3.28.2011

A Tale of Two Yarns - 2KCBWDAY1


(I am super excited to be participating in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week this year. Thanks to the talented Eskimimi Knits for putting this on. To read more posts on this topic, simply enter the code 2KCBWDAY1 into your search engine)

My criteria for choosing yarn is pretty straightforward and can be summed up in one question: Does this yarn move me in an elemental, sensory way? Usually the visual beauty of a yarn is what captures my attention first, followed closely by the way it feels to the touch. This method of choosing yarn has resulted in many impulse purchases of gorgeous but impractical skeins to which no projects have yet to be found. Case in point:

Farmgirl Chic wool/mohair yarn in "sunflowers" colorway
This beauty was bought as a result of a dangerous "just browsing" moment at my LYS. The gorgeous color was what drew me in. The yarn had a rustic, handspun glow to it that was impossible to resist. So I quickly snatched up 3 skeins and headed off home, envisioning myself wrapped in a warm, beautiful shawl, standing on a cliffside with the wind blowing my long locks away from my face and staring mysteriously into the distant sea. Reality struck when I took the skeins out of the bag and truly examined them for the first time. The weight of the yarn was more on the heavy worsted side, not a great option for a shawl. Also, the texture was pretty coarse, bordering on garden twine consistency. The color was still gorgeous, but any garment made from this would need 2 or even 3 layers of protection between it and my skin. What to do now? After frantically searching ravelry for project ideas, I remembered this Counterpane Carpet Bag which has been in my favorites for quite a while. With calm now restored and a purpose for the impulse buy found, I can truly enjoy it's beauty once again. Ironically, a yarn that has recently become a favorite was not one that I chose using the above criteria. In a way, I didn't even have a choice in it's purchase because my niece wanted me to knit her an Iris the Gourmet Monster for her birthday. The pattern is only available in a kit which included one skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in "big green monster" colorway
Wow, what a pleasant surprise to find a super wash merino wool yarn that did not have the chemically treated feel that is found in most super wash. The hand dyed color is beautiful, but it is the softness that is the main draw. So the lesson here is that a yarn can be appealing but it also needs a purpose to reach it's full beauty. Of course, it will probably take me years and a few hundred more impulse buys to learn this lesson!

10 comments:

  1. Oh my, I have a bunch of impulse buy yarn and I totally know what you are talking about.

    I love the monster. I knitted a Clapotis out of the Lorna's Lace Superwash and it was a dream to work with.

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  2. I completely understand! I have impulse buys all the time then have to search for an appropriate project. Hopefully you will find something that works with it. I haven't tried Lorna's Lace yet but sure hope to! I hear it's a dream!

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  3. There's no such thing as just browsing in your LYS!

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  4. The monster looks like it will turn out lovely.

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  5. yup, what AC said, no such thing as browsing in your LYS, it is more like plotting for delayed purchase!

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  6. I love your criteria for choosing your favorite. Some yarns just call to me, no matter how impractical they may be.

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  7. I love colorful plied yarns like the Farmgirl Chic, but that's definitely one of the downfalls of impulse yarn shopping... not that we all haven't fallen victim to gorgeous yarn one time or another.

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  8. Sunflowers... what a perfect name for that yarn. I can't wait to see the bag, it's going to be a stunner!
    Your monster already seems to have so much personality... plus I really really want that yarn.
    BTW I got my package in the post today. I actually skipped back from the mailbox. Thanks!

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  9. I, too, have fallen victim to yarns just by touching. No plan or pattern in mind! That Farmgirl Chic yarn IS very pretty, I can see why you bought it.

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  10. I'm glad you found a project for the first yarn :O). The second's maker is a favorite of mine. I love those little sock legs of your niece's monster. How fun to knit up.

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