I know I'm pretty late to join the game, but I've read some interesting posts on other blogs relating to Knitting and Crochet blog week, and I have nothing for show-and-tell at the moment, except for a navy blob of plain st st that will one day - hopefully soon - become a sweater for Stuart. So here goes Day One (about three days late!)
Day One: 28th March - err, make that 31 March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s 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.
Good gracious, I feel like I've tried so many yarns, and yet there are still so many out there I haven't experienced! I am quite eager to try out several North American-produced yarns, like St. Denis, Quince and Co., and Shelter, but I am really trying to knit from stash for a while. (Except for that one 30% off sale in another state where a friend picked up something for me, but honestly, how could I turn that down?)
For this post, however, I'll stick to two yarns that I've actually used recently: Misti Alapaca Chunky and.
Yarn #1: Misti Alpaca Chunky. I bought a bunch on sale from WEBS at least two or three years ago, intending to make something else with it, I don't even remember what. I wound it into balls and then it sat in the stash until recently, when I decided to knit it up into an Aidez cardigan:
I have to be very careful with alpaca. For one thing, it's extremely warm, especially in thicker weights, so you can't make a turtleneck tunic out of it unless you're planning a trip to the Arctic. For another thing, it lacks the elasticity of wool, so projects can stretch out of shape pretty easily. The inelasticity is often made up for in drape, however. Also, I can tolerate all manner of wool on my skin, but alpaca yarn feels pretty itchy to me. I thought that was the case with absolutely ALL alpaca until I finished the Aidez cardigan and started wearing it nearly every day with nary a twitch. I suppose it's the superfine quality of this yarn that makes it so soft and tolerable for me. I think the yarn was a good match with the pattern, too. There are cables, but the sweater is meant to be long, so if it stretches a bit, I don't mind. And the open-front design keeps it warm without being unbearably hot. The best part about this yarn is that knitting with it was pure pleasure from a tactile perspective, so soft and forgiving.
Guess what else? I was smart enough (or self-indulgent enough, whichever way you want to look at it) to pick up a bunch in a second color, so I can make another warm, luciously soft, cozy sweater in cream whenever the fancy strikes!
Yarn #2: Unidentified natural laceweight. Shetland, maybe? Or Icelandic? I have a bunch of this delicate, woolly stuff from my mom, who inherited it from her cousin Ruthie. Ruthie died of breast cancer in the mid-1980s, and a few years ago I made my mom and her twin sisters each a lace project for their birthdays: Cocoon stole, Twilight stole, and a triangular shawl for which I apparently never did a proper FO post or got good pictures, but this will have to do.
This yarn took some getting used to. It's kind of crinkly, full of bits of vegetable matter, and extremely delicate. It's hardly spun at all, and there were sections that just sort of fell apart. Sadly, I didn't figure out spit-splicing until partway through the projects, so I had some ends to weave in that wouldn't have been necessary. But I liked the yarn, in large part because it's vintage and unlabeled (though it was in skeins, so it was probably obtained commercially, and probably in Scotland, where Ruthie lived for a time) and just felt kind of mysterious and unique. I have a lot left, so I could make several more lace projects, should the mood strike. I don't know if my mom and her sisters wear their tribute shawls or not, but I know they appreciated getting them.
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