Last week I got an e-mail from KFI saying they were sending me a ball each of two new Katia yarns along with patterns for scarves.
They wanted me to knit them up quick as I could and mail them back. The completed scarves are going to be used as samples by one of the sales reps as he or she visits local yarn stores.
I had an exciting week tracking the package online waiting for it to arrive. The suspense ended on Friday after lunch. yeah!
Now I had some idea what to expect because the e-mail had included PDF copies of the patterns. Along with the written instructions there were also photos, which were totally necessary because of the unique construction of the yarn. [Edit Nov 21, 2010: Since you didn't get the e-mail you can find the pattern on the KFI website.]
I decided to go with the Triana first. When in the ball it looks like normal yarn with a chainette construction. That is deceptive because what you are supposed to do is spread the fabric out to open up the mesh and then knit into the holes.
It sounds pretty crazy, I know. The pictures included with the pattern were very helpful and I was able to jump right in. To help you out I have made this little video of myself knitting with it so you can get a better idea of how it looks.
After working a few rows I decided the best course of action might be to open up all the mesh all at once so I didn't have to pause in my knitting.
Since that was going to be a pretty straight forward activity I decided there was no reason I couldn't do it at the Library Knitting group and packed my stuff up and trotted off.
The ladies in the Library Knitting group agreed the Triana was the darndest thing they'd ever seen. But they also asked where they could get some. Hmm, but nobody asked to try it out. Maybe I should have offered?
Several people on the KFI Facebook page are also enchanted.
I hope everyone is patient because I found out the yarn is still in transit and won't be available in US stores until November. The pattern will be available on the Knitting Fever Inc website around the same time. According to the Katia website Triana comes in 11 colors, but I haven't heard how many KFI is going to bring over.
Anyway, I was sitting in the library spreading mesh and someone commented that if she tried doing that she'd probably end up with a tangled mess. I realized she was probaly correct and went back to knitting.
I found the best course of action was to spread a few yards as needed. They tended to mostly close up again, so attempting to open the entire ball at once would have been futile.
As you can see in this picture the knitting moves along quickly. That was only an hour or two of knitting time and look how long it was already! Size US11 needles just can't be beat sometimes.
After working a few rows I had the hang of working with it and was able to chat away during the knitting group without any issues. Well, my needle did slip out of my hand at one point and fell out of the project, which was pretty heart stopping, but the stitches didn't run and I was able to easily pick them back up.
Like Potato Chips
Now you know me, I don't usually hold with novelty yarn and generally only work with it under duress for my mom. However the Triana was much easier to work with than I expected and was kind of mezmerizing. I found the ruffles that formed very amusing. The yarn is also rather springy, which makes it easy to work with because it doesn't resist you.
The resulting scarf, with its ruffles and its holes, reminds me of something out of the Jetsons or a deep sea creature.
I was done the scarf by Friday night. I would say it took about four hours of knitting time. Which is pretty awesome considering I have no attention span when it comes to making scarves.
After I finished I found it necessary to swan around the apartment in my robe and the scarf and declare, "I'm ready for my close-up now, Mr. Demille."
For you crochet only folks, I'm sad to report I couldn't figure out how to make it work.
First I worked along the long edge slip stitching through the mesh to make a base chain. That started to draw the fabric into a corkscrew, which was kind of interesting.
Then I tried to imitate the knit construction of turning the work and crocheting the mesh to itself by going through the base chain and drawing other parts of the mesh through in a slip stitch and single crochet type fashion, but it just kind of bunched up.
I think the first attempt had more potential, but I only had the one ball so I couldn't follow the experiment through to its conclusion. Maybe a more determined crocheter will come up with something.