One of the fun things we planned for the day was to give everyone a bag of 'bits and bobs' of colour coordinated yarn so they could create one giant ball of 'Crazy Yarn'.
Crazy Yarn came to my attention a couple of years ago while browsing in a not-so-local yarn store. There, I saw a lovely scarf on display with several different yarns in it. When I mumbled something about the cost of buying all those different yarns to knit the scarf, the store owner pointed me towards the one - and only - ball of yarn used in the scarf.
It was a ball of yarn created by tying several different yarns together. Knots were left with ends hanging as part of the design feature. My first thought was "What a great way for the mill to get rid of short pieces of yarn and still make a profit." My second thought was "I can do that."
Second was the same pattern in different yarns.
In preparing for Knitfest I knew that a ball of yarn would only do half the trick. Knitters would want a pattern. But, since I'm known in
Would Crazy Yarn look good in a sweater? I decided to find out. Using the Basic Cardigan pattern from the book used at Knitfest - Need A Baby Cardigan? I knit a one year size placing the Crazy Yarn in the yoke but using plain yarn for the rest of the sweater.
I couldn't decide if I liked the 'knotted' look in a garment and wondered whether I should take all knots to the inside. In the end, for demonstration purpose - and to delay my final decision - I left the knots out on the back but took them to the inside on the front.
There are two secrets to creating a ball of Crazy yarn. One - make the yarn first. It seems obvious but some might think that you tie yarns together as you knit. But no. Create the entire ball first - it will give the garment a much more random appearance.
Secondly - tie the colours together randomly and in varying lengths. With the orange scarf , I had much more of one yarn than any of the others. To accommodate that, each time I was ready to put in the main yarn, I simply measured off (using the Old King Cole method of nose to finger tip) much more of it than any of the others yarns. If I went nose-to-finger-tip ten times with the main yarn I might only do that once or twice with the others.
And perhaps third - yarns do not have to be the same gauge. Varying lengths, a variety of colours and gauges and knots that show and you have one Crazy Ball Of Yarn.
Since Knitfest 2011 was all about releasing your inner designer, the Crazy Yarn project fit right in. And you can thank me for giving you one more reason to 'knot' throw out your little bits of leftover yarn.