Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bourgeoisie yarn on a proletariat budget

The truth is simple--I love good yarn. Great yarn. I prefer natural fibers to manmade--although I'll accept a little manmade in my yarn if it means that it improves the overall usefulness of the yarn a smidge (like superwash wool socks that don't felt on sweaty feet).

For the past few months I've tried to knit mostly from stash. I was moderately successful. Of the original six bins of "project" yarn, all have been knit up or are well along in that process. Of the "odds and ends" in my yarn stash, I knit up or gave away to more worthy knitters about half of it. This left me with an odd dozen balls.

But yarn stash backlash is a powerful force. Much like nature, the yarn stash seems to abhor a vacuum. Two of the skeins were prairie silk. They were Navy and when I bought them, I bought them with two skeins of lavender mohair that I kept remembering as being different colors of the same yarn. The lavender wasn't at all the same though. Although both yarns are Brown Sheep Company yarns, Prairie Silk is wool with a smidge of mohair. Handpaint Originals is mohair with a smidge of wool. The labels claim they knit up to the same gauge, but I didn't find that to be the case. So I have two skeins of Handpaint Originals in plum purple and one in sea glass. Still no plan for those. The prairie silk however spoke to me clearly. It wanted to be a striped sweater. So I bought two skeins of cream and one more of navy. Notice that the stash made me purchase three skeins to use up two skeins. Yeah. Then in knitting up the skeins it soon became clear that I needed another skein or two just to finish that sweater. But by this time I'd fallen head-over-heels for the yarn, so when I ordered more, I ordered enough for a second sweater in green and cream.

The stash was hungry.

Next, the stash used Baby Oliver as an excuse to get a few other kinds of yarn to "experiment" with, including a silk and cotton blend of which I'll probably run short and need to buy a second skein halfway through the final sleeve. It bought a skein of very fine mohair convincing me it could become an orenburg shawl--but it lied. So I bought a silk and cashmere blend for the Orenburg shawl instead. Now the mohair will become booties--but in the meantime, the stash clings to it jealously.

I bought a lighter blue yarn of the most incredible 100% wool and that required two more skeins to become another striped sweater. This inspired sweater envy in Chris, so we ordered some more of it (that hasn't come in yet--the stash still has time to get a job and pay for that).
Somewhere along the line, it bought itself some sock yarn, too.

I'm proud (and relieved) to say that I still have the upper hand. I still have less yarn that I started with. But this morning I caught the stash shopping online for something to go with the Handpainted Originals and I had to change all my passwords.

I have to admit that the stash has amazing taste. Part of the reason I'm so enamoured of all of my projects right now is because the yarn is wonderful. But this morning the Orenburg shawl yarn that the stash ordered arrived and I had to face the fact that if I don't watch it more closely, I'll soon have the same size stash I started with--only with more labels (why do skeins of yarn shed their labels over time just sitting there in stash?) The Orenburg yarn is a silk/cashmere blend. It is by far the nicest yarn I've ever owned. I'm awed by it. Enough so that I'm actually content to just look at it and keep knitting on my current projects instead of casting on.

[This is the first yarn I've ever held and thought, "do you think this house has moths?"]

My plan right now is to keep knitting on what I have and get my project count back down to a reasonable level. My goal is to go into the summer with three "big" projects and all of the socks. I'll have a sock on the needles for each family member, the Orenburg Shawl for the Piano Teacher, the Finnish Mittens for I-don't-know-who, and Chris' sweater. That will be more than enough :)


Dy said...

You CANNOT post all these descriptions and not one picture!! It's not fair!!!


susan said...

Halibits and Hailstones or something like that, its a book of poems about color for little ones. I want to hear how Max likes his school? What happened with the preschool teachers gone bad? The yarn stash needs a face you know since it's been personified. lol.

slawebb said...

Did you get the email telling you Sabine's arm length? I was having problems with my computer at the time. Glitch, glitch. hack hack, user error!

The Queen said...

Yes I did and I finished that sweater except for sewing it together :) I *hate* sewing the sweater together. Anyway, assuming I have the right address, I'll try to get it out next week.

Anonymous said...

The stash is to a knitter what a box full of paints is to an artist. Feed the stash and it will feed you.