1 bag of really nice fleece, beautifully processed
A sweater pattern I really liked.
Some actually careful sampling and spinning.
Enthusiasm, skill, experience and intelligence
Well. You would think it would be a sweater, but apparently, not so much.
Two weeks ago I went into Lettuce Knit on a knit night, and saw a pattern that I loved, and resolved to knit it up out of handspun, right that minute.
(Warning the first. Snap decisions are always high risk.)
I looked at the pattern, noted the yarn that it was knit from, turned around to the yarn shelf, and took a skein of the yarn it called for down, and examined it carefully. It was chunky, two plies, cushy and gorgeous. I took note of how thick it was, what it looked like… the whole thing. Then I replaced it, bought the pattern book and came home.
(Warning the second. I discussed this plan with no-one. Public plans are less likely to fail.)
Being someone who likes to get things done, I straightaway snagged the bag of fleece and started spinning, and for one of the first times in my spinning career, I was really careful and sampled the yarn out to get it to match. I even looked at the pattern, then looked at the yarn online to remind myself what it looked like. I tried a yarn, rejected it and tried again until I had one I thought was right. Then I washed it, and tried again… I adjusted the wheel, checked resources to make sure I was doing it right. Dudes, I did everything, and when I was finished, that was a badass yarn. Bang on. It was perfect and light and smooshy and to the best of my recollection, I had totally nailed the yarn in the store. It was a proud spinning moment for me. I kept going and spun up four more skeins, just short of what I needed for the sweater. I put the skeins out in the sunshine to dry after I washed them, and I took about 28376 pictures of them and gave them a smug pat and a loyal and proud squeeze of happiness every time that I went by.
(Warning the third: Smug pride is almost always punished by the wool gods.)
Last Wednesday, when knit night rolled around again, I resisted the urge to take all of the new yarn to Lettuce Knit for the purposes of showing it off, and forced myself to just take a single skein, tucking it in my bag and cycling off. When I got there, I showed it to anyone who would look. (Special thanks to Andrea for pretending to be really interested.) I squeezed it some more and explained to anyone who would listen (thanks again Andrea) how I’d engineered it. I said a lot of things like "I love this yarn" and "This yarn couldn’t be more perfect" and "I can’t wait to cast this on."
(Warning the fourth: Happiness. Enough said.)
With that public display of glee and satisfaction, I walked over to the original yarn to prove just how perfect it was. I took a skein of it off the shelf and held it next to my skein. "Perfect!" I happily exclaimed to Dr. Steph, and she concurred. Everyone did. My attempt to match a commercial yarn had been successful to the max. It was a thrilling moment, and one that made me feel really good about myself as a spinner. I stood there, holding the two yarns and feeling the warm glow of accomplishment flow over me, until Denny said….
(Warning the fifth. Denny has an opinion)
"That’s the wrong yarn."
"What?" I said, not really understanding what she was saying. I mean, I’m holding the yarn I was trying to match… it matches… how is it wrong?
"The sweater" she says, "it’s knit out of Cuzco, not Peruvia Quick. That’s the wrong yarn."
"Where’s that yarn?" I managed to stammer out, the world starting to go a little acid green around the edges.
"There’s a skein in the bin" she said, and I staggered over to the bin, pulled the skein of Cuzco out, and just about collapsed. Way different. Way. Like… not going to work sort of different, and I sat down hard. Bugger. I know how it happened too. The pattern book spotlights both yarns, and at the top of the pattern page it lists both – and I didn’t read far enough down to see which it was recommending while I was in the store. I saw Peruvia Quick in the book and on the shelf, and I went for it. By the time I was home and writing a blog entry about it days later, when I saw the pattern took Cuzco it didn’t register that I didn’t have that in my hand at the store… or maybe I thought they were interchangable or, well. Who knows. It was a mistake.
I didn’t let on how shattered I was there, and I sort of held out hope that maybe it would work out anyway.. but I swatched it up yesterday and there’s no chance.
These two yarns are just too different. I need 15 stitches to 10cm, and I’m getting 12.5 – and I toyed around with maybe knitting a smaller size and seeing if the sweater would just magically come out my size, but that sort of pattern voodoo seldom works, and I like this yarn too much to make something that isn’t awesome. So with that, I’m open to suggestions.
Anybody have a fantastic sweater idea for several skeins of a handspun that’s an awesome match for Peruvia Quick? (The frontrunner right now is the Drops 103-1 that Dr. Steph just finished, but I’m open.)