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View Full Version : Is it the yarn, or me?


AnnaT
10-15-2007, 12:00 AM
For my father's Christmas present, I bought some very soft, acrylic chunky yarn for a scarf. I know he can't wear wool so I was pleased with this soft yarn for him. The ball band recommended 6.5 mm (US size 10.5) and I planned to use my 7mms. It's a light gray and very nice. Even my husband noticed it and said he liked it, and he's usually oblivious to my knitting!

Well...I've tried out at least 10 different patterns/stitch patterns this week and they ALL look awful. I've tried two different diagonal rib patterns, Knitpick's Seaman's Scarf pattern, a windowpane pattern, Silver's Palindrome pattern (which we all know is great), the Good Ol' Cabled Scarf pattern, a farrow rib pattern, a mistake rib pattern, a seeded rib pattern, Martha Stewart's Basic Scarf pattern, and a couple of others I can't even think of right now.

I was happiest with the Seaman's Scarf at first, but as it went on, I felt my heart sinking and frogged it after five pattern repeats. Thank you to those of you who helped me with the cabling, but it just didn't work out. :cry:

I was thinking to give it one more chance, with the "A Scarf Askew" pattern. But it might be too bulky for that.

So, is it the yarn or me? I am so frustrated with it I just put it aside and started my grandmother's present. I'm actually starting to hate this pretty yarn. I'm thinking about getting a completely different yarn for my dad's present.

sugarfunpouch
10-15-2007, 12:02 AM
Maybe you got so frustrated, you looked down on the other patterns???

suzeeq
10-15-2007, 12:40 AM
Have you tried My So Called Scarf? That might be better with 8 or 9 mm needles though.

Jan in CA
10-15-2007, 01:13 AM
I find I get frustrated with the look of my knitting in chunky yarn. It won't look as refined as worsted so maybe we need to get used to that. :shrug:

cranberry
10-15-2007, 11:14 AM
Did you try something really simple?
I like K1P1 ribbing for a bulky yarn scarf.

HollyP
10-15-2007, 11:22 AM
I think with chunky yarn a simple pattern is better like Cranberry said. I bookmarked a diagonal garter stitch scarf pattern that would work, but for some reason the site is temporarily down.

What ever you choose good luck!

rissa
10-15-2007, 11:35 AM
I totally understand and have been there myself. Chunky doesn't lend well to much of a patterned stitch. One thing that might help is to go up a needle size. It'll give you a looser fabric which can be better all around. I think I remember seeing someone here say that they use the largest needle size they can get away with. It lets the fabric drape better. :muah:

knitknitknit
10-15-2007, 11:52 AM
I am making a throw with a really chunky yarn that I love. The pattern I am using is simple it's the twin rib http://www.knittingonthenet.com/stitches/twinrib.htm
and it looks great. I was in a knitting cafe yesterday afternoon and got so many compliments! The other thing I love about that pattern is that it's reversible. :happydance:

suzeeq
10-15-2007, 11:57 AM
I think a chunky yarn needs larger than size 10 needles. I saw a sample swatch of Softee Chunky at the store knit at gauge on size 10s and it was awful! So stiff and not soft at all. I've used this yarn with 11s and 13s and it's much nicer knit on that size.

HollyP
10-15-2007, 06:21 PM
Here (http://www.ohmystars.net/craft/knitting/pdiagon.html)is a similar pattern to what I mention earlier. Good idea Sue! Going up a needle size or 2 like Suzeeq really could make all the difference.

cftwo
10-15-2007, 06:37 PM
I agree with the ideas of either using a larger sized needle or using a really basic pattern. Try 11s or 13s (8mm or larger).

There's a lovely pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts for a men's scarf in bulky weight yarn. PM me if you would like me to email the pattern - it's super easy.

Otherwise, I'd go with a 2x2 or 1x1 rib, straight knitting, or maybe a moss/seed stitch on the larger needles. I think you'll find that these will work.

AnnaT
10-15-2007, 11:36 PM
I find I get frustrated with the look of my knitting in chunky yarn. It won't look as refined as worsted so maybe we need to get used to that. :shrug:


You know, I do think I don't care for chunky yarn as much as worsted. This was my first foray into chunky, so I learned something. :mrgreen:

AnnaT
10-15-2007, 11:53 PM
Everyone, thank you for your wonderful suggestions. I agree--it must be that with chunky yarn, it's the yarn, not the pattern (like with most variegated yarns?). It's so interesting. Even though knitting seems so simple, it's really complex and there's so much to learn!

About going up a needle size: I started on my grandmother's scarf and it's in a chunky-ish yarn. The ball band recommended 5.5-6.0mm (US 9-10), so it's a tiny smidge lighter/thinner than the gray. I am using the 7mms and it's coming out really nice. I am using this pattern: pieKnits: Ropes and Ladders Cabled Scarf Pattern (http://www.pieknits.com/blog/2006/02/ropes_and_ladders_cabled_scarf.html) and I'm very pleased. I recommend this pattern to everyone.

I'll give the gray yarn another shot with some of the suggestions everyone gave me when I finish the Ropes and Ladders scarf. I feel much more positive about it! :)

Last note: I asked my husband what he thought of the farrow rib pattern when I was doing that, and he said, "Maybe something more flat?" :mrgreen: So not only was I trying to go with an inappropriately "cute" pattern, it wasn't masculine enough. :teehee:

suzeeq
10-16-2007, 12:10 AM
One thing about the needle size on the yarn labels... They're the `recommended' size only to get that gauge, not what to knit with. I've seen many patterns that use different size needles than on the label. The label gauge is there to show you what weight range the yarn is in - DK, worsted, bulky, etc. So don't feel like you have to use the same size - use whatever gives you the fabric you like.

WandaT
10-16-2007, 07:01 AM
AnnaT I LOVE that Ropes and Ladders Scarf pattern ... Wow, can't wait to make that now!! LOL Anyway, have you tried a simple basketweave pattern? That seems to look good in almost any gauge!

AnnaT
10-16-2007, 11:05 PM
AnnaT I LOVE that Ropes and Ladders Scarf pattern ... Wow, can't wait to make that now!! LOL Anyway, have you tried a simple basketweave pattern? That seems to look good in almost any gauge!


It's really easy, but isn't overly monotonous. I'll post a picture of it when I finish, which shouldn't be more than a couple of days. I hope to finish it today. :happydance: Mine is rolling up at the edges so it will need some work after I'm finished.

I did a baby blanket in basketweave last spring, in a light worsted yarn. I do like that pattern. I didn't try that pattern, though, for the scarf. Will put it on the list. :)