Changing Yarn Tastes

I’ve noticed for a while now that my yarn tastes might be changing …

When I seriously started amassing a stash many moons ago, I didn’t know any better about the different types of wool fibers, weights, 2-3-4-ply, etc.  I was on a high marveling at the many things that I could create with a piece of string and a hook.  And so it started with one skein, and I would use up every inch to make the most use of it, before buying another skein.  Pretty soon, I realized that for some projects, I would need more than one skein, and so I bought two.

And then it started … the many colours … the ideas running through my mind … the pattern accumulation … and pretty soon I had amassed a good bit.  And I was happy with it.

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As the years went by and my knitting and crocheting skills improved, I started to branch out of the comfort zone and try new patterns, projects, all the while still looking for the good deals and sales to add yarn to the stash for that day when I would find the perfect pattern to go with it.  I developed a love-hate relationship with Craftsy and Etsy, trying out a skein or two of the higher-end yarns.

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Koigu PPPM mini-balls

But over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed another change coming on. There’s times when I’ve actually gone into a crafts store and walked through the yarn aisles, and walked out with none.  None!! Imagine that?  Either none of the colours called to me, or I already had that type of yarn and colour, or I didn’t like what was out there … Was that possible?  Perhaps I’m getting older and looking into finances for retirement are now more in the forefront than before, or maybe I am now yarn and wool-savvy enough.  But I’ve noticed that I am now more picky about what type of yarn to work with and for which projects, and what I buy and don’t buy.  I had come to the realization years before that I would have to change the type of yarn that I usually work with (worsted weight and aran) to make those accessories that would drape and sit well (DK or fingering).  But since they cost a bit more, I didn’t look into those too much.  And these days, there are more choices in the market for comparable yarn weights, at a lesser cost, so I didn’t mind too much about buying the more-costly yarn.  But I’m noticing the difference more and more now …

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Plymouth Yarn Miyushihi and Universal Bamboo

I don’t often buy yarn with a project in mind, but when I went on the last day of the Wool Walk, that was my purpose … to look for yarn for the pattern testing that I signed up for.  And that’s all I got, plus sparkly Cascade yarn that was on sale.  Of course by the time I started working on the test pattern, I changed my mind and used the Cascade Sun Seekers instead, and the Madeleine Tosh Light is still in the bag.  But that was ok too.

It wasn’t a yarn-buying frenzy any more, looking for the sales to stock up for the times when I may not have time or finances for the yarn therapy, or looking to add to the stash.  It was a purchase with a purpose.

So it seems that a new chapter in my yarn adventures is about to start … One where yarn purchases are now based on what I want to make, rather than just to add to the stash … It also means that my eyes are now drawn to the higher-end yarns … *sigh*  So much for my yarn budgets …

Testing Yarns

When scrolling on the forums I would sometimes see posts calling for testers for a new pattern, and after looking at it for two seconds, I would scroll on.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when I seriously considered signing up as a tester for the designer Frank O’Randle.  He’s the one with the ‘Rings of Change’ series.  After reading through his tester requirements, I filed it in the back of my mind.  I didn’t think that I would be able to dedicate any amount of time and work on what he designs, however much I would like to be a tester for his designs, which are all beautifully intricate, which is what I like.

And then came a call to test a shawl pattern … and just for the heck of it, I wrote in and ‘auditioned’ … and got accepted!  What??  I hadn’t done much crocheting recently, but I guess from what they saw on my previous projects were enough for them?  Hmmm ….

So, that of course set off a frenzy to look for the right yarn … fingering weight.  *sigh*  That means that it’ll take me a while to finish this, although crocheting with fingering weight isn’t so bad as knitting with fingering weight for me. And as luck would have it, the NJ Wool Walk was going on last weekend.  More trouble …

I had some free time over the weekend, but I purposely didn’t go to any of the LYS on the Wool Walk.  I’m trying to stick to the budget, see, and going to the yarn stores is not going to help me stick to the budget, right?  But, since I know I didn’t have 1,100 yards of fingering weight yarn in my stash, I had to go and get some, right?  *sigh* good thing Sunday was the last day, and I could only visit two LYS’s …

So, here’s what’s been added to the stash …

At Patricia’s Yarns, I came across Madeleine Tosh Light – fast becoming my new favourite yarn to work with. I thought I could use these for the test pattern shawl. Love that deep blue (Stargazer) …

At Yarndezvous, I came across sparkling yarn … This green I knew right away that I wanted to make a scarf/wrap with it … And maybe I already have the pattern for it …

These are other colours that caught my eye, and will probably end up as accessories as well … Although now that I see them laid out, they all link to each other nicely.  Subconsciously, my brain had already matched them up.  So … now … maybe I can use these for the test pattern … hmmm … 

And these?  Well, I just had to get these … they looked so yummy and creamy and fresh and springy … I have no idea what to make with these, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something …

  

And there goes my budget …

Purples Columns

A flash of inspiration and it’s finally working out ….

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My sister had asked for a purple cowl, so I had started to make one, with a beautiful Malabrigo Jacinto.   
20131004-135232.jpgBut I didn’t like how it was turning out, so it was frogged and the yarn rewound for another inspiration. 

Then I found a Cascade Italian Plum … a deeper purple, which is actually more to my sister’s liking.   

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And then of course the search for the right pattern for it.  I wanted a bit of a lacy effect, because I found it too dark for dense stitches.  I ended up with a variation of the brioche stitch.  Casting on an odd number (I casted on 35 for this cowl), I just knitted one, yo, k2 together all the way to the end.  Knit the last two stitches together.  Turn, and repeat the same row.  That’s it.

I thought that the rows would produce a honeycomb-like effect, but it came out as columns instead.  It wasn’t looking bad, anyway, so I’m continuing with the pattern.  This has come out with a nubby effect, which has a nice feel to it, so I’m imagining that would feel nice as well when worn around your neck.

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And lessons learned as well … the right size needle for the yarn weight and type does make a difference.  And it helps that the pattern suits the yarn as well.

Happy knitting, all !

 

 

How I Get in Trouble

This is how I get in trouble.

A deal on Craftsy … and a purchase of samples …. My hands itch to try out the yarn, and with a four-hour drive (round-trip) to my son’s game this weekend, I took that opportunity of (almost) uninterrupted time to start a project.  I’m trying that bias-basketweave pattern again, that makes it look like entrelac.  Don’t quite know the proper name for it.  The pattern that I copied it from is titled ‘Not Entirely Entrelac’ scarf, but I find it awkward, for some reason.  This is how much I did, during the trip.

The baby yarn that I found in my stash a couple of weeks ago … has now turned to this.  Bernat’s ‘From the Middle’ baby blanket.  With the yarn I’m using, it’s working up fast and the pattern is taking shape nicely.  I like the 3-D effect of the panels.

 

You know that sentence on the yarn labels about purchasing enough yarn to finish your project?  Well, this is what happens when you don’t purchase enough yarn.  You finish an item, to find that it needs another skein or two, to make it look complete.  But since the manufacturer has discontinued the yarn, and you can’t find it again, then the yarn is recycled into something else.  This is what has happened to this project.    I think it’s time to revive this again.

I can’t let that yarn with those great colors just sit around, can I?

 

 

 

 

 

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