Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns.... (K&C Blog Week - Day 1)

Ahhh, nothing like a challenge to get me rolling again!  My lone follower on this blog offered up a challenge to write this week about fiber addiction and specified the topics: see the full challenge here: (and play along if you'd like!)

My love/hate relationship with acrylic yarn is one of the oddities of my wool-filled life.  I use it for things that I know will be used hard and knocked around some.  One of my favorites is this shrug that I did several years back in Caron Simply Soft Shadows - from the ball band pattern, modified with a deeper ribbing band.
Shrug in Caron Simply Soft Shadows

I wear this a lot since it goes with most things in my wardrobe.  One of the things I particularly like about it is in the general nature of shrugs - no front "ends" to get caught in things and it keeps my neck and shoulders warm.  The variegation of this yarn is what really enthuses me... I have a couple other colorways waiting for me in my stash - I know there is a fuschia and I think white as well.  I've also worked with the plain color Simply Soft and it is pretty nice stuff as well.  I use it when I'm doing a gift for someone who wants soft, but might not know how to care for wool.

Front view of shrug

Here's the front view:

Necklace by Chico's (another one of my favorite artsy stores)

Then there is the other side of the acrylic equation... the not so happy stuff.  Usually this involves chenille or boucle yarns.  I love the look, but the actual knitting is a different story.  With high hopes (and no sense, apparently) I charged into an afghan.  Double stranded with blocks of stockinette and garter stitch with a zigzag edge (also a ball band pattern).  Thought it would be an easy no-brainer kind of knitting.  That didn't turn out to be the case at all!  It tangles, snarls and basically misbehaves all the way through the process - although it does look pretty nice:
Afghan started with whopper ball of boucle

I've decided to frog the afghan and remake this yarn into a swingy, hip length jumper with a handkerchief hemline, the pattern is in Creative Knitting, March 2011 called "Sandy Shores".  I'm doing it from the top down so I can fit as I go, I want the bustline and the waistline to be at the proper spots.  If I have enough yarn, I might also add short sleeves.  This yarn is a stinker to work with double stranded on plastic circular needles.  I'll swatch it single on nickel circulars hoping that it will slide better.  I'm excited to see how the striping will look on the garment.

Now, on the yarn I really love: wool, marvelous and splendid, often imitated but never duplicated.  Fabulous fine or knockout chunky blends, I love my wool yarns!  Here's a shot of an alpaca blend done up into a big slouchy vest - worked up very fast from a Lion Brand pattern that I've lost track of.  This one appeals to my inner Viking.

Viking vest - front view
Ordinarily, I'm not a huge fan of the furry yarns, but I like this accent.  I used two different types, one a sparkle black and one a regular furry black.  Even though it is black, this vest has a cheery and fun feeling.  

This is the first piece I ever worked in bulky weight yarn.  The speed is nice, and it is a very pretty vest, but my taste runs more toward the fine and very fine yarns.  Cables and fussy bead knitting are personal favorites of mine, and yet, I don't have any of either one on the needles at the moment.  Need to finish up some other things first.

In the planning stages are a couple of things with cables (in wool yarn - of course!)  Carol Sunday's Tapestry cardigan and the Wicked vest from Classic Elite.  I think I'll do the cardigan in a Knit Picks yarn and the vest - hmmmmm, haven't decided on that yet, although I have a wool and silk blend that I just stashed that might be enough to do the job.  What a delightful quandry!

Viking vest - back view

As the week goes on I'll get to wander into territory that I haven't thought about in a long time.  You'll have to check the challenge if you want a sneak preview of the topics.  I'm still deciding what I want to write about...

Until next time, knitting, spinning and feeding the fish....

No comments:

Post a Comment