Monday, 28 March 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns

So here we are on the first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog week, I’ve not really blogged too much recently due to not really having much to blog about.  Working with these guided topics over the next week is therefore something of a godsend and hopefully once the week is over I’ll actually have built up enough to talk about once my blog returns to normal.  So without further ado today’s post is entitled A Tale of Two Yarns:

Part of any fibre enthusiasts hobby is an appreciation of yarn.  Choose two yarns that you have either used , are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.
When it comes to picking my knitting projects I’m almost 100% pattern driven, I’ll find something I really want to knit and either try and get hold of the yarn suggested or find a suitable substitute.  It is very rare that I’ll buy a yarn ‘just because’ and then try and find something to do with it.  Except for sock yarn because everyone know it doesn’t count and, well, I’ll make socks with it!  However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t have yarns that I love and foremost among those is Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  I will however say that I initially became drawn to this yarn because of the amount of patterns I loved that called for it.  In fact, writing this now I can’t say if I covet it because of its soft, fuzzy, sheeny luxuriousness or because there are so many wonderful patterns that I want to make with it.  So, motivation aside, I buy Kidsilk Haze and it’s chubby sibling Kidsilk Aura, whenever I see it at a bargain price.  I don’t think what I’ll make with it because I know there is a pattern out there for it.  I don’t even really care what colour it is, I just buy it.  And, as if to reward my loyalty, when I saw a pattern in the latest Rowan Magazine for a gorgeous shrug which I just had to have for my wedding day....well, there sat in my stash was the perfect white Kidsilk Haze.  However, I must admit that I have actually never completed a project with it yet so hopefully my wedding shrug will break that cycle.
This here is my Slouchy cover-up from Rowan Studio 5 99% done, but I completely crapped up the shoulder joins and haven’t yet had the heart to try and redo them
And this one is my Sloppy Joe from Rowan Studio 12.  Basically the ribbing annoyed me and I couldn’t keep count and had to keep unknitting bits of it.  I’ll find the patience to knuckle down and finish it one day, because I really like knitting with the Kidsilk family and can’t wait to finally have a fuzzy, luxurious garment made from this wonderful stuff.  Oh and a word of warning, hide it from your cats, mine like to eat it!

My second choice of yarn is a yarn I don’t love, but feel a kind of grateful nostalgia towards.  I’ll probably never ever use it again, but before a wonderful world of yarns opened up in front of me it was all I knew and for that it will always hold a place in my heart.
Back when I was learning to knit I knew nothing of Internet yarn stores, eBay or lovely natural fibres.  All I knew was that if I wandered down to my local Co-op department store I could buy 100g of Patons Fab! For 99p.  I could have my pick of colours, 274m of acrylic and a free exclamation mark, all for less than a pound.  It was great to start with, I was knitting hats and I could get loads out of one ball, more if made them stripy.  I learnt to combine knits and purls to make patterns, to decrease, to use slip stitches and how slip stitches pull the knitting in and result in a hat you have to give to a child.  Me and my Fab! such adventures.  One day I decided I was ready to try a jumper, I’d recently discovered Knitty and wanted to try this pattern.  With no further ado (or thought of gauge or fibre content) I bought some spearmint coloured Fab! and cast on.  All went smoothly and a few weeks later I had my jumper.  It was a bit short and wide but I’d heard of blocking so I gave it a go and learned my first lesson about ‘killing acrylic’.  No matter, it still looked fine and I proudly wore it for a day and vowed never to do it again!  I was not terribly warm, yet I was quite sweaty, not long after that I got acquainted with natural fibres and the Fab! was consigned to my history books...and my bank balance has never really recovered from that.


Anonymous said...

When I first learnt to knit it was the odd 50p balls outside the local wool shop that used to get me excited- a lot of which ended up donated to my son's playgroup once I learnt about natural fibres. (I still love those stripy hats though :))

Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

I bought a load of cheap acrylic from Lidl and it hung around under my bed for ages and I always said I would make play food from it or something. I didn't and I have bitten the bullet and got rid of it to the charity shop.

Hanrahan said...

I still have quite alot of really horrible acrylic that people have given to me over the years, I really must get it to the charity shop, I'm sure someone could do something with it!