Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Silent Yarn

Remember this yarn from a few months ago?

It's an Anny Blatt blend of viscose and cotton that I picked up at a great price from someone who was destashing.

And remember this yarn?

It's a bamboo yarn that I bought to mix with the Anny Blatt, since I was just a little shy of enough of the AB to complete a summer sweater.

These yarns have been tormenting me for the past couple of months. They just won't speak to me and tell me what they want to be. The Anny Blatt yarn is sort of bumpy and slightly textural and so I wanted to choose a stitch that would highlight that rather than ignore that. I thought the yarn would look best with a stitch that was clearly meant to have texture to it, rather than a stitch meant to be even and perfect, which simply would not be achieved with this type of yarn. I swatched and played with the yarn and came up with a few stitch choices I liked, but when I went to begin the project something was always a bit off and I ended up frogging my work.

After a few iterations of this - swatch, knit, frog; swatch, knit, frog - I set the yarn aside and assumed that it would pipe up and let me know what it wanted to be when it was good and ready. Nope. It's been about three months now and I haven't heard a peep out of it.

(On a side note, this yarn has taught me the reasoning behind the common belief that sock yarn does not count when added to one's stash. I always thought of that as an excuse for those who cannot resist sock yarn, but now I believe there's actually something to it. The thing about sock yarn is that it can always be a pair of socks. You might use it for something else, but in the end, you will never stare at it and wonder what on earth you will do with it. You will never sit quietly, gazing at it, waiting for it to speak to you. It will never be a sore spot in your stash.)

I finally decided yesterday that I simply must knit with this yarn. I bought it specifically with a summer sweater in mind and I just don't want to let the season pass without using it. My current decision is to throw the notion of finding a perfect stitch pattern for this yarn out the window and just do a simple, mostly stockinet, sleeveless sweater. I cast on last night.

The bottom has an inch or so of 1X1 rib and then there's a bit of yarnover detail before the stockinet begins. The pattern is from an old Filati pattern book I found buried away and long forgotten. The pattern is actually meant to be knit with a nice, even yarn to create a simple, clean look, but I just don't care. At this point, I'd rather knit something that I end up hating than spend another moment waiting for the yarn to speak to me. I'll teach it to give me the silent treatment! I'll turn it into something ugly that will sit in a closet or a dark drawer for a couple of years before it eventually is tossed in the trash. Ha! Take that!

I needed to adjust the pattern pretty significantly to accommodate the gauge of these two yarns held together. As I began I thought I had missed the mark by a good amount. About an inch or so into it, it looked way too small. I pulled the needle out and set the little piece of knit fabric free, measured it and decided that it was in fact the right size. I then slipped the stitches back on the needle and continued on my way.

A few rows laters, I looked at it and once again thought that it was just way too small. And so again, I slipped the stitches off, measured it, and returned them again to the needle. (I do that, by the way. Unless I'm working on lace, I don't hesitate to pull my stitches right off the needle so that I can get a good work-in-progress measurement. I know the very thought of intentionally slipping a needle-full of stitches off may be horrifying to more cautious knitters, but I like to live on the edge. I am known as Fearless, after all! Of course, there's a fine line between fearless and just plain reckless . . . )

To get back to the project, I'm uncertain at this stage how this will all end up. I'm most definitely not in love with the colors for myself. I do like the slightly salmon shade of pink, but it's not a great color for me. I also much prefer smooth yarns that yield perfect stitches and this most definitely is not that type of yarn. Combining the two yarns together also doesn't help any with that! To add to the mix of uncertainty, the bamboo yarn is not my favorite either. It's very soft and has a lovely drapey feel to it, but I'm finding that it has a strong tendency to split which is a bit of a nuisance. Here's a closeup so that you can see a little more of what I mean about the uneven look of the stitch work:

Whatever happens with this project, I'll be glad not to have the yarn sitting in my stash anymore. It should be a fairly quick knit as well, so if it turns sour I won't have wasted too much effort on it.

Everyone have a fabulous day and get some knitting done! Don't forget to listen to your yarn.


Sallie said...

I like it. Of course, I can't feel it, but the colors are going together nicely. It's very summery.

Lynne E. said...

Poor unloved yarn! Lucky for me, FF yarn always speaks--in fact, I have to tell it to shut up and wait its turn. It can get very impatient.

~Tonia~ said...

Sorry it is being such a pain. It looks good from this end.

DragonsChest said...

While the color combo doesn't really call to me, I think it is knitting up nicely. Hope you love it when it's done! ~~ Suzy

anne said...

i like the mix of colors! sometimes stockinette is just the thing to bring out the best things in a yarn!

Carol said...

The colours are amazing! Love 'em. But the splitty aspect would be a real problem for me. that drives me crazy.....

Anni said...

Stunning yarn. gorgeou scolours.