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Last week in yarn rescue, or is that knitting weakness?

About two weeks ago I spent a little time reading the discussion over at Ravelry about LYS etiquette on whether it is a store's obligation to wind yarn for customers or not. I totally got the feeling there is an urban east coast/rest of the US divide on this tradition. Another issue surfaced in the discussion and that was whether or not it is appropriate to store wound yarn for any length of time. I think the consensus was that tightly wound yarn cakes may alter the yarn and cause gauge problems when used later down the road; the longer the yarn is in tightly wound cake form, the greater the damage may be.

Well, you see, I'm still a novice ball winder and sometimes my yarn cakes come out a little too tight. The slightest notion that my tightly wound cakes are destroying the beautiful yarn their made of ignited a flame in the quiet little corner of my mind where cast on projects are born. Let me add that this quiet little corner is kept quiet by constant vigilance. Slowly but surely the flame became a fire and the fire became a cause célèbre inferno. I was helpless to stave off the resultant urges to cast on; I was compelled to save my yarn. So the Firestarter I started on Saturday was quickly followed on Sunday by this:

This is a chevron scarf from the Last Minute Knitted Gifts pattern. Within moments of starting the Firestarter sock toe with the Madelinetosh yarn, I was gripped with the inspiration to use the two skeins of Decadent Fibre Marhsmallow that I picked up at Rhinebeck. The yarn is 80% alpaca 20% merino, a little bit different than the fingering weight sock yarn the chevron scarf pattern calls for, but that didn't seem too important.

I fumbled with the pattern at first. I had problems with the increase stitches and then with the gauge. I finally settled on a size US3 for the knit side and a size US5 for the purl side. I'm going to call the scarf The Queen's Forest.