Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The start of a beautiful love affair

How can anyone not love this yarn?

This picture shows the colour much better than yesterday's snap. Every time I look at it I see new shades in it and a fresh new feeling of yarnlove overcomes me. I love this yarn so much I decided that I would treat it properly, with the respect it deserved (no quick fumble and squeeze, then being shoved to the back of the cupboard for this baby!).

Firstly, I wound it by hand into balls. This caused the first few feelings of irritation in our relationship but together we overcame them. Yes, the skeins were a bit tangled with a few more knots than I would have liked, but the yarn is so slippy that the untangling wasn't too arduous. We were back on track and looking forward to taking our friendship to the next stage.

Next, I knitted a swatch. I measured my gauge and had a little moment of doubt - it was waaaay off. I decided to pop my precious little swatch in a nice relaxing bath and then let it relax in the sun (I'll gloss over the fact I had stuck pins in it - that's only done in 'special' types of love stories, and mine is not like that). After the swatch was dry I re-measured and was heartened to find that the yarn does stretch massively when wet and so my gauge was nearly spot on.

I cast on for Metis, full of happy thoughts about our future. We could go to nice country pubs, the theatre, not so nice inner city pubs and even school together. Metis would be perfect for all occassions.

I still don't know what it was that made me look at my swatch again. A sixth sense, maybe, that it couldn't really be this easy. When I looked at it, it seemed to be smaller than after I had measured it. I measured again and it had shrunk back down to it's pre-blocked dimensions. I could have felt downhearted here but I chose instead to see the good. This was clearly a yarn that could be treated quite harshly (I'm a vigorous blocker) and yet would slowly return to it's original size. This means no matter how poor my laundering skills I am unlikely to end up with a jumper down to my knees with sleeves to match.

I swatched again on 4.5mm needles and still no gauge. 5mm, gauge still off. 5.5mm, got gauge! Except that now I didn't like the drape of the fabric. It seemed too holey and the stitch definition just looked wrong. This was the point where love was truly demonstrated. I did maths. Real maths, with sums and everything! I decided I liked the effect best on 4mm needles (my original swatch) and also this had nice easy numbers to work with. I sat with pencil in hand and worked out what size to knit based on my gauge, their sizings, my measurements and I think I'm sorted. Instead of knitting the 34" size I'm going to knit the 38" and if my sums are right then I should end up with a sweater the right size. In fact I'm sure I will, cause when I'd done my sums I got my Dad to check them for me and he corrected them and gave me the right numbers to use!

So I've cast on, and now we've overcome our first relationship glitch the rest should be smooth sailing (and if you believe that you're even more gullible than me!).

Oh, and thankyou for all your comments yesterday. It's nice to know that people are actually reading this blog and sharing their opinions and stories :)


Blogger Helen said...

Good luck with your sweater :)

Nice flowers too!

10:29 am  
Blogger Auntie Noo said...

I do so hope you and your yarn will be happy together!!!

This does sound a bit like procrastinating though if you should have been doing lesson planning!!!! - I'm now being good and doing tax returns. Mind you at least yours involved real maths - mine has just involved a lot of swearing!!! :)

1:14 pm  
Anonymous Groove said...

nice blog, badger

7:06 pm  
Blogger Bronte said...

It is indeed lovely yarn, and well worth the swatching frustration. I think it would make lovely socks, too... ;-)

12:12 pm  

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