Yarn Worship

It’s official: I’m in love with a new yarn.

We first met at WEBS in the sale corner. She was on a lower shelf, easy to overlook, but something about her colorway got my attention. When I picked her up for the first time, I noticed a unique softness and drape that I had never felt in a yarn before. And the colors were unique, painterly, stunning.

I’m talking about Araucania Pomaire, 100% pima cotton hand dyed in Chile. It took me a little while to find something to knit with it, but when I did it was wonderful. This yarn is so soft and stretchy, unlike most cotton yarn I have worked with. And the colors–hand dyed in unusual combinations and interesting colors. So it came as no surprise to me that the next time I happened across this yarn, I simply had to buy some. This time I got 3 skeins, hoping that I could make another summer top.

And then a couple of weeks ago, while I was innocently shopping for some sock yarn for a gift, I was once again wooed by something out of the corner of my eye. Araucania sock yarn, on the top shelf, in the most delicious colors. After picking each one up, I eventually settled on this one.

It reminds me of a tie dye t-shirt, which I’ve never had yet always wanted. Again, it’s hand painted and made of 75% wool and 25% polymide, so it’s soft and machine washable! I cast on for a pair of Hedera socks and we have been knitting along very well together. Until last night, that is, when I started decreasing for the toe.

Can you see it? The top needle has 15 stitches, which means I had one more decrease round to go to get down to 13 stitches. But then count the bottom two needles: 26! In theory, there are supposed to be the same number of stitches on needle 1 as there are on needles 2 and 3 combined! I took a wrong turn somewhere, probably way back when picking up stitches for the heel gusset. I always approximate the number of stitches the pattern says to pick up and knit. I just go along the heel flap, picking up a stitch for each row of the flap, then a couple more up by the leg to close any holes. This means that I occasionally end up with weird numbers and have to improvise my decreases to get back to the right number.

So I decided to try just knitting the stitches on the top of the toe, and decreasing on needles 2 and 3 every round until the numbers matched. Finally, I got down to 13 stitches on top and bottom, and it doesn’t look weird at all. Best of all: it fits!

Then there’s the slight issue of the too-long heel flap. I had read that some other knitters thought it was too long, but knit it as described and it turned out fine. I decided to do the same (trust thy designer, especially when she is as fierce as Cookie A.), but ended up with a weird nipple at the end of the heel. It’s just a little too long for my foot.

Otherwise, I’m quite happy with how these socks have turned out, and look forward to wearing them soon. You know, after I knit the second sock. Which could be sometime in October if I’m not able to resist casting on my other Arucania Ranco sock yarn:

What is your favorite brand of yarn? Do you stick to certain brands or types of yarn? Basically, how do you decide which yarn to buy?

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3 thoughts on “Yarn Worship

  1. Both the cardigan and the sock look really gorgeous. I love the way that cotton looks – it looks to me like some bamboo I am knitting with at the moment, not cotton-y at all! I never had a tie-die top either, but I had a great one that both my boys wore when they were about two – I loved having hippie kids!

  2. haha i’m selling tiedyed tops for ‘hippy’ kids !

    that yarn looks lovely (all of it!). we’re so behind with the whole sock yarn thing here…socks dont seem to be as popular here as they are overseas.

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