Thursday, November 08, 2007

Killing acrylic

I was telling you yesterday that there's a downside when you buy yarn at thrift stores and garage sales: NO LABELS!

You have to look at the yarn very carefully, touch it, smell it, rub it together, sometimes (if they're not looking) burn it a little and try to identify if it's a animal, plant or a synthetic fiber. Sometimes you kinda know what it is and other times you have to decide if you like the yarn enough (because of its color, price, quantity) to not care what it is.

This particular yarn I bought thinking that it was wool. I liked the color, it came in a cone, it was $5-6 dlls, but (big but, just like mine) it's lace weight and If I had known it wasn't wool, I would had passed.

So what do you do with a cone of lace weight acrylic? Do you knit with multiple strands, thous making it DK or worsted, or do you knit lace and try to block it?

I went ahead and asked the very knowledgeable knitters at and someone suggested to knit a swatch and wet block it and another suggested "killing acrylic" which means using hot steam to block it.

I used Wisp's lace pattern to knit 2 swatches, here are the results:

First swatch before blocking

Swatch 1 & 2 during blocking. Can you see I lost 2 stitches on swatch #1?

Swatch #1 after wet blocking (completely dried). I'm not sure if I did it wrong or what. Maybe I could have pulled the swatch a little bit more? It's not as open as swatch #2, but it feels softer and I think has more texture, like it gives in a little.

Swatch #2 after blocking with steam a.k.a "killing it". It's flatter, lighter, it drapes and is a little bit less soft than swatch #1. It doesn't give, it doesn't stretch nearly as much as #1. (I'm still thinking that maybe I didn't block swatch #1 properly)

The "drape test" swatch #1 on the left and #2 on the right.

Conclusion: It depends what you're looking for in your FO. I would start with wet blocking and then if that didn't looked nice, serve acrylic one last meal, grant it a wish and then KILL IT.


Libi said...

What would acrylic have as a last meal?

I like the look of the executed one, but, I'd have to feel them both before I made my decision.

Great job

jazibe said...

suddenly you got all witty, hu? hehehe
funny, kill acrylic. at first I thought you wanted to kill it because it was baaaad baaaad.