Remember this post? Well, I managed to snag a skein of Feza Dazzle in off white for about $25, and it arrived Monday. So on Tuesday I sat down and opened up the skein. It was kind of dirty, which explains the price, I guess, but it told me pretty much what I wanted to know. The lengths of yarn are at least ten feet long, probably four or five yards, which I find a bit long for the kind of work I do. And they’re simply knotted together with about half inch tails left on. This stuff is a nightmare to work with, too. I tried putting it on my yarn swift and ended up with a rat’s nest of dusty, off white yarns. I tried winding it on my ball winder, and though it more or less worked, the minute I started pulling the yarn from the ball center, I started getting big snarls coming up. Finally I just wound a ball by hand and so far so good, but I estimate that I lost about four hours trying to work with this stuff before I wound that last ball.
I carried it along with some Berocco Quest and Opulent FX (both, apparently discontinued by Berocco, which makes me very sad because they’re wonderful yarns.) and created this skinny little scarf. I still have to fringe it, but I’m actually quite happy with the way it worked up. Because I crocheted it along the long edge, I did get more interesting changes of yarn from the Feza than I would have if I’d crocheted short rows across. That’s why I’m not crazy about having such long sections of each yarn. And there are a lot of very similar yarns in the skein so that while it seems like a great variety, there are really only a handful of basic types: ribbon, mohair, eyelash, ladder and thick-thin.
After I finished the scarf, I got to wondering if I couldn’t put together a Feza Alp style yarn from my stash. So I chose some basic colorways — red, purple and pink — and about twenty different yarns in different styles. I cut three two-yard lengths of each and started tying them together, trying to vary the color and texture enough to keep the blend really interesting. This wound well on the winder, but I was careful about not tying together two snarly yarns in a row. I did three repeats, though they weren’t in the same order all three times, and ended with approximately a 120 yard ball of yarn (a bit more than half the size of a Feza skein.) Then finally I decided to try working with it.
The colors really made a huge difference for me. While I’m not in any way opposed to the idea creating an item in one color, and using texture — either types of yarn or different stitches — to add visual interest, I have to say that based on a couple of swatches I knitted with the Feza Dazzle, I didn’t find the mix all that impressive. And considering how much I adore novelty yarns, that’s a biggie for me. I started crocheting a small pouch/purse, and so far I’m really liking the mix. I get about a round and three-quarters out of every section so the changes come fairly quickly, and keep the bag looking fresh and exciting.
Ultimately, I suppose I could achieve the same effect by switching yarns every couple of rounds, but where this mix will really show to best advantage is in a larger project like a scarf, sweater or afghan. I think it’s pretty darn cool right now, but it was a labor of love, so I’m supposed to feel that way. I’m going to attack it with knitting needles next and we’ll see how it shakes out.