24 August 2016

Artistic Fraying

Sometimes part of the fun of writing a knitting pattern is coming up with unique instructions. For awhile, I've wanted to write a pattern that ends with, "Tie yarn securely to the roof of your car. Drive around for a couple weeks. Untie. Attach yarn 'feathers' to project."

Unfortunately, I have discovered this works only for very specific yarns.

Those of you who have seen my car in person may know that I typically have a little streamer "poof" coming off the radio antenna. This is made from several strands of Filatura Di Crosa Timo in color 13. Sadly, this yarn has been discontinued. I only change out the streamer about once a year, so I figure my one skein (60 meters) should last the life of the car.

I purchased this particular yarn because I was looking for a ribbon yarn in a colorway that would look good with my very red little car. What I did not realize was how the yarn would change when tied to the roof. The ends start out plain.

 But after driving around for awhile, they feather.

I've come to rather like the feathered look.

A couple years ago at Georgia FiberFest, I bought an art batt in the ‟flame thrower” colorway from Alpaca Trading Post. This was a wonderful batt with all sorts of different textures. I spun it up into over 75 yards of corespun goodness. The art batt included a couple yards of ribbon yarn very similar to Timo. I decided the feathered texture would be great fun. So, I dutifully cut the ribbon yarn into smaller sections and attached it to the roof of my car. I drove from Maryland to Georgia. I drove around Atlanta. I drove in the rain. I don't remember how many miles I put on my car, but this yarn would not feather!

As you can see in this ultra-closeup, both yarns appear to be the same construction. (Timo, both feathered and un-feathered is on the left.) It looks to me as if the central stitching migrates to the center and the weft breaks at the edges. I have no idea why one will feather and one will not. Ideas, anyone?


Anonymous said...

Maybe trim off the vertical edges so it will fray around the center spines?? Pam

Jolie said...

That's a good idea!
I'm most flummoxed by how they appear to be similar in construction and yet behave so differently. It is as if one yarn is subject to the laws of physics and the other is not.