Sunday, August 10, 2008

Drunk on Yarn

It started a few days ago with this pattern. And this yarn.
The plan was a vacation from the fine gauge of sock knitting. Something in honor of the days suddenly becoming fall: shorter, darker, that eerie quiet when you hear all the insects humming and preparing for winter. But it's only mid-August. . . how can this be?

At home, away from the chatter of new yarn and pattern books and sample sweaters and knitters talking (everything inanimate in the store was saying CHOOSE ME! and Icould not concentrate) I slowed down, read through the pattern. Lots of seed stitch in the yoke. Not good for my wrists or elbows. And a gauge of 22 stitches to 4 inches in seed stitch with the Scottish Tweed DK from Rowan. I found out that all of the knitting teachers worked on this yarn last year to prepare a sample sweater for Vogue Knitting by one of the designers, and no one could come close to the gauge called for on this yarn band. Most telling, on second glance, I noticed that the sweater looks big on the model. Not just in the body, but in the arms: they're wrinkly, kind of bunched up. Rowan usually runs tiny. But the sweaters in this pattern book have lots of ease - good for someone who wants a boxy fit, or a sweater to wear as a jacket, but not what I was planning.

Rode my bike over to the store today to try again. This time, I wrote a shopping list: Cascade Ecowool. Folk Shawls. The inspiration was Brooklyn Tweed's Hemlock Ring Blanket. And Joan's shawl for me. I've worn it both times that I've been in the city in the last few weeks and I love it. And back of mind: a red shawl, maybe the Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls.

Here's what I bought:
Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock yarn. In a rainbow of colors. My only explanation is that I was drunk on yarn.

I have a theory that there is a limited amount of space in the brain for information. When it becomes overloaded - say, by the sight of bins and bins of opportunity and newness and a fresh future - in other words, a yarn shop, there is no room left for the logical decisions that one wants to make in the face of all that yarn. Kind of the feeling that you had in high school when you got drunk for the first time. You only realize later that you were out of control.

Now, I know that I'm just talking about yarn. And as I tell people who question a yoga teacher drinking coffee: hey, in the grand scheme of things, things could be much worse. We're talking about an addiction to coffee or yarn: not really the big leagues, right?

And I did buy some red yarn and some grey yarn. I realized, as I was talking with one of the yarn store people about how beautiful Rovings yarn is, that what I wanted was the Polworth silk-wool yarn that I used for Anna's Swallowtail Shawl. The closest that I could come, today, was Cascade Pastaza: a llama-wool blend with a halo of softness around the core of the yarn.
I'm swatching (good knitter) with the rainbow for the Kimono Shawl or maybe Icarus. The red or the grey are going to be tested for the Peddler's or the Highland Shawl, both from Folk Shawls.

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