Knit 2 Par 3

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not all Sheep are Created Equal

I had a bag of money to spend on yarn at the Renegade Craft Fair, but ended up not buying even a tiny skein. Not that there wasn't any yarn to be had, there was plenty and some of it was quite clever and in the DIY spirit.

This picture is from the Traveling Rhinos booth. They had some yummy stranded yarn at a reasonable price, and in retrospect I wish I had bought some, but there isn't a lot you can do with all that hairy strand yarn. A scarf maybe, but the strands can get in my mouth and the fiber generally isn't warm enough for my neck for winter. I could forget a coat but I need to have a warm neck in the winter.

I was physically turned on by the handspun at Material Whirled. These spinners are using quality natural fiber, intense color and found objects to create beautiful yarn and my heart yearned to play with it in the privacy of my own home. I touched everything they had, and overall the yarn seemed to have a very pleasing hand even with the non-wool content. But the cost! $50 for 160 yards. That's a Big Price to Pay for something that ends up as trim on a sweater or, god forbid, a scarf.

Handspun is a great thing, but the problem for me is that most arty spinners can't do enough yardage to make a worthwhile project, and many that can do the volume produce uninspiring yarns. It's unsportsmanlike to name names, but last year I bought some handspun mohair at Stitches East that maybe was supposed to be for sweaters for martyrs. And some other yarn that was spun by a prison collective in Colorado made me feel like I was doing time when I was working with it. I ended up giving it all away at a yarn swap.

Ozark Handspun
, though, is something I would recommend even though it is small lot yarn. Last year I made myself - a scarf. But it had all the qualities I need in a scarf as it had a lot of texture and color so it didn't need fringe and it kept my neck really warm. Some of the fiber did get in my mouth. Note to gift recipients: if getting yarn fluff in your mouth is a problem let me know and I will adjust yarn choices accordingly.

I am also always on the lookout when I am in Maine for yarn by Nanny Kennedy of Get Wool. She raises the sheep, and dyes the wool using ocean water and it has a beautiful heathery finish that wears well. I like to use this yarn for hats because of the excellent natural felting that occurs between wet weather and hot heads.

And not to forget golf today - golf is heating up. Vacation days are being scheduled. Family golf tournaments are on the horizon. I have a golf work event next week. Stay tuned.


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