Monday, April 25, 2011


I woke up early this morning with a solution to a very minor "problem": not enough yarn. Well, that's not specifically true, more like not enough yardage. This yarn:
shawl yarn
which is the spindle spun BFL/silkyarn from my recent trip, is 700 yards, weighing in at 8.4 ounces (that is about 1300 ypp, for those of you keeping track).

I want to knit a small shawl with it, I have been haunting the pattern feature in Ravelry, but every pattern was just "not right". The pattern I really want to knit is not small, and requires over 3600 yards! Not even close. No fudge room there (the pattern is Volt (Ravelry Link) from the Holiday issue of Vogue).

What was the Epiphany this morning? The pattern requires several colors. I could add other yarns to my puny little stash, and make the shawl I really want. Duh, duh, duh and duh.

Before the sun even rose, I was down in the studio. Within five minutes I had this pile:
volt yarns
This is various wools, all handspun, some softer than others, some variation in grist but not enough for the Man-on-a-Running-Horse test, totaling over a pound. And the other good news? There's more where these came from. I just have to be judicious, once I start knitting, and make sure the color order looks planned, rather than "She ran out of Yarn".

I cast on (395 stitches using a provisional cast on, for those keeping track at home: so far, I've cast on and not even finished the first row! This is going to take a while...).

I am stubborn. I want what I want, not a pale imitation, not a version of, but the Real Thingtm.

The second entry in the "Proves That I am Stubborn Category":
oil yarn
Nice yarn, eh? It is indeed nice now, but it wasn't last week. You've probably seen it here before, but that was indeed Before. Before this oil bottle leaked:
oil bottle

ALL OVER MY WORKTABLE. Yes, I am yelling. The bottle was upright. Closed. Plastic. Leaked. These two skeins of yarn (and my weaving records notebook) soaked up an entire bottle of leaking oil, which was properly sitting right next to my sewing machine, because I was being good and oiled the machine, right before I left last month.

An entire bottle of oil: handspun yarn.

I washed the yarn. I washed it again. Dawn, Dawn, then Synthrapol, wash, rinse, wash, rinse, latherrinserepeat: for a whole week. Hot water, Hot Hot water, Hotter yet water, with detergent. Yarn = still oily and smelly.

What finally saved it?
oil save
A sample package of this detergent. NO OIL NOW! (Yarn smells kinda funny, they use some sort of herbal scent in the wool-wash, but hey! I'll take that over oil!). I get these samples at conferences, and have never used them. I pass them on to people who scour wool. I'm SO GLAD I had one on hand. And that I am stubborn enough to keep trying until the yarn was clean again (DH thought I was nuts).

So by way of a cautionary tale: don't buy oil in plastic bottles. I could see no cracks, holes, or breaks in the surface, and it was upright on the worktable. There must be a crack of some kind, but not visible to the naked eye.

Also? Put yarns away, don't leave them out on your worktable (hah!!!).

Also: buy some Power Scour. You may need it someday. It must be powerful stuff.

Luckily, it's not likely ever to be needed for this cute face:
marin face!


Blogger Unknown said...

I've never heard you yell before.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Power Scour Uber Alles. Seriously, I will NEVER go back to Dawn. I broke down and bought a gallon last year. I don't do a whole lot of scouring, but the thought of running out was too much to bear.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Charlene said...

Cute indeed!

4:38 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I love almost all the shawls in the Grace Anne Farrow booklet that has Volt. I've knit 1.75 of the patterns (yes, I will finish Dusk, I will, I will), but now I'm thinking I should knit another (Smolder?) in handspun. It's a good thing you have a cute granddaughter, because every time I read your blog, I have to start another project!

6:15 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Oh, my ovaries may never be the same. That child is too darned cute!

7:55 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Another lesson I will gladly learn from you, the first being, don't felt in the washing machine without placing in zippered pillow case covers first.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Louisa said...

I've been using Power Scour for awhile and thought it was pretty good - except for the smell. What is it with manufacturers and the need to scent everything abominably? Even supposedly "unscented" things have a mild scent, apparently to mask any chemical smell. Blech.

Oh she's such a cutie! I have one of those too (born Dec 2) but I won't argue the cuteness factor with a new grandmother. ;)

8:40 AM  
Blogger Charleen said...

Why am I not surprised that you were able to pull together enough yarn to make that shawl? Congrats on your stick-to-itiveness!

And, of course, she's adorable!

6:20 PM  
Blogger weavinfool said...

I have made Volt. I started it at your cabin last year. I love all the patterns in Grace Anna Farrow's book "The Fine Line". I want to do another of her patterns.

7:53 AM  
Blogger goatldi said...

Power scour or not. There ain't nut'in that cutie can't make good.

8:13 PM  
Blogger DRP said...

2:25 AM  

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