Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Quit While I’m Ahead.

Or to put it another way….

I was completely wrong about the yarn.

Just about a year ago, as I was rooting around in a cupboard at work, I found a discarded sweater. It belonged to no one. It wasn’t a style I was going to use. It was obviously wool. What would any self respecting knitter do?

She would bring it home and unravel it to repurpose the yarn of course.

That is what I did. The yarn has been sitting in my stash just waiting for the right project. I knew it would have to wait until the weather cooled because, it just isn’t all that much fun to knit on a wool sweater in the middle of summer. Call me crazy but sweaty hands and sweaty wool are not a great thing. But even though the weather has been warmer than usual for November, I felt that it was time to break out the reclaimed yarn and make something beautiful out of it.

I had already determined that the yarn was Worsted Weight and yes it was wool. You can tell if a yarn is wool, or at least a large percentage of wool, by taking a piece of it and lighting one end on fire. FIRE!!!! If it turns to ash as it burns and actually the flame goes out fairly quickly, it is wool. If it melts like the dickens….man made fiber.

By the way, just as your PSA for the day….do not do the burn test in the house. You think it will be OK but it will not. Wool yarn that you are testing smells like burning hair. BUT burning acrylic doesn’t burn, it melts, and sometimes it melts very quickly and hotly and drops onto the ground….or your floor. Do this OUTSIDE.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blather.

SO, I had the pattern all picked out. Nothing elaborate, just a simple sweater. I started my first (of three swatches) and had my first realization.

This is VERY scratchy wool. Don’t get me wrong, some wool is very scratchy. It is the nature of some wools to be like the woman behind the counter at Walmart on the day after Christmas. Scratchy and there is nothing you can do about it.

Then I realized that the yarn was not fun to knit with. I am being kind here. It was like a continual struggle with a thin rope of two year old child. You want it to do one thing. It is screaming at you at the top of it’s little wooly lungs and refusing to do what you want. Repeatedly. I knit, washed and blocked three swatches and I still couldn’t get gauge. It is not all that often that I cannot get gauge after THREE swatches. Sorry for the knitspeak. All that means is if I knit the sweater with the needles that I knit the swatch with I would have had a coat and not a sweater. A very scratchy coat that I was beginning to think might not be a good idea.

But being the person that I am, and being the fact that the yarn cost me nothing…..nothing except tears of frustration as I wrestled with it, I persevered. I gathered my supplies and I cast on during the Ohio State game last Saturday.

2015-11-15 13.20.39

I managed to make it through one repeat of 12 rows and I could sense that I had made a mistake. Not a mistake in my knitting. No, I had made a mistake in the nature and essence of this yarn. This yarn was a vile and evil beast of ropey wool that would not be tamed. It was almost impossible to knit in my regular swift style. Each stitch was like climbing the mountain of knitting pain. By the time that Baylor lost to Oklahoma on Saturday evening I knew that this yarn was not long destined for my stash world. I made it through a second repeat of 12 rows and called it quits. Yes folks, I knit only 24 rows and a boat load of increases before I threw the knitting down in disgust (or it might have been disgust at the way Baylor was playing) and called it quits.

We are not dating.

We are not even seeing each other anymore.

2015-11-17 17.44.28 Ugly wool yarn you are dead to me! Off to Goodwill you go where someone else can find you and love you.

It will not be me.

The yarn for my sweater arrives on Thursday. Well, I had to buy yarn for the sweater! I didn’t have just the right yarn in my stash.

Stop looking at me and shaking your head.

2015-11-17 17.54.30

I don’t see just the right yarn for my sweater in there, do you?

I didn’t think so.


  1. It had to be much more enjoyable to pick out new yarn. Besides, your meager quantity of yarn on hand appears to be all neatly stowed away. Why mess up all your organization digging through it!

  2. I see some empty space on the top shelf. It looks like just the right size for a sweater quantity of yarn, and should probably be filled immediately, if only for insulation purposes.

  3. What a stash! This winter I'm going to learn to knit and how to play mah jong. Should keep me out of trouble.


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