Skip to main content

Yarn Lust, Managed and Not

Last month, my Dad and his wife, Chris, came to stay, and wouldn't you know it I was charged with planning a yarn crawl for her and myself. We hit my three fave LYSses that Saturday, and then braved a morning squall on Sunday to visit a not-so-local LYS that I had yet to see, The Woolpack, in Littleton, MA.

Even with the fabulous sale at Wild and Woolly, I bought nary a thing that Saturday. Luckily, I had just finished Project Stole, as I don't think I would have had the fortitude to resist the 20 skeins of forest green Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran they had on sale for $120 (that's $6 bucks a skein!) otherwise. I was a good girl, I lived vicariously through Chris, ogling in safety as she purchased a couple of sweater kits.

On Sunday, though, I succumbed. The Woolpack was a great shop. They have a huge book section, as well as an expansive yarn selection. There were oodles of new to me yarns, and a goodly number of novelty yarns which were easy for me to resist. It wasn't until I hit their sock yarns that there was any hint of weakness on my part. Most were easily dismissed, which is why I am now unable to remember what they carried.

One thing I do remember is that they had a prototype for an interesting new variegated sock yarn that is being marketed and sold as a swath of stockinette fabric, rather than en skein. The proprietess had picked it up at a trade show. You unravel the fabric as you knit. Considering that what you knit is all bumpy, because the yarn has been in a different shape, there has to be good reason to market yarn this way and there is.

How many of us have purchased a variegated skein only to be miserable with how the colors interact once knit? I know I have. But more often, I think, how often have we knitters passed up a skein because we couldn't see past the mess of colors, only to see some intrepid blogger make the most beautiful object out of that passed over colorway? With the yarn already knit, knitters will see how beautiful or fugly the colorway really is. Crazy cool, wouldn't you say?

Walking around the shop, I was comfortable in my ability to manage my yarn lust until I happened upon the following variegated worsted yarn. It stole my heart at first sight.

Right now, for whatever reason, I am a sucker for blues and greens. And particularly then, I was looking for a heavier weight yarn for a pair of socks for me. This yarn was my Borg. It is Artyarns Handpaint Stripes, a worsted weight sock yarn, in colorway 104, being marketed with a sock pattern with each skein.

Each skein has about 188 yarns and costs about the same as most sock yarns with twice the yardage. So it's expensive, the wrong weight for socks, and has skimpy yardage. Me? I was sold, sold, sold. I bought two skeins and consider myself the luckiest (albeit, not the smartest) knitter in the world.

I resisted immediate cast on, as I already had two socks on needles, but at one point a couple of weeks ago, I lost my resolve and began a toe on a set of 3.00mm addis. The resulting fabric was far too tight, so I had to frog. Reality was setting in: there is no way I'm getting a comfortable sock out of this yarn weight. I was blinded by the stripes.

So, I fretted and I plotted and I fretted and I abandoned plots until last week when I was knee deep in the monotonous blue gift socks (recently named Blue Wavering). I was desperate for a color diversion.

It wasn't just that I needed color, I needed warmth too. My office was an icebox all last week and even with Project Stole and a space heater to provide warmth, my hands were exposed and on one day they began to hurt from the cold. Très misérables. That's when I realized that the yarn would make PERFECT fingerless mitts to keep at work. So Wednesday night I put aside Blue Wavering and began this knit:

The colors are scrumptious and so cheery! They'll be perfect for work.


You are so right about the craziness of variegated yarn - I've been a victim of both. Looking at your unknit Artyarns, the colors looked scrumptious, but I definitely had that "how in the world will this turn out?" feeling. So I have to congratulate your foresight and bravery - the beginning of your socks is sooooo nice. I love the stripes of different shades of blues and greens. You've totally earned your place among the intrepid knitting bloggers of the internet :)
peaknits said…
Wow - love your yarn, I love how it is knitting up - what a cozy socks indeed! Good pick - at least you resisted some, right?;)
Shannon said…
These stripes are awesome. My favorite socks have always been striped, but it is so hard to find a yarn that doesn't pool.
Knitting Kris said…
I'm really liking the way that the fingerless mitts are knitting up in that yarn! YEAH! So cheery!

I too, am sometimes "victimized" by sock yarns that don't knit into a fabric that showcases the colors in a favorable way!