Friday, September 11, 2009

Continuing the Kool-Aid Saga

Kool-Aid yarn number two came out even nicer than number one, partially, I'm sure, because I much prefer saturated colors to pastels.

But what the heck to do with my masterpieces?

If Kate wasn't allergic to wool, I would probably have knit her something from it. She did drool just a wee bit over it. But it's 100% wool and kinda scratchy to boot. She's a friend, and I can't have her itching to death.

Then I remembered a vest I'd seen at one of the Yarn Quest stores; a vest I'd liked enough that I'd actually spent $5 on buying a copy of the pattern even though it would have cost $80 to knit using the suggested bulky alpaca yarn.

Hmmm... Maybe if I knit with strands of both yarns held together it might be bulky enough. Added advantage: knitting it with two different skeins should break up any potential pooling or striping.

Sounded good, so I knit a swatch. The gauge came out to about four stitches per inch instead of three, so I cast on 33% more stitches to compensate and away I knit.

And knit some more.

I really like the way the fabric came out; the colors meshed better than I'd anticipated. It sure as heck doesn't look like it was dyed with something as fluorescent as Kool-Aid.

I'm the queen of cutting it close. I ran out of the lighter yarn half way through casting off, so I spit spiced the other end of the dark yarn to the tail end of the light yarn and bound off with that doubled. After I sewed the side seams, I had all of about five feet of yarn left. (And, yes, I did hyperventilate more than a little while finishing up.)

Once the object was finished, it went onto the back of the best (and most obliging) model ever for documenting.

She even wore her own top secret sun glasses so I didn't have to Photoshop them in.
(Thanks KC, you're a pip!)

Lesson's learned:
  • If you cast on 33% more stitches, you'd darn well better have more than 10% over the suggested yardage to start with.
  • Holding one's breath and crossing all appendages can help.
  • If I do it again with doubled worsted weight, I will cast on 200 stitches, go down one needle size in the middle section, make all of the sections a little bit longer, and have lots more yarn to start with -- say at least 66% over what's called for of both yarn strands.


KC said...

Wunx, This vest is beautiful. I think it turned out perfect and is a grand showcase for your talents.

Iron Needles said...

Excellent work! A good choice of pattern for the yarn and it turned out beautifully. But you sure do like to cut it close! A very close shave, indeed, but a glorious result.

Iron Needles said...

Also, I meant to ask...does it still have the Kool-Aid...fragrance?

Wunx~ said...

Thank you ladies.

Yes, it does still smell faintly of grape Kool-Aid.

AlisonH said...

Oh, that's cool!

For whatever it's worth: back when I was experimenting with Kool-aid, I put tufts of wool in various colors out on the patio to sit in the sun to see if it would fade. Some of them turned to light or medium gray after two weeks. That was probably 14 or 15 years ago, so who knows. But that vest is glorious. I would keep it stored away from light.