I’m a bit behind due to getting swamped last night. That’s okay. Two topics for the price of one, today!
Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
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.
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.
I was gifted two hanks of this yarn by my brother a few years back, who with my sister’s help selected it for me. The socks knit from them were simple ribbed socks, and they were the first pair of socks I wore holes into. That’s not to say this yarn is weak – it’s soft, but strong. I wore those socks more than any other handknit socks I’ve made before or since.
Not to mention it’s a joy to knit with. It’s soft, supple, visually interesting with the colour changes, and great for portable projects. The ball doesn’t dissolve into itself in bags like a lot of yarns with similar softness.
This hank will become a second RPM sock. The first had to get the heel frogged and re-knit twice, and we’re about to do it a third time to get my stupid foot to fit. But this yarn is worth it.
I have two yarns I can say for the most part that I despise,. but even then there are silver linings. It’s a love/hate. I don’t know if I can hate any yarn. Even Red Heart.
So, the two yarns I hate:
Noro Kureyon Sock & Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.
First, the Noro. I was amused that my sis the Pirate and I both listed this yarn as our hate, but we both want to love it so much. Notice that the Noro ball in the pic is already balled? That’s because it was part of a project that I couldn’t finished because the yarn was killing my fingers. Unlike worsted Kureyon, which spreads the one-ply over a wider weight, the sock weight uses the same rough yarn in a tiny fingering weight space, making the yarn not much softer than sharp twine. I want to love it. I knit Zoe from it without too many tears. But… I just cannot.
The Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (which I understand is the Canadian equivalent to Lily Sugar & Cream) is hated for similar reasons. It’s dry and rough and gross to knit with. It’s also pretty ugly, let’s face it. But I always have a few skeins around, because I cannot deny the sheer useful factor of a workhorse cotton yarn. Like my mom before me, I’ve knit many garter stitch dishcloths, Swiffer covers, a few baby burp cloths to send to expecting friends, ferret drying bags (don’t ask)… the possibilities are endless with Bernat. I still hate knitting with it. And it’s ugly.
Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?
I learned a Big New Skill this year: Crochet!
I’ve been meaning to learn crochet for a number of years. I love knitting and still prefer it, but let’s face it: crochet is not only easier to learn than knitting, but a lot of things are just better when crocheted than knit. I’d had a gifted copy of Happy Hooker sitting in my knitting library for a few years. There wasn’t much reason NOT to learn.
I still only count myself as an absolute beginner; all I’ve been making is a ton of granny squares for a tackly variegated blanket for myself, and working on crochet eggs to donate to the ferret rescue. That said, I am damn good at granny squares now. I could crochet granny squares all day. It’s fun, relaxing, quickly gratifying and the end result can be stitched into a blanket!
I plan to continue my foray into crochet, along with learning new skills in knitting.