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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Look Ma! No worms! (A machine knit chenille success)

Thought I would try to make a fru fru scarf with my giganticus cone of chenille. It (the little swatch) turned out quite awful. All the loops wormed. Now, that wouldn't have been so bad if all the loops wormed the same way, but they didn't and the result was that it just looked like a wet mop. A well-used wet mop at that.

So, I decided to try knitting a scarf in rib, the only thing I've had success with using this yarn. In case you also have a 20 lb cone of the stuff and don't yet have the nerve to place it in a landfill, you might try my scarf. Here are the directions:
Machine: Silver Reed 860 with ribber
Yarn: Chenille approx. 16 ounces + serger thread (6,000 yard cone will make 3-4 scarves)
Tension: English rib ( kK1P1 rib or Double Rib by tucking the stitches on every other row on the ribber side) 4.6 st x 9 rows = 1” at T2/2
Finished size: 10.5 “ wide x 78” (6.5 feet) long
• Odd as it may seem, the lower tension works better with the chenille. The carriage is easier to push and it helps prevent “worming”.
• The serger thread also helps prevent the “worming” but you can’t really see it, which is a good thing.
• Even though I used a lot of weight I yanked the knitting down every couple of rows for the first 50 rows. But after that, it knit smoothly.
• I’m not laundering this--- don’t want to take the chance that it will fall apart!
• You may need to weave in the two ends with a crochet hook. When I tried an embroidery, large-eyed needle, the yarn shredded.

Thread serger thread through one eyelet on the mast and the chenille through the other. Circular cast on as per manual – Racking handle on P 4. R/R for circular cast on. Change to T 2/2 for scarf . Hang lots of weight and move the weights up every 50 rows. (I used 5 of the larger ribber weights!) Knit to RC 700. Change to tension 10/10, change settings to regular rib and knit one row to the left. Transfer ribber stitches to the main bed. Chain cast off including the serger thread. Weave in ends.

These same directions would work with other yarn---it was just a relief to have something turn out with this wily chenille. It's been a couple of hours now, and NO WORMING!! I might even be able to wear this thing. Such a pretty color! Such a weird "hand".

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