Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mistaken Identity

I don't have any knitting to show you though I've been working hard on my Dayflower Daydream shawl. Last weekend I finished up the body of the shawl and was excited to start working on the border. The shawl had been swelling on the needles like a flower bud and it felt just ready to burst into bloom. So excited, that I took it with me on Monday for the Ravelry group meet-up at Coffee Culture (first Monday of the month, at 7:00, at the Dundas and Wellington location).

I'd been telling everyone that the yarn was silk and mohair. But Mary Jane took a careful look and said quietly, "I think that's acrylic." She pointed out that the fuzzy fibers were rather kinky and that mohair fibers are straight. I couldn't remember if I'd done a burn test. I was so excited by the color, quantity and source of the yarn, it was quite possible I hadn't.

So guess what I did when I got home?

And in case you'd like to watch it flare up, I posted a little video on YouTube. This yarn actually burns with a bright little flare for a bit and leaves behind a melted blob of plastic.

I'm very grateful to have found this out now, before I went through all the effort of pinning it out for a full blocking. I AM going to finish this shawl. I still think the color and fuzz of the yarn is beautiful and now I understand why it seems to sparkle a bit. Actually, knowing that it's acrylic opens it up as a gift option because I don't have to worry about a muggle trying to care for the lace.


  1. It is interesting, isn't it, how our attitude to a yarn changes when we discover it's not a rare and beautiful fibre, even though five minutes before we'd thought it wonderful. I've had the same experience myself. Maybe we pay too much attention to rarity value. If it works, it works!

  2. I just thumbed through that book at NH S&W today - and lingered over that shawl picture. Now I wish I had grabbed it - so beautiful.

    My verification word is "monacked" - isn't that what's just happened to you?

  3. I guess that makes two of us yarn snobs knitting with acrylic at the moment. I found some really pretty twisted vintage dk shiny acrylic yarn at the Goodwill, and the colour was so pretty and the price was right and the balls plentiful! So's I'm makin' me a drapey, pearl-y clapotis for the summer. Being the opposite of wool, it will keep me cool, wash and dry in two hours, and be the envy of all. :)

  4. Hey! Acrylic can, and should, be blocked. It's just done differently than with wool. I've written an article on how to do it on my blog:

    I learned this from some folks in the professional garment industry.

    Love the color, btw.

  5. I agree that acrylic can be blocked. In fact when I iron it, it turns out very flat and papery thin....quite like the way I like scarves and shawls to be. :)

    Good luck!

  6. Ouchfrom Balkan Style Blogers! The misinformation about wool lives on. Wool is an insulator, not a heater.

    I love the colour of your acrylic yarn and I think it will make a beautiful shawl (as long as you don't sit too close to a fire ;o) )

  7. I'm like you and would be disappointed to find out my rare yarn is acrylic. But unlike Balkan Style, I find acrylic keeps me hot -not warm - in hot weather and leaves me cold in cold weather. Not what I want at all.

  8. I'm so yarn illiterate. I had no idea about the burn test. But, I'm glad you're glad you found out what type of yarn it was.

  9. I can't wait to see you with the finished shawl, acrylic or wool or embroidery floss. It's good to find out the material, though. Gotta go watch the video!