Monday, December 9, 2013

That's Annoying

Yarn comes in a wide range of prices as does fabric so it's impossible to say which is the less expensive medium however, the question did pop into my mind yesterday as I added the fifth ball of yarn to my current project.... a scarf.




Finished, it'll be 12" x 72" or 864 square inches. A meter of 45" wide fabric is 1,800 square inches. The yarn is from my stash. I bought it years ago and can't remember exactly what I paid but an online price of $6.95 per skein sounds like something I would pay. For five skeins, that's $34.75 in total. If I divide the total size of the fabric by the total size of the scarf, the fabric is 2.083 times larger. Multiply that amount by the price of the yarn and a knitted piece of equivalent size to the fabric would be $72.95 - a price I would never pay for a meter of fabric which means I'm knitting REALLY expensive fabric with an average priced yarn. Gulp for the really expensive yarn.




Every skein of this yarn has had a knot in it. The last one had two knots with one close to the beginning but not close enough to start over and one about two thirds of the way through. That's annoying. And these aren't tiny knots. The squares in the picture above are an inch by an inch. That knot is HUGE. Each time, I've had to cut the ends and blend which means there will be way more than five sets of ends to weave in when I'm done. That's annoying. It would make me think twice about buying this yarn again even though it is incredibly soft and knits up beautifully. 




The yarn is wound around cardboard cores. They're big enough to slip over my wrist, firm enough to withstand wearing, and wide enough to be used as is or cut down to narrower widths. Naturally, my mind is pondering bracelet ideas... perhaps painted bracelets. It seems like an interesting challenge to successfully paint cardboard. I'm having breakfast with a friend this morning. She's a painter so I'll ask her for suggestions. It might be fun to paint lines on bracelets.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - large skeins of yarn, long enough for a complete scarf, without knots

11 comments:

  1. I don't knit that much, but I sympathize with you on both the price and the KNOTS! In fact, the price is a contributor to why I don't knit more (also I'm left-handed but learned to knit right-handed using a bizarre technique: I place the right needle between my legs and knit onto it with my left hand. Looks really weird, so I feel self-conscious knitting in public).

    Looking at the cardboard tubes, I immediately thought of wrapping them with colorful, silky thread or fine yarn to make colorful vertically striped bracelets. Or you could even use a metallic cord, either alone or in combination with colored or black silk threads. If you decide to paint, I bet you could seal the cardboard with that stuff artists use to fill and seal canvas prior to painting (starts with a 'G' but I can't retrieve the word right now. Getting old sucks, if you'll pardon my French).

    I always look forward to your posts, even though I don't comment that often. You are so creative in your use of materials, and you get me excited by spurring my own creativity. Thank you!

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    1. The price is definitely a factor for why I don't knit far more expensive yarns but I do like the portability of knitting. I did quite a bit last week while talking to my daughter so I image I'll continue to do some but never a lot.

      LOL - I wouldn't worry about looking bizarre but if you do, you could always relearn to knit a different way. I did that in my twenties and this method is much smoother.

      When I showed my friend the cores, she darn near grabbed them out of my hand. She could see the potential right away and gave me some good ideas. I may try painting them just because painting is something I'd like to experiment with and this is easy and inexpensive.

      I'm glad I spur your creativity. Thanks for letting me know.

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  2. Wow. That is some expensive fabric you are making. ;) I believe you also have to factor in the entertainment factor of knitting (and sewing and cross stitch etc etc), I am fortunate that I can only knit simple things badly and there are only so many scarves that one person needs, and anything else is beyond my capabilities. Which I am grateful for, I have enough trouble controlling a fabric stash, I don't want a yarn stash as well.

    For the bracelets, how about some papier mache on them to rough up the surface and then applying synthetic gold, silver or copper leaf. Could be interesting.

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    1. It is expensive fabric and you're right - definitely have to factor the entertainment value in because even if I knit a skein an hour, that's cheap entertainment. I've been knitting only scarves for over a year now and only two or three different patterns. It's more about portability and about thinking while knitting and busy work. I'm not buying yarn at the moment but if I get too depleted, it has its allotted space in the stash that is significantly less than the fabric space. That's the only way I could control either.

      Hmm... papier mache sounds like an interesting way to create some texture. I'll think about that. Thanks.

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  3. I agree 1000%..knots in the expensive yarns make me crazy! It's not like fabric where you can see a flaw before you cut . Very frustrating!!

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    1. Knots in any yarn drive me crazy BUT especially expensive yarn. I so agree. I like to plan where the joins will be and hide them in the seams if possible. With something like a scarf, you'd prefer none or as few as possible since there's no place to hide.

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  4. Yeah, I got into knitting because as a fat women with a non-standard shape (large bust, apple abdomen, flat butt) I thought I could knit stuff since I couldn't find what I wanted and fit at the stores. But it turns out knitting is an expensive hobby and I am not even middle class (lower middle maybe). I have 4 sets of scarf/hat/fingerless gloves and enough yarn for one sweater in my size, and I'm too afraid of messing up that much yarn by knitting for months and then hating the result.

    I actually think I get a better value out of sewing. Fabric isn't cheap but I've made some tops, a skirt, and a jacket out of stuff I got too fat to wear, and that was practically free and even more fun than buying new fabric (because it was more of a challenge).

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    1. That's the wonderful thing about sewing and knitting - we can create something that fits our shape no matter what it may be. The only way to learn to knit results you like is to knit. There's a learning curve. I started by knitting child size garments and perfecting my skills that way. You can often pick up yarn at thrift stores that could help with the curve and you'd have fun blending colors and textures.

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  5. I must admit i stopped knitting due to the price.Im still hanging on to my sewing but if the local fabric store closes i may have to rethink that too.Oh how i wish i lived near a garment district LOl.
    Hubby went to Thailand and i asked for fabric but even there the price has increased terribly so he came back empty handed.My mother in law is in Dubai where arab women grew up knowing how to sew and she's finding it hard to get some from there for me now.

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    1. The price of fabric has definitely gone up. At one point, there were three fabric stores in town and they all closed within a month of each other and then there were none for a really long time and I had to go out of town to get fabric - about an hour away - and I did because I can't imagine not sewing. I collect my stash at sales and rarely pay full price unless I absolutely love it and will sew it immediately for an occasion or as a souvenir. Otherwise, it has to be on sale. I just bought five meters of a tan wool suiting for $5.00 a meter. I don't like the color and that'll be a challenge - making it into something I do like. I can afford $5.00 but not the full price and it's even better if the bargain center is on sale. Even on-line you can find some really great sales if you keep looking.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.