Thursday, September 24
The trials of "fun fur"
Ok, so you remember I posted a pic on the 11th September of the free yarn the Coventry Knit Wits got for being Simply Knitting's club of the month? Well, if you look a little more closely - half of it is fun fur! And discontinued fun fur at that! Ack!
I didn't post the details (nor a clearer photo) before, because I wanted to keep the contents a surprise (!) from my fellow knitters. I think there was one bag of a camel-coloured yarn with a gold fleck, one bag of something cotton with blobs of fluff in, one bag of bright zigzag stuff that Julie went for, three bags of fun fur and one of a thin pink yarn with paper flags attached - not technically a fun fur, but not easy to knit with either!
Almost nobody wanted the yarn they got - only the zigzag found a home. So that left me with a big bag of acrylic frightfulness.
So, after some debate, I turned the three bags of fun fur into stocking stitch (or rib) scarves. Found a raveller who is collecting scarves for a women's refuge. The yarn mostly behaved - bits that got tangled up, or started to unravel (the turquoise did) went into the naughty receptacle (the bin). I also dug out two "scarflets" that resulted from a momentary lapse of reason in the January sales - yes, more fun fur, I can only blame the mince pie fumes for that lot ending up in my shopping bag.
The pink stuff with flags I suspect will not go through even my chunky machine, so I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do with it - I made a bag with that yarn some time ago, and it knits up fairly easily by hand, but I'm not sure I fancy making a whole tedious scarf with it. Not sure what to do with the cotton stuff, nor the camel-coloured yarn.
What can I say? "Fun fur" has to be the biggest knitting misnomer going. It's not fun for anybody. I'm sure even the poor bloke operating the mill hates it (the turqouise stuff had rubber bands on each ball to stop it unravelling), and the shops that bought it are now struggling to shift it. I keep remembering a Franklin cartoon (from "It Itches!) of a woman standing by a display of "super whizzy fun yarn" saying "I'll decide if it's fun to knit, thankyou!"
I had a quiet evening on Tuesday owing to some vitally important football match requiring the Cog to be down the pub, so I thought I'd tackle the front of the jumper I'm making to replace the one he shrunk in the tumble drier. Yes, I am a complete mug. So I cast on and was knitting away without incident, when I realised I'd not cast on enough. OK, so that was 20 mins wasted; no problem, I rewound the yarn. I'm making this out of 2 ends of dark navy lambswool, and I am plying the yarn as it is knitted. Cast on the correct number of stitches - well, tried to - but this is so long that the cast on comb I'd used for weight wasn't long enough, and making the super-long comb was too long to use without taking the ribber off and disassembling everything. After a few false starts I gave up and used the e-wrap cast on, which is slow but always works. Knitted up to the neck divide, and knitted the first half with no problem. However, I somehow managed to set the row counter wrong for the second half of the neck. At one point I am supposed to have 11 stitches, but I had about 30. And it didn't match the other side. So, rehung the knitting back on the machine (by the neck divide) - had to put the lamp under the table so that I had some idea of what I was doing. Got it all re-hung, only to discover it was one stitch over - so moved everything over one needle (because I know it'll do my head in later trying to check where I am in the pattern).
At this point, it's almost 10pm and the table behind the knitting machine is strewn with a nest of unpicked yarn. I sit back and stretch, rather annoyed that I didn't finish. And somehow manage to run over my own toe with the wheel of my chair. Yes, there was some cursing! The Cog, who is now back home, says he's glad he's been out all night and missed the swearing!
Whoever it was who said knitting was fun, obviously never tried machine knitting! :)