Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking Care of Your Hair(y yarns)

So, I've spent the last hour looking for my camera.  This was going to be a post with pictures, but I've set the foolish thing someplace "safe" and don't remember what I am keeping it "safe" from anymore. But I digress...

As a lot of folk know, I have a great whack of hair.  It's about 3 feet long at this point, but I almost perpetually keep it up (preferably braided).  Every few years, I get it lopped off for locks of love or pique, whichever comes first.

My hair is stupidly fine.  Not quite newborn fine, but definitely first 6 months of life fine.  It tangles at the first hint of a breeze, and then locks together like mohair daring me to steek it into submission.  It also turns into tiny Shirley Temple pin-curls if I have it too short, so when I consider my hair, it is with grudging admiration (it's more stubborn than myself) and a great deal of ill humor.

However, thanks to the folks as Johnson and Johnson, I seem to be winning the (admittedly lopsided) war with my hair.  This stuff is divinely inspired.  There is also a generic version, but for what it does it's worth more to me than cashmere... so I don't mind spending a little for it.

The no more tangles spray is also fabulous for serious knots.  Again, mohair comes to mind.  But this applies also to angora or other fibers that tend to lock down with little encouragement.

When I get terrible frustrating tangles or knots in yarns containing hair, I've been using my no more tangles spray and embroidery needles to "encourage" the yarn not to felt to itself.  The worst part about knitting with one of the fluffy mohair yarns is that the fluff sets to itself better than concrete.  I can totally understand steeking mohair with no fear, having dropped a stitch in a sweater and not noticed until I bound the sucker off and came up one short for the k2 p2 .  I have worn this sweater for almost 3 years now, and the mohair locks together so well that the dropped stitch has never laddered. (In the interest of honesty, I *do* know where it is and have been watching it with interest to see what it will do.  I did not pull the sweater back 6 inches and fix it.)

Tonight is knit night, and I will be untangling some angora.  I am definitely bringing the teeny needle, and the detangling spray.

For the record, no more tangles also makes the Kauni yarns easier to bear when knitting them.  I find them awfully rough (remember, I have a love affair with alpaca), so making them less abrasive when I'm knitting them is like finding the bean in your new-years cake.

On a side note, that lovely pile of Aran-to-be is this Afghan.  I'll be dropping off the first 4 squares tonight at Knit Night.  On one hand, it's a really exciting project.  On the other hand, I find the bobble instructions a little aggressive.  I don't mind a nice bobble here and there, but being more used to the nuup I find the size of the bobbles required by this pattern a little over exuberant.  I am no fainting maid, but I keep having Red Dwarf flashbacks and contemplating gooseberries....  but you always do the first one exactly as written, even if the bobbles do make you feel faint.

Happy Knitting, and may your bobbles not be suggestive!


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