Working with Wire Yarn

Kusha Kusha scarf kit
Hoarfrost Mobius    
Hoarfrost, back view

I've had a scarf kit in my stash for at least three years. Every time I look through my "kit drawer" I pick it up and admire it all over again, saying to myself, "I have to make this scarf! It's so neat!"

It's a really simple design—you decrease from the cast on for about 4 inches and then switch needle sizes from larger to smaller so you get a tapered look. What makes this scarf so fabulous is the yarn combo. It's knitted with a laceweight merino held with a silk stainless steel yarn. That's right, stainless steel!

I know—when you think "stainless" you don't think "yarn." If you're like me, you think "refrigerator."

But it's really an amazing yarn; you really wouldn't know it's stainless steel unless you pinch it—it keeps the pinch. But it also straightens out beautifully. It's a unique yarn—and not at all scary when you're working with it—that you really have to try in order to appreciate.

Anyway, back to the project. Last week I got my copy of the fall issue of Interweave Knits and as I was flipping through it I noticed a design that used a stainless steel yarn. It's called the Hoarfrost Mobius, designed by Annie Modesitt. Annie is so creative with yarn and needles, I'm not surprised she decided to showcase this amazing fiber/metal blend. Annie used LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel; my yarn is Habu Silk Stainless Steel. They're really similar, though, in weight and feel.

The Hoarfrost Mobius mimics frozen dew on a sunny, winter morning. The piece can be worn as a hood or a scarf; the mobius design makes it infinitely wearable. Here are the details.

Tips for Working with Wire Yarn
by Annie Modesitt

It's helpful to stop and pull down on
the work at the end of each row, tugging each stitch. This doesn't
take much time, but it will make it easier to insert the needle into the stitches on the following row, which can be a bit tricky with such a lightweight yet headstrong yarn.

The yarn can break easily if
pulled tightly or if allowed to build
up too much twist, so it's helpful
to lay the cone sideways in a box
so the wire yarn can unroll off
the side of the cone instead
of pulling it up from the top
(which introduces extra twist).


Hoarfrost Mobius
Annie Modesitt

Finished Size 32" wide and 35½" long.
Yarn Lion Brand LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel (75% wool, 25% stainless steel; 273 yd [250 m]/14 g): #485-108 dusty blue, 2 cones.
Needles 5 (3.75 mm): 24" or 32" circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge (see Notes).
Notions Size F/5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook and waste yarn for provisional CO.
Gauge 30 sts = 4" in patt.

When I saw Hoarfrost in the magazine, I ran to my drawer and got out the scarf kit. My thought was that I would do the easy scarf to get used to knitting with the stainless yarn, then move on to Hoarfrost. I started the scarf and within a half hour I had about two inches on the needles! The yarn is surprisingly easy to knit with, and Annie's tips (at right) helped a lot.

The knitting is so smooth I don't really need a practice project, but I'm having fun with some mindless knitting so I'm going to finish it.

What do you know—inspired again by Interweave Knits!


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