Tag Archives: yarn

The Long Goodbyes

18 Jan

I’m taking part in a swap table at my campus. You can bring stuff and exchange it for something else, or just dump things you think someone might want. It’s the perfect opportunity for me. I have come to find that I have some trouble letting go of yarn… But I’m all out of excuses now that all I have to do is remember to take the bag of yarn with me when I go to class tomorrow.

And even so, I had to fight myself hard not to put these back in the most neglected corner of my stash (in the bins under the bed). I actually did put back 4 huge balls of bulky and super bulky acrylic yarn, thinking I might knit a small blanket with them. Maybe. Some day.

If I can think of anything I might make with a yarn, something I could actually use, I can’t get rid of it. Unless it’s a yarn that I really hate working with. And even then, it has to be something that has no emotional value. For instance: I bought three balls of different mohairs when I went to Germany a couple of years ago. I’ve since learned that those yarns shed horribly and that I don’t like anything about mohair… But I brought them from Germany!

After a lot of wringing of hands and shuffling yarn from one pile into another and back again, here are the ones I can bring myself to get rid of. Keep in mind that I currently have about 30 367,4 meters or 33 210,6 yards of yarn…

Ah, the bane of my fibery existence: 5 balls of this yellow-orange cotton stuff. The yarn that embodies everything I don’t like. It’s yellow and it’s orange. It’s cotton and non-machine washable. I thought I’d make dishrags out of it but the non-machine washable bit pretty much destroyed that idea.

In principle, a nice yarn. In practice: it’s both turquoise and purple. At first I figured no one would want the ball I’ve used and winded again badly, because it looks like that… but on the other hand, if I get rid of those other two balls, I’ll be left with something even more useless: just a little bit of yarn I don’t want to use. So away it is with the lot of them.

The brown yarn is the last partial ball of the Red Heart acrylic I used for my Thermal. That’s actually a pretty nice yarn to use, but I just finished knitting a whole sweater out of it. Yeah, I can’t stand to even look at it right now.

I’ve learned never to wind yarn like I have done with that beige mohair because if I do, I will never ever want to use that yarn again. It just looks so unappealing. I can’t think what anyone would want to do with that yarn, but maybe it’ll make nice stuffing for a toy, or something.

And finally, the pièce de résistance:

two partial balls of some bouclé yarn – one of the first yarns I ever bought. They’re pink and purple (when have I ever liked any pink or that shade of purple?) and I suppose they must be acrylic. They’re so horrible I didn’t want to put them in the bag because I can’t see anyone else wanting them, either. But the other option is they’ll languish in the bins forever, and one day, after the third world war, only the cockroaches and that yarn will remain.

So goodbye it is. I’m (almost completely) certain I won’t miss them.


Good Day

12 Jan

Wrapped in a blanket and some lovely woollen garments, I’m incredibly comfy in my mom’s home, while outside this (i.e. winter) is going on.

I’m enjoying the last two Christmas gifts I got yesterday. Mom gave  me Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s newest, All Wound Up. The book is very different from what I expected, with less giggles and laugh-out-loud moments. I suppose the name should’ve been a hint. It’s more annoyed and sombre than the last book of her’s I read (Knitting Rules!)

Mom got me the hardcover version which was a nice surprise. It’s properly bound, too, and beautiful, and smells wonderful and feels good to the touch. This one’s an enjoyment for all the senses… although, ok, fine, I haven’t tasted it.

So I’m reading about knitting, and all the while I’m feeling kind of antsy because I want to knit at the same time! That’s actually pretty hard to do. Unless I had some kind of contraption for holding up the book…

I don’t have a lot to go at all, until: new sweater!

The second Christmas gift I got yesterday? Ever since I found out about the existence of ball winders, I have needed one. The SO decided to fulfill that need this Christmas, and yesterday, it was finally delivered. It’s the Royal ballwinder, made in Japan. At first it seemed kind of flimsy and plasticky, but all doubt was quickly erased.

I tried it immediately, by winding a hank of Trekking Hand Art Flamé from Zitron.

What can I say? It’s perfect. I squealed with joy all the way through – as in, through the whole 5 minutes it took to ball a 100 g hank of yarn. 5 minutes instead of the hour it takes me to do this by hand. And the resulting cake is perfect. Not too tight to put strain on the yarn – not too loose to not hold its shape. Good tools make all the difference 🙂

I’m very content today. I’ll make a cup of coffee now and get back to my book.

I Don’t Travel Just to Buy Yarn – I Swear

24 Jan

My favorite local yarn shop (Taito Lappi)  isn’t all that local to me. It’s in the wonderful town of Rovaniemi, a 2,5 hour train ride away. The reason that place is remarkable to me is this: if you ask them, they’ll halve 100 g skeins of Ohut Pirkkalanka from Pirkanmaan kotityö. It’s a light fingering 100 % wool yarn and comes in marvellous colors. And I just can’t justify buying it at 8 €/100 g.

I figure, hey, I only need 50 g of two colors to make myself a cool pair of stranded color work socks or mittens. If I buy two whole skeins, 50 g of both would be left-over yarn. That’s why every time I visit Rovaniemi, I have to pop into that shop to get me some Pirkkalanka goodness (they do sell it in shops closer to me).

And for some reason, whenever I buy yarn for socks or hand or headwear, I usually go for turquoise or mustard yellow with brown. I try to like other color combinations, but these ones just captivate me, and nothing else seems as inspiring. I try to tell myself the contrast between these colors isn’t always all that good, but still… I must have the turquoise and brown. Oh, how I love turquoise yarn. Oh, how I love Taito Lappi and their skein halving policies.

Surprise! yarn

28 Sep

Today, I got a ball of yarn the size of my head from my boyfriend.  See?

I didn’t know something like this existed. Hence the picture of me gazing lovingly into its eyes.

The yarn is Varpu from Novita, 200 g = 632 m, and contains acrylic, wool, polyester and mohair. The bf gets a lot of points for this. This was a total surprise, and I like surprises. Also, he chose this colorway, which I love, all by himself over two other options, which I don’t like all that much based on the pictures on Ravelry. Woohoo! I like that he enables my yarn addiction.

I might knit this bolero from Drops with it, but first I’m going to hug it a lot. Maybe I could keep it as a pet?

Ha! I see what you did there!

25 Sep

I love when I see a pattern that looks really complicated and scary, and then I start to knit it only to find out the complexity is a lie (and in that way very similar to the cake).

It’s a trick! And for some reason it is usually, in my experience, based on a few slipped stitches or something equally simple. Apparently my mind cannot quite comprehend slipped stitches.

Patterns like that are nice because I get the thrill of taking on something difficult without having to do battle with impossible instructions or a stitch pattern I might be able to memorize but only after about a hundred repeats.

And yes, this does mean that today I started another project… Luckily all the projects I’m working on are ones I love to bits, so there’s really no chance of some/all of these WIPs ending up in the back of my closet, where my projects go to hibernate. Really, probably no chance at all…

Here is the reasoning that led me to beginning that Mesi hat (it’s the same link as above).

It started earlier today when I got trapped in that dreadful moment, where you wander into a yarn store, and for one reason or another end up feeling like you just have to buy something, anything, before you can leave. 

In this case I started feeling like I would be suspected of shoplifting if I didn’t buy something. It wasn’t anything the nice lady at the shop did or said, but sometimes this thought just pops into my head.

And no, I was not shoplifting. I was, however, a poor student left all by herself with all the fancy yarn. See, I do the profiling on behalf of the shop owner and save them the bother. Poor woman, she was probably just trying not to hover over my shoulder, and there I was,  suspecting her of suspecting me.

It’s similar to feeling like you’re doing something wrong when a police car drives by despite being a good citizen as always, and despite wearing a bicycle helmet and everything!

Well anyway, that’s how I ended up with two skeins of Regia Silk from Schachenmayr nomotta, which was not was I was expecting to buy on that trip, if anything. The yarn is a blend of merino, polyamid and silk. Yummy. It’s very soft and has a nice sheen. And to justify buying this yarn, I had to start knitting with it right away.

If I didn’t, there was a danger of it entering, in my opinion, the saddest state a yarn can be in: ignored and over-looked just because the knitter feels guilty about buying it in the first place. That’s not the yarn’s fault! It was just sitting there, quietly minding its own business, when the knitter came by and grasped it in their greedy paws….

Besides, what’s the harm in starting another project. These days I’m in total control of my hibernating projects… because I recently ripped back all of them. I can whole-heartedly recommend doing this. It was such a relief.

When I used to look at the half-finished socks (for me, the biggest risk groups for hibernation are socks and scarfs), all I saw was responsibility. Now all the yarn trapped in that prison of disappointment is back to its purest form: it’s just yarn. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee writes in Knitting rules! that the reason knitters love yarn so much is that it’s pure potential.

I agree.

Also, it’s soft. I like soft.

mmmm... soft.

Addressing dire yarn needs

10 Jan

The spirit of shopping came over me, and I ordered some yarn online. Oh noes!

I ordered three skeins of Drops Alpaca and around 200 g of Evilla yarn. The Alpaca will turn into a Sagittaria Shawl, and I will make another Revontuli Shawl from the Evilla yarn. I’m sooo excited! I’m hoping the yarns will get here next week. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

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