Rowan Kidsilk Creation
Everybody has their happy place and mine involves at least a small amount of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze (full review here). There's something about the frothy halo of the tender kid mohair fibers and the underlying sheen of the silk core that does it to me every time.
But Kidsilk Haze gets many of its ethereal qualities from its fine gauge—it wants to be lace. Since lace takes time, I've reserved my Kidsilk Haze gift knitting for people who matter the most.
Which is too bad since any moment spent with Kidsilk Haze is a happy moment indeed.
This year Rowan has read our minds and created a yarn "product" out of Kidsilk Haze. With a few simple overlapping loops, it becomes a gorgeous curly scarf. And not in a matter of days or even hours. Once you reach your pace, you can finish one of these scarves in under an hour—and love every minute of it.
How it Works
Kidsilk Creation is, quite simply Kidsilk Haze yarn that's been knit up into a giant I-cord tube. Each "skein" holds about 10 meters, or 11 yards, of tube. Each end has been sewn tight to keep from unraveling.
On the inside of the yarn label, you'll find instructions on how to create a scarf using knit or crochet techniques. Because it's such a departure from what you may normally think of as "knitting," I'll show you how it works here—but better yet, check out the video from Rowan. There's also a crochet version that may actually be much simpler—you can view that video here.
How it Works
Rolling up the sewn end so that it doesn't unravel, take your needle and poke it through the fabric twice. Don't stress picking up one individual strand of Kidsilk Haze, you'll drive yourself nuts. Just try to pull through a cohesive collection of strands. Those are your two foundation stitches. You'll never have more than that on your needles at any given time.
There is no separate "working yarn." In this case, your working yarn is essentially the top edge of the I-cord. You work your way along that edge, picking up a loop every few inches and forming a new stitch with it. After you've formed the two stitches on your needle, you stop, turn your work, and continue.
If you're as confused as I was, here are some pictures.
These are the two foundation stitches. I've worked a few rows already, so don't be alarmed if it doesn't look exactly like what's on your needles.
Put your right needle through the first stitch as if you were going to knit. Now, pick up a loop along the top edge of the I-cord, about two-and-a-half inches from where you are, and place it on your right needle. Pretend that is a loop that you've just formed with your working yarn.
Since we're pretending that you just formed a loop with your working yarn, what would you do next? Pull that loop through the stitch on your left needle. Voila, you've just created a stitch!
One more to go. Again, place your working needle through the next stitch as if to knit.
At this point you're going to notice that the I-cord is starting to twist on itself. For this scarf to work, you have to stop frequently, un-twist the I-cord, and pull the edges apart so that the fabric is nice and open. This will also make your ruffles prettier.
Pick up a loop about two-and-a-half inches from where you are along the top of the I-cord, place it on your right needle, and lift your working stitch over it. Presto, you've just worked a row.
Now it's just a matter of turning your work, un-curling the I-cord and pulling the edges apart, and repeating those two stitches—again and again and again. At first, you'll just see a little curling rosette like this.
But the more you work, the more it begins to look like this.
Keep going and you'll soon have a whole scarf finished. Just like that, you'll have a whole lap full of knitted Kidsilk Haze when you need it most—and when you may not have time for the real thing.
If you did have time, here's an idea. Make your own giant I-cord tube out of Kidsilk Haze. Use a single color, or perhaps stripe multiple colors, or strand the Kidsilk Haze with something else. And then use the same technique to transform your I-cord tube into a gorgeous ruffly scarf.
I know some purists will cry, "It's cheating!" In a way yes, I suppose it is. But we don't always have time to do the "right" thing. Kidsilk Creation may be a quick and dirty gift solution, but it uses one of the loveliest yarns on the market. And for $24.95 per scarf? A pretty reasonable compromise.
Kidsilk Creation is being billed as a limited-edition product and offered in six of the most popular Kidsilk Haze colors. Each skein contains 50g of Kidsilk Haze, whose fiber content is 70% super kid mohair and 30% silk.
Each skein retails for $24.95 and is available from almost all Rowan retailers. I bought my sample skein from WEBS.