Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week : 2KCBWDAY1

Okay, I've seriously neglected the old blog in recent months. Yes, I know ... I hear from the six people who actually read it that they miss it, but still ... it's like going back  to your ex-husband. It's a little embarrassing and one of those things you may not want to shout about from the rooftops until you know it's going to last longer than a hot, sweaty afternoon. (Don't ask how I know this one.)

Anyway, along comes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011. What better excuse to unearth and revive the blog than that? And it even comes with suggested topics. So, here we go, first day:

So, today's topic is "A Tale of Two Yarns." And, just so you'll get the idea, here's the explanation:

Part of any fibre enthusiast's hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash, or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

The timing for this question couldn't be better, because I started a project this past weekend in a yarn that I'd heard about but had never used, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. When Debra and I went (separately but serendipitously) to the Claudia's Handpainted Yarns Trunk Show at EatSleepKnit a couple of weeks ago, Debra took me to the Madelinetosh room and wouldn't let me leave until I'd picked out a skein (Cherry, if it matters).

Now I love a cult yarn as much as the next person, and I have to admit the color grabbed me by the short hairs right away. Do you see all those shadings? Frankly, the day of the trunk show was rainy and the light in the room was adequate but not great, and I thought it was red yarn. It wasn't until I looked at it outside that I saw all those colors. And it's a single ply, which meant I likely wouldn't be making socks from it.

In fact, I had no idea what I would make from it--probably, with my track record, nothing. I figured it would join the other approximately 493 skeins of sock yarn waiting for me to be inspired. (Okay, that may be an exaggeration but not by much!)  This weekend, the yarn told me--it had to be the Ishbel shawlette. 

I wasn't prepared for finding that using it would be nothing short of a Harry Met Sally moment. This yarn is smoothly twisted, not plied, with a little bit of attitude. (Why do I think I should be saying, "Tosh ... Madelinetosh" like "Bond ... James Bond"?)  Ishbel is a delicate balance of stockinette with a very simple lace edge. In the Tosh Merino Light, the stockinette portion is beautiful and soft. The lace portion is sharply defined--every PSSO stands out like a beacon.

Now, moving from ecstasy to irritation, my unfavorite yarn of all time: Noro Kureyon.

Oh, I love the colors! Noro yarns have some of the most wonderful colors available to a knitter. They change and swirl and move through a knitted piece with a life of their own. No argument with the colors at all.

But the texture? The rough, almost scratchy fibers, longing to make you itch? The thick-and-thin nature of the yarns that take you from a lumpy blob of yarn down to a hair-like thread that suddenly breaks off in your hand, just as you're pulling a stitch taut? And the woodiness--and by this I mean the actual splinters of straw and wood that appear in every skein? The multiple knots, never in the same color, mind you, so that you're knitting along with deep purple and suddenly the yarn ends in a knot ... and now you're knitting in turquoise blue... both pretty colors but ... they couldn't match the broken strands?

And what I hate the most about Noro Kureyon? The fact that I'm continuously seduced by it. I see it, stacked beautifully in a cubby in a yarn store, and I think, "maybe this time it'll be different."

Come to think of it, that IS a ltitle like going back to your ex-husband.  It just makes you remember why you left him in the first place. (And don't ask how I know.)

No, really. Don't ask.

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