19 June 2008

Blame It on the Yarn Fumes

Kaleidoscope Yarns had a giant "warehouse" sale a couple of weeks ago. By "warehouse," they meant that they borrowed an empty room in the office building next door to the shop. And by "giant," I mean that "I haven't seen this much sale yarn since Dunwoody Yarns broke my heart by closing two years ago."

What with my flexible-schedule-having and all, I was totally there an hour before the store opened on Friday morning. It was kind of an accident -- I said I'd meet Emily there about 9:30 or so -- but I also woke up that morning with some rare energy that usually only strikes at 11 p.m. I'm not a morning person. And I was out the door at, like, 8:30. I usually can't manage to open my eyes before 8:30. And not only had I showered, eaten breakfast, and gotten dressed, I'd also taken the Yarn Harlot's advice and prepared a list of what I was going to buy at the sale.

The list read: superwash wool; cotton; Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk; yarn!

Perhaps not the most effective list, but it helped me to focus. I was not messing around with books or notions or knitting bags. My sister's having a baby, and I need to start buying some damn baby-friendly yarn.

Friends, I scored at that sale. I scored big-time. I went over budget by $50, but I got everything on my list. And a fifty-cent hank of the finest purple alpaca ever spun. Seriously. Amazing. (And no, I will probably never actually do anything with it.)

So a couple of weeks ago, as I was looking for something new to bring to my Sunday afternoon knitting group -- because I was at the finishing point with my blanket-with-sleeves, and I am not carting that entire project with me to be miserable sewing the seams twenty times -- I discovered a horrible mistake that I made at the Kaleidoscope sale:

I bought four skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas cotton yarn, all navy (or "indigo" as they call it -- but it's totally navy). I just happen to have the leaflet with their Eyelet Cardigan pattern, which calls for four skeins of their Dyed Cotton or Organic Cotton... and y'all, I bought two skeins of each. Okay, technically I bought two skeins of Dyed Cotton and two of "Blue Sky Cotton," and they are actually the same yarn, but the names and labels on these particular skeins are different enough that I should have noticed I was not purchasing four of the same exact thing!

Somehow, what with all the yarn fumes in that "warehouse" sale room, I completely didn't stop to read labels or check dye lots (or look at much of anything but prices). Nor did I notice that the two yarns have completely different tags on them. I looked in this bin and thought "cotton! That's on my list! And it's blue! And each skein is $4!" And that's about as far as I got with that thought process. Whoops.

Had to be the yarn fumes. Had to be.

So now I've got to be careful on the knitting end and be sure to alternate my skeins. And wash very gently.
Good thing I decided that the yarn wanted to be a sweater for me, and not something for my sister's baby. Whew!

Also, I am loving both pattern and yarn. Both are a total pleasure to knit. So hooray for that.

06 June 2008


I have this sweater. I bought it in a store, it isn't homemade. It's a terribly unflattering shape and color, and I would never wear it in public. But it's perfect for throwing on over my pjs and curling up in front of the TV at night.

I do kind of hate it, though. But I think that what I really hate about it, besides the drabness and the shape, is that I wear it aaaaallllllllll the time, and that makes me feel boring.

Solution: knit another one.

In a closing-sale yarn-fume-fueled haze a couple of years ago, I bought eight (or maybe ten?) skeins of a gorgeously-hideous handspun from Ingeborg Michels Naturwolle. Chunky singles, some skeins are pretty uniform and some are a bit badly-spun thick-n-thin. Think tomato, mustard, sage, cream, and horseradish, all marled together in somewhat random combinations. It's incredibly beautiful when it's all rolled up in a lovely hank o yarn, but really not something that you want to put on your body. And I ended up with eight (or maybe ten) skeins of this stuff. Oy.

But! I think it'll be the perfect yarn for making a watching-TV sweater.

The pattern I chose is the Wraparound Jacket from Erika Knight's Classic Knits. Turns out this isn't the greatest yarn for the pattern. It's not quite super-chunky, and a thicker yarn would have been better. Or maybe I should have just used slightly smaller needles, 13s instead of 15s, perhaps. Anyway, the yarn has stretched and gotten droopy (wool singles will do that), and the front of the sweater just about hangs down to my knees. Good thing no one will ever see the sweater on me. I have yet to attach the sleeves. Or, rather, I've tried to attach one sleeve and did it badly, so I've got to rip out the four feet of mattress stitch I've done and start over.

Anyway, this sweater is a giant blanket with sleeves. Which is exactly what I wanted. Just in time for summer. D'oh.

(Also, the leader of the Ingeborg Michels Fanclub on Ravelry emailed me and asked me to post my sweater pics to her club, because the sweater is "such an inspiration." So thanks for the wonderful flattery, Annette!)