Saturday, March 1, 2008

Big Ball 'O Yarn

I spent some quality time this afternoon with an empty paper towel cardboard tube. Standing on a chair, listening to a podcast and winding my latest yarn acquisition into a big ball 'o yarn. Ahh, the excitement of my life even overwhelms me at times.

This yarn is intended for a clapotis. I've been wanting to knit one for some time now and the hunt for just the right yarn has, at times challenged and obsessed me. I've spent hours, (I hate to think of how many hours), looking at finished clapoti on ravelry, searching out hand dyed merino/silk blends on the web, reading all the blog posts on the multiple Clapotis KAL's.

I came very close to buying Sheep Shop 3, a 70/30 merino silk handpainted blend. I've considered Brooks Farm. Several etsy sellers. Maybe even dye my own. I even, for a short time, considered saying to hell with it and just spend $90-120 for the Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb (but I always came to my senses before getting too attached to a LL colorway).

Well, a couple of weeks ago I came across some hand dyed yarn by Miss Babs, on the Woolgirl site and fell in love with a colorway called Bronze Plum. It's a %100 merino superwash in a 560 yard skein, very reasonably priced. No silk in it, but merino alone is nice too. And since there were only 2 skeins left, I decided to just buy them before anyone else did. Regret, over a yarn purchase not made, is a terrible thing.

It was the first time I ordered from Woolgirl and it was a very positive experience. The yarn came quickly, wrapped in pretty color coordinated tissue paper, tied with matching ribbon, a couple of sample products, and a sweet thank you card with a kitty cat. I'm a sucker for presentation, and cats. Nice!

So I decided today was as good a day as any to swatch. And I recently joined the latest clap KAL, Fashionably Late in '08 so that was a little added incentive to get going. I don't have a winder or swift. I usually just wind a hank of yarn on my thumb and carefully drape the skein over my knees or around a chair. But I thought 560 yards of worsted weight yarn called for an alternate plan, the paper towel method. And in my case, it also involved 4 cans of Progresso soup. Don't ask.

I only wound up one skein. I know I probably should alternate skeins since it's a hand dyed yarn but I'm going to live dangerously and hope there's not too much variation between the 2 skeins. What do you think? I swatched on size 7 and 8 needles, I'm going to go with the 7's.

I also "made" some sock blockers for my finished Monkeys. I'll probably treat myself to some nice wooden blockers at some point (or hint to my family when they're looking for Mother's Day or birthday gifts) but in the meantime I did the DIY thing on a very simple level. I found a blog, Little Sesame Knits and following her general directions went ahead and cut up a gift box. I'll try to find a heavier cardboard or other more attractive material next time I'm at the craft store but these do the trick for now. So here's the finished purl-less Monkeys by Cookie A. in Louet Gems Wild Cherry colorway. They are %100 superwash merino and very soft.

So it was a fairly productive start to March. Come on Spring!
Happy Knitting!


  1. THat ball of yarn is huge. I love the colors. The swatch to me looks like size 7's are probably a good choice.

  2. That sock blocker idea is ingenious! I'm going to have to try that because I don't have the fancy blockers either.

    Love the yarn for the clapotis!

  3. The sock blockers turned out great and I love the monkey's...of course you know that I love the colorway!! Great job : )

  4. Hi..KM here. Thanks for the comment over on the KAL. I love your yarn color. I know that if I hadn't have bought that I'd be having regrets. When my yarn was in skeins I couldn't see the color difference as much. IT was really obvious after I wound both into cakes. I should take a photo of them together. One is darker. But I think it's working out so far. 1000yds should make a beautiful wrap.