Thursday, March 01, 2007

Joining Cotton yarn

I had to share my exciting discovery of the day. I'm playing with creating a cardigan sweater based on the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl in A Gathering of Lace, using Cotton Classic yarn ( because I had a bunch of it in stash). I'm having a wonderful time modifying the geometry of this square shawl into a top down in the round cardigan shape, but became annoyed by the tendency of cotton yarn to poke out when ending /beginning balls. "Weave in ends" just doesn't cut it. In wool, I like to spit splice, so the ends felt together and you don't have a noticable bump. In cotton, the stuff won't do that. So, what is a contemporary fiber artist to do?
I tried fusing the ends with liquid fuse ( a liquid product to fuse cotton fabrics together using heat from your iron). This left a fused yarn, but stiff and gluey. Not terrible, but not entirely satisfactory. Next I tried Bo-Nash powder. This stuff is little granules of fusable, and while it is annoying to work with as it flies around, can be tamed with a bit of water on the yarn, and using a paintbrush to apply granules to the remaining plies. I removed 1/2 inch of 2 plies on each end of the yarn, overlapped and applied a bunch of Bo-Nash, wrapped in teflon sheet as directed, ironed, and was thrilled to find a soft, almost un noticable, flexible join. I had to let it set for a little bit , but it was strong enough to withstand a gentle tug, and the label says it is washable, etc. For the small amount of stress that yarn gets after being knitted, it seems like this will hold sufficiently. It probably also would work for " tacking down" the ends that always seem to come loose in cotton yarns.


elizabeth rosenberg said...

Nifty idea, Jeri! And I'm so very pleased to see you've been using a glue-like product! How incredibly "messy" of you!!!!

Love ya,

Romi said...

Try a Russian Join (google it and there are tutorials) if you would like a solution that doesn't need any glue products. Cool and inventive technique (yours), though!