yarn test

There was a certain yarn that I had heard mythical tales of. Tales of a certain yarn causing banks to shut down online payment processing. Tales of long lines and “immediate” sell-out (and long lines) at the various fibre festivals. Tales of gorgeous colours and a remarkable yarn base.

I just wanted to try this yarn. I didn’t necessarily want to keep what I knitted, nor did I necessarily want to make socks out of it.

Over the summer I was having a difficult week and needed to provide a fibre-y gift to a friend. I couldn’t decide and was wary to set foot into a yarn shop because I didn’t know if I could control myself and worried I’d buy much more than the gift. The loving and wonderful Melanie sent me a box full of yummy yarns with the request I do what I want with it. Inside the box was a skein of this special yarn. Little was I to know how special this skein was.

Of course as it was precious to me, I knew I would try the yarn out and knit something to thank Melanie for her friendship. She mentioned that she had bought that skein to make a shawl, so I decided I would make Sandi Wiseheart’s “Comfort Shawl” out of it, as I felt that would best highlight the yarn.

So I balled it up, and cast on. Almost immediately I screwed up the pattern, but wasn’t too worried as I was pretty sure it wouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of the shawl.

But then it happened.

Then, you’ll have to recall, was the middle of summer. Heat and humidity.

This skein told me just how “special” it was. I wasn’t totally surprised, and I will chalk this up as a fluke as I’ve not heard anyone else who has experienced it. It happens. I don’t think any less of the company, or of Melanie, or most definitely of the yarn which I loved.

Often when you dye things you use vinegar to help “set” the dye. I recall this from my childhood and others have confirmed this. Normally this rinses out and the beautiful dye stays behind. If I had noticed the aroma before I started knitting and was a long chunk in I would have bathed it then. I didn’t. I also wasn’t sure what Soak®ing it with it partially knitted and the yarn broken and the rest of the ball reskeined would do to the colour. So I just plugged away at it.

When it got super hot and smelly I set it away, wrapped well in dryer sheets and a cotton bag, until cooler weather prevailed. What made me give up? First, lunch with a friend, a chemist who actually could still *smell* it. That and E forbade me to knit it in the car because it was just too distracting. Even with the windows open and doing 55-65mph down the highway.

Melanie had a difficult few weeks about a month back and I decided that since I wasn’t able to give her a hug in person*, I definitely needed to finish this. So I did. I found that the now looser ball and the air allowed for the smell to dissipate.

I also seem to occasionally have magic with the Post Office. Depending what time I post my packages, they often arrive to Melanie the next day (pretty mundane considering I could take the LIRR there pretty easily).

Teabird's Hug, detail Teabird’s Hug
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock® mediumweight 1 skein (3g leftover)
Colourway: Pallas Athena (greys, purples, browns)
Needles: 3.75mm Addi Lace
Pattern: (mostly) Comfort Shawl by Sandi Wiseheart
CO: 20080728
BO: 20080926
Additional photos: back, front
Intentional mods: I didn’t do the “lace” at the bottom. I just did a seed stitch border. I prefer it this way.

Wear it in good health Melanie. Thank you for your friendship and for sending a box which let me try this yarn. I’m researching the colour I wish to purchase and for what purpose. Time will tell.

* I really could get off my arse and get to where she is. It’s not difficult. It’s not far. It’s not some insanely expensive journey, heck TSA doesn’t even need to be involved. It seems that the closer you live to me, unless you live WITH me, the less likely I am to be in the same place as you are.

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3 Replies to “yarn test”

  1. Hugs back, my dear Penny. The shawl is a wonderful, magical gift – I’m so happy with it.

    (I didn’t notice the vinegar smell when I sent the yarn. Oh dear. It’s certainly gone now!)

    melanie recently wrote what I did on my blogging vacation

  2. Beautiful hug. The shoulder detail is awesome.
    I know what you mean about poor quality yarn. There are so many new dyers jumping in to the hand dyed yarn business, and there are a select few who don’t really know how to FINISH the yarn. If you, as the consumer, can still smell the vinegar, then this means that the dyer hasn’t washed the yarn after dyeing. That’s a very important step. I’ve had the actual dye come off on my hands from both yarn and from spinning fiber bought from a couple of people.
    To get rid of the smell, and your usual wool washes don’t work, try letting the yarn soak in the sink with a few drops of a good quality hair shampoo.

    Dave Daniels recently wrote Maple and Maize, Part II

  3. Lovely! What a special gift.

    Devorah recently wrote Prettiful Blanket

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