Monday, March 21, 2011

Jazz Hands

If my latest project were a body part, it would be Jazz Hands. (That's directly from the creative loin of my muse. What the fuck does that mean? And is she right? LOL.)

Fire on the Mountain

I finished the German Fish socks yesterday and by last night I had given birth to these new socks. The yarn is Wollmeise. Oh, yes kiddies. The one, the only (colorways Kurbis and Schwarz), the no longer selling for $90 so I can feel safe to use it, Wollmeise.

I lost hours of sleep stashing this yarn. It was the beginning of the end in the aught-not madness, very much like Tulip Mania, but with less men. You know I sometimes wonder how many indie dyer's reputations and businesses were built on the toxic assets of the aughts. (I totally have a little person complex, so forgive my haughtiness in advance.)

I am perversely proud my husband and I kept sane when it seemed the whole world was refinancing their house, or flipping houses, in order to make fast cash that was turned into tropical isle cruises and/or stainless steel dream kitchens. We live in a grubby little grandma home and I love it just the way it is. Sure I'd love a brand new kitchen and some new floors, but the cost! I'm not ready to pay the price.

When the yarn stashing craze hit me I was spending a lot of time on Ravelry ogling the yarn stashes of my fellow crafters. I spent hours in the Wollmeise chat thread reading the same handful of posters wax erotic about their hauls. I wondered how someone could afford to buy so much Wollmeise, much less have the time to stalk it at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning, Eastern Standard Time, week after week.

I remember clicking on a Wollmeise or Sundara skein in someone's stash and seeing the neverending list on the left hand of the screen indicating how excessive their stash of the yarn actually was. I remember how that jealousy tasted.

Something awful, it was. Toxic, toxic stuff.

I also remember the snark around it when someone would whine about how newbies couldn't get their hands on any because of those stashers, those stashers whose list of the yarn went on and on down the page until the drool made a pool in your empty lap. Laughing at the whiners was fun. It helped me to see my own foolishness.

Kurbis Caked


But don't you think I didn't wax moronic when my own stash list began to grow. Oh was I ecstatic. I was one of the cool kids. I could have what they have. Or as much as I could get into my cart before each weekly posting was bought up.

And then something crazy happened. I tried to knit with my Wollmeise. And it was, um, kinda cardboardy and cottony. LOL. Wasn't I the tulip fool? I considered that I was. For a while. Then I looked on my mania from a different angle. The yarn is (was?) a collector's item and I realized I was a collector. Not a hoarder, or usually not a hoarder. A collector.

Yes, a connoisseur of finely made string. There are worse things.

Fast forward a few years and well, this yarn seems a great deal softer than I remember it. The sock above is knit fairly densely on size 2.25mms (US1s). The fabric is lovely, not how I remember it being when I knit the hubby some socks in the Paul colorway. Those washed up beautifully, but knitting that yarn was tough. I wonder if it has to do with the cleansing agent? Or the maybe the dye? Is it possible for age to reduce the abrasiveness of these additives?

Who knows. I'm a full-time crackpot full of crazy ideas. I am thankful that my crackpotheadedness started these socks. They give me joy.

The fair isle pattern I using is a derivation of a basic four row peerie chart from the reissue of Alice Starmore's Fair Isle book.

Viva das Wollmeise! Viva la yarn. And knit on beyotches, for tomorrow we may die...












 

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