March 08, 2013

Pesky Yarn Trials

Sometimes I find a skein or two of yarn in a yarn shop or online and the yarn strikes me as being something I absolutely CANNOT live without!  I have zero thoughts as to what that skein can be become, but into the stash it goes.  And then it sits there, pitifully unattended with sad puppy eyes, begging me to play with it until I relent and discover that there isn't a darned thing that can be done with this pesky skein of yarn.

Case in point:

Last year about this time, we took a family vacation to San Francisco.  It was an itinerary requirement that we go to at least three yarn shops while we were there.  So over the bridge to Oakland we went to visit a charming little LYS called "Verb for Keeping Warm" in a VERY sketchy neighborhood.  The point of going to this yarn shop was to check out yarn that was organically dyed.  Between the behavior of my then 8 year-old and my husband's extremely vociferous argument with a co-worker on the phone--turns out sound carries embarrassingly well in a shop that has three straight concrete walls--I was in and out in record time.  I snagged a hank of silk/BFL in a DK weight and dyed with indigo and some roving, I think.  To make a long story short, the indigo has been calling to me more and more lately.  Having just finished the Lila scarf in 100% baby alpaca Wednesday afternoon ...

(now available for purchase in my Etsy shop) and having just begun an insanely complicated sport weight lace shawl (my knitting class students are going to kill me for choosing this pattern at the next class, I feel certain), I felt that I needed a purse project to replace the Lila scarf that I've been carrying around for three weeks.  I thought, "Hey, I'll knit that hank of indigo into some fingerless gloves."  But that didn't work out.  This yarn has ZERO elasticity.  I'm having a hard time believing that it is wool and not dreaded cotton. I mean ZERO elasticity.  But it's kettle-dyed yarn, so you can't just knit any pattern with it.  I've tried a cabled scarf swatch.  I've tried a trinity stitch swatch.  I've tried lacey columns.  I've tried plain ol' garter stitch.  NOTHING looks right and that yarn is just so crazy that it's not even like knitting with yarn.  It's like knitting with a plastic cord.  I might just do stockinette and make some sort of mobius cowl.  If that doesn't work, it's definitely going back into the stash to think about its transgressions.

In the meantime ... I've decided to knit another Lila scarf, only this time in 100% hand-painted green silk.  It's behaving very nicely and is offering me no pesky nonsense.

I hope your yarn is nicer to you than mine has been this week!


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