Ruffle Mesh Scarves, or “We Are All Individuals”
Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 28, 2012
I’m going through another lemming phase. Is there any corner of the world that hasn’t been hit by Ruffle Mesh Scarf Frenzy? I thought it was an isolated event, perhaps an English thing, because the first ruffle mesh scarf I encountered was knitted by the English mother of a coworker. Here’s Elana’s black and grey scarf worked in Samba yarn:
I thought I would have to order yarn from the UK, until I happened to see ruffle mesh yarn in Yetsirah in Talpiyot (HaUman Street) and bought a couple balls from their wide selection of Kartopu “Lace”, a Turkish yarn:
The next day, I walked into Ahuva’s room at work and … she was wearing a ruffle mesh scarf that she had made. She doesn’t even knit! The store owner in the shuk taught her how to “cast on” six stitches and work back and forth until the yarn was used up. She used an Israeli version of this yarn manufactured by Teddy. (Photo below: Ahuva, multimedia wiz and Gur hassid — not a combination you encounter every day):
Just for the record, Ahuva thought the Teddy yarn was too limp and fine. She ended up casting on 8 stitches and skipping meshes in order to get a fuller ruffle.
Here’s my first finished scarf. Subdued little critter, ain’t it? It makes my brightest sweaters look muted.
Ahuva passed on a useful hint. This yarn gets very twisted when it comes off the ball and you spend a lot of time untwisting the yarn and spreading the meshes. It’s much easier to work if you wrap the ball of yarn around a piece of cardboard.
You need 100 grams for one scarf. Prices vary between 24 and 26 NIS (and if you’re thinking of making a killing on Etsy, you’re about three months too late!). The technique is not true knitting. It’s a looping technique that uses knitting needles. I had no idea how these scarves were made when I bought a couple balls in Yetsirah on my way to a wedding at Yarok be’Ir in Talpiot. I asked the saleswoman what size needles I needed and she insisted on showing me when she realised that I had never knit it before. She cast on 6 stitches, knitted a row, watched me knit a row, and slipped the stitches onto a paper clip. Here’s a video that explains the process. One difference is that I was taught to tie a knot in the yarn at the beginning. The knot doesn’t show. After I cast off, I pulled the tail through the last loop, tied a knot, and cut the tail off. It seems to hold well and doesn’t require sewing.