Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Agonizing Over Yarn

It's something I'm very good at.

I'll be honest, I don't always go to my local yarn shop. The proprietress and her staff are wonderful and their selection is terrific, but sometimes I need to buy a) things that they don't have and b) a lot of things that it may be cheaper to buy somewhere else. There's a Jo-Ann one town over, and while I don't love to give my money to a big box retailer, the price is right and the selection is good. Because I'm not going to make an afghan or shawl out of 100% wool for anyone but myself.

On a visit to NYC in March, I went to a beautiful little store called The Woolgathering. Like any local yarn shop, it was small and cozy with many shelves piled high with gorgeous colors and materials. I snuggled everything. I often have a hard time in public when faced with things that feel good to the senses, and this time was no exception. I had to hold it together and not say, "Wow, I want to roll around naked in all of this cashmere and silk!"

I bought one skein of Zauberwolle.

I love blues and this is self-patterning yarn. It's only 250 meters which is only enough to knit a small/medium scarf, but check this out: it's $25 a skein. I get it, I do. Zauber means "magic," and it truly is magical. It's 100% merino and the color pattern slowly reveals itself as you work with it. It feels like a dream, it looks beautiful. But I simply couldn't bring myself to buy more than one. Even the owner said, as I was paying, "You know that's $25, right?" Yeah, lady, I know! That's why I'm only buying one, because I need to eat this week!

So, yesterday was a rainy, ugly day. I'd just finished a shawl for my mother, the last of my recent doily projects and I'd quickly whipped up some crochet slippers that were really fun to make. I walked over to my stash bin and there was the Zauberwolle, staring me in the face. Lonely and sad, sitting among the acrylics and blends, I could tell that it felt out of its element. It looked out of its element. I scoured Ravelry for patterns for this yarn, and there are some very inspiring projects on there but guess what? They almost invariably call for at least two skeins! Of course they do! I looked at patterns and projects for hours. Ravelry is an easy site to get sucked into on a day when I'm just perusing, forget about when I'm purposefully looking for something. So many gorgeous choices, but I felt quite limited by my stash. 

I finally chose The Baktus Scarf. I know that my version will be small, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the yarn reveals itself and wearing the finished product proudly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Make Things

That is, I make things from other people's patterns. At least now, at least for the most part. I've always had a hard time following directions, so I never seem to do anything to the letter.

I taught myself how to crochet in January 2012, and my latest thing is doilies. Lovely, sweet, little lace doilies. It's a challenge for me because I'm not a patient person, and while crochet generally works up relatively quickly, there are often many details to crochet doilies... so this is a good exercise for me.  Last week, I made the Birthday Doily by Glor.

 I so loved making this and for my second real attempt at a doily, I'm very pleased with how it came out. I hope to get enough practice with these that someday, I'll be able to design my own.