A Swatchin we will go.....and yummy yarns!
Got this in the mail today - Socks That Rock Yarn. It is sumptuous, absolutely SUMPTUOUS. I keep rubbing it against my face and stroking it with my hand; the colourways are really beautiful - subtle; the tones are spectacular. I have seen the yarn on so many different blogs and I had to check it out. Truly, seeing this on the web does not do justice to the real thing. I cannot wait to use this yarn. I keep opening up the pictures to look at the yarn and then I remember... I own this stuff! The colours I purchased are from left to right: on the bottom left there is Cobblestone County and beside the Cobblestone is Falcon's Eye. On top of the Falcon is Alina and beside Alina is Olivenite. These yarns make me feel as though all I would want to knit from now on are socks; all kinds of socks in different patterns - even the more solid colours are gradated; but so gently, they will be excellent for the more textured patterns I have in mind. I think I have to get some more! (Note to Carole: I know we had this deal about no more wool purchases but I JUST HAD TO BUY A LITTLE WEE BIT MORE!!!! Please forgive me - tee hee!) I also got some other yarn yesterday (see below) - all the way from Cornwall, England. I am going to knit Stornoway from Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters for Ed and I decided that I wanted to use the 5 Ply Gansey wool specified in the pattern. I never realized that this particular kind of wool comes from a very special breed of sheep only living in the British Isles. This wool is something else. It is 5 ply Guernsey (I ordered it from Frangipani - excellent customer service, great prices, efficient service), very light but at the same time very dense. I anticipate that the drape will be beautiful while incredibly warm (and I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to Margaret for helping me with some pesky math - who knew you'd need a PH.D in Math to knit!). The colour Claret is so rich and the stitches knit up so wonderfully (see swatch to the left bottom). The best part - the price! I paid (exchange, duty and shipping) $131.74 for the wool and it will be an authentic gansey sweater. I was a busy girl (for a change) - I finally got my FLAK swatch knit up (just the first one; we wouldn't want to rush things!) and washed and blocked both swatches (I don't know who this person is - sewing in ends, knitting swatches - washing and blocking them!). The FLAK is being knit with Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool (Colour - Harvest Heather) and I have to say that it is very nice (see swatch above the Claret swatch). I know I have become such a yarn snob which I don't think is difficult given the kinds of yarn out there. However, I realize now that just because yarn is expensive doesn't mean it is "better". I think we get so caught up by the "name" of the yarn (we are of course assisted in this by the yarn companies and our well meaning retailers) and the price we feel we must pay that we pass over some gems out there that can and do make excellent products (I will say however that I will never and I do mean never knit with acrylic!). Take the Elann - I only paid $2.63/ball. It is 100% Highland Wool and the texture is quite nice. I know in the past I would have blown it off just because it was only $2.63/ball and that meant it was inferior (I did get it 50% off at Elann.com) so I definitely have to rethink my preconceived notions about what will knit well. This means that as a knitter I have to educate myself more, really understand what I am knitting and why and think about what I want the end product to look like and how that will happen. As a knitter of my generation I think I have become accustomed to being hand fed and "dumbed down" as it were. NO more. My goal this year is to be an intelligent knitter, to work with my materials in a respectful and knowing manner, to knit with a love of my craft; not feeling pressured to produce just so I can say; "I made this, look at me". I want to knit with knowing, with knowledge. Knitting has been around for so long and getting this wool from Cornwall made me think about the fishermen who for hundreds of years before me and without patterns, made durable, functional and beautiful sweaters. And I get to use the same kind of wool. Think about that!