease, I had made the jacket way too big. Probably by 6-12 inches in width.

Besides, I've always wanted to make a shawl. Apparently I started one a year and a half ago.

And I can still use it as a throw.

1 comment:

aija said...

Oh wow! I love the look of recycled silk, but can't imagine it for a jacket :) I think you made the right choice!